what salt water boat to get for less than 5,000?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Peter Pancho, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. what salt water boat to get for less than 5,000? Primarily for the slow sound and hood canal.
  2. how do you want to use it, do you have a tow vehicle, what size are you thinking, how many people, do you want to be sheltered? .... Sorry for the grammer this is from my wireless.
  3. Find a used Whaler that needs some TLC and baby her up. Wet ride, but she'll float for ever and can handle most Puget Sound Ops. Anything in great shape, newer model or higher end (Grady White, hell most Whalers) will cost a lot more. I'm sure other members have a better idea, but that's what came to mind. Hell my new flats boat has a sticker of over 40 grand. Boats are money pits, we all know that. Good luck and tight lines! Duff
  4. How about mine? I haven't advertised it yet but it's a 14’ Livingston with 30 HP Oil injected Yamaha & 4 HP 4-stroke Yamaha kicker and Galvanized trailer. A very safe stable fishing boat without the higher cost and wetter ride of a much older Boston Whaler. Easy to tow without a truck and piece of cake to launch. This boat is turnkey and ready to fish. Engine always flushed and boat and trailer washed down after each trip out and it shows. Kicker only occasionally used, 30HP Yamaha has 160 hours and is a fuel efficient reliable 2-stroke oil injected engine. The Coho are coming any day now! You won’t find a better value in a boat for its size, safety and reliability. Serious inquires only. $4,600 or $3,950 without 4hp Yamaha Kicker. PM me if you want more details and photos. Many extras included.
  5. Smokercraft Alaskan 14 or 15', with the open floorboard, with 25 hp four stroke (if possible) outboard. You can get them with two strokes, which work great (I have one).

    It's easy to tow, inexpensive to own (tabs, aluminum needs no maintenance, trailer tabs cheap, etc.), easy to operate even with just one person, fishes two people well, etc.

    From time to time you find a Smokercraft Lodge 15, which I would prefer (a little heavier and is wider) for just over $5k, but they often have a 25 hp, which is on the light side for that boat. That would be my recommendation if you could find one within your budget.

    There are other boats/models out there I would like to have (Fisher, Crestliner, other Smokercraft models like the Osprey or Tracer, Tracker, G3, or Lund), but they are more than the budget you noted. The Smokercraft is juuuust fine. :thumb: My fishing pal Steve has a standing offer that if I ever sell mine, he's first in line.

    I know Duroboats are popular around here, and they are a good boat, but they usually don't have the flooring configuration (flat floor, split seats) in the smaller size that I want.

    The boat is important, but pay particular attention to the outboard. Bummer to be out on the water and have it crap out on you . . . and it's the most expensive part of the boat to repair or replace if it gives up. Caveat emptor.

    Good luck.
  6. If I had five grand, my kids and I would be decked out in Kayaks.
  7. Now is the perfect time to buy a boat. The industry is at an all time low. Inventories are at an all time high and dealerships are going under. If you look around, you might be really suprised to find how much 5,000 dollars can buy. Just beware....if you buy a boat from certain manufacturers, the boat can't be warrantied if that company is no longer in business.
  8. This is kind of funny because I asked exactly the same question a year ago. Even had the same budget. And Nutty Squirrel even offered his Livingston which I'm sure is a good boat.(I think he just maybe is attached to it and hasn't really tried too hard to sell it:D)
    I totally blew my 5 K budget and went with this Smokercraft I fouind on Craigs list. No regrets.
    As was advised the outboard is key.
    I had a deep 12' Lund once that was a great Puget Sound boat. The ex sold it when I wasn't looking.
    I do like aluminum because they are light and easy to tow. A fiberglass boat will give you a more comfortable ride in the chop I think.
  9. Sorry duplicate post

  10. Michael has it right I have not even half heartedly tried to sell the boat. I really don't want too since it's the perfect size to trailer and easily launch but it's getting way to small for my growing family. I keep saying to myself I will sell this season and it never seems to happen primarily since my dream is to have a 18' Whaler Outrage or Grady but don't have $15K laying around for a twenty year old boat.

    I agree with everything posted so far. My first boat was a 12' Smokercraft Alaskan and it went anywhere I needed on a nice day(Not windy) (I fish all over MA10). Lund's are good, Duroboats I really like too. Some people hate the cat style of a Livingston or Sorenson but they are quieter more comfortable and way more stable than a traditional small 12-14 V-hull for standing and casting.

    My only other advice is don't buy anything too big. I think the bigger the boat the less you are inclined to take it out for a few hours before/after work. I can go anywhere in the sound that a 20-30' boat can go for a fraction of the cost and way less hassle. I have very little maintance to do other than wash everything down and flush the engine each outing. Good luck in your search.
  11. i'd be looking for a welded aluminum 16-17' with a 4 stroke of some kind, on a trailer. if you doubled your budget, you could find a swell boat that would do the job. gregor, as a brand, comes to mind. if you keep the horsepower down, these boats don't weigh very much and can be man handled on most any ramp, no matter how bad the pitch. going into fiberglass, you will add a huge amount of additional weight and limit your access simply because you will have to search out better launch sites.
  12. My suggestion is to NOT buy until later in the year unless you find a deal or just what you are looking for. Salmon season brings out the guys just trying to make a buck - unlike Nutty Squirrel of course.

    Some things I strongly considered, other than the obvious
    - Outboard is KEY! If it goes TU after you buy it, good luck affording a new one
    - 4-stroke can troll and expand your range w/o mixing fuel
    - Next best is oil injected yamaha!
    - buy something w/ good resale value in case you want something different. This means stay with name brands people know and Outboards people like.
    - When you buy, talk the seller into caughing up as many extras as you can see laying around in their garage! Even oars cost too much - price this stuff at West Marine, as you likely already know!
    - Take your time and enjoy shopping and perfect your boat whoring skills during this years salmon season!

    I ended up with an 18' welded aluminum Weldcraft that I really like. Of course it was more than I planned to spend, but I am taking the family to Port Townsend this weekend for the wood boat festival and I have no worries with the crossing and who knows, may fish my way across!
  13. For fly fishing on puget sound: 13' boston whaler. Great casting platform for two people, indestructable, low fuel consumption. They can be a bit wet and uncomfortable in rough weather, but when are you ever out fly fishing in that weather anyway?

    I agree with JeffD on outboards - they can run forever with the right maintenance, but you can end up spending alot of cash if yours dies. Yamahas rock if you can find them. Four stroke is even better.
  14. I have a 14' Livingston (1977) with an Evinrude 35hp (1986). It takes oil gas mix which is inconvenient, but sips gas. I really don't use it much since I have no friends and two very young kids, but this year we used it several more times than the past two or three years. I recently added a casting platform that spans the entire front area. Old as hell, but runs well and will float even if filled with water. I have friends who have whalers and love them. I bought what my limited budget would allow many years ago and I'm pleased with that choice so far. Good luck.
  15. My 2 cents is to approach the purchase of a used boat as you would your search for a mate (or a partner to be more PC). There are so many good choices out there, why would you limit yourself to a single ideal, just because somebody else recommends it as being what worked for them. Who would approached dating with the mindset of "My brother got a great girl, so I am only looking for a 5'-8" blond, 120 lbs with green eyes who graduated cum laude from an ivy leage school and does standup comedy on the weekends"? That mindset will keep you single (or boatless) for a long, long time.

    I'd recommend deciding what elements are "must haves" for your boat. Keep it simple and broad and limit it to a maximum of three things. We know your first thing....price. The next two “must have” are up to you. The criteria can be as impractical or as practical as you are ….easy on the eyes, fast runner, low maintenance, good pedigree, etc. I would strongly recommend that you don't get too specific on makes and models because, let's be honest, in your price range the world is not your oyster. I'd even go as far as to avoid the aluminum versus fiberglass or 2 stroke versus 4 stroke debate at this stage.

    Then start to date around. Look on line on Craigslist, the classified section on WFF, in the paper or in the Litltle Nickel to see what is available. Go look at a few in person. Test the waters. Expect this to take a few weeks or even months. Don't jump in bed with the first one that comes around. Wait until you have a good idea what is out in the market and what kind of "extra's" you may be able to get out of the relationship. As with a good partner, after the "must haves" of the moment are lost to time it will be those less tanagible "extra's" that you will appreciate and will give you happiness over the long haul.

    After you've done the dating scene for while you will know a good deal and one day you will see that one boat that you fall for and by then you will be ready to make your move. I would be willing to bet that the boat you end up getting at this point may be quite a bit different from the "ideal" boat you had in your mind when you started out.

    For my last (and current) boat I started with these “must haves”:

    Budget less than $10K.
    Able to have 2 guys flyfish from standing (duh)
    Trailerable and able to park in my driveway.

    I spent about a month on Craigslist every few days, stopped on the roadside to look at innumerable boats for sale in people’s yards, trolled the classifieds, etc. Over time I learned that in my price range I should expect to get a boat with a decent sized 2 cycle outboard (50 to 100 hp), mid 90’s vintage or earlier, newer galvanized trailer, basic electronics, and a servicable kicker. I still had not decided on glass versus aluminum and I quickly determined a 4 cycle was not in my price range. I also became convinced that a center console was for me, and that became a "must have" and helped narrow my search. Many boats came and went...Alaskans, Parkers, Whalers...all pretty but even ones in my price range didn't seem to offer the full package I wanted and they never really clicked. Then one day I saw “my boat” come up on Craigslist. I was mine and I knew it. I went to look at it the next day with money in my pocket and I bought it on the spot with a full priced offer.

    It is a 1982 Privateer 18 ft center console with a 1994 75HP Merc and a matching 15HP, self bailing, good fish finder, older but high end GPS, a one year-old King galvanized roller bunk trailer, rod holders, fish boxes, bow rail, etc. Best thing is I got it all for about $7K, quite a bit under my budget. This let me upgrade it with an electric bow mounted motor and a nice cover and still have money left over for maintenance/gas.

    It is about 10 years older than I ever thought I would ever be caught dead owning. It is unique enought that I get a lot of questions about it and it has nice lines although no head turner. The console works loose all the time and the oil injection system on the Merc has been a headache… but she is stable, safe, and solid and get’s up and goes nicely at WOT. Overall a great boat and I have been enjoying it more and more every year.

    But most of all it is the things I didn’t really value as “must haves” at the time that I have really appreciated and they will definitely be “must haves” on my next boat. The King trailer shows no signs of rust although I have used it exclusively in the salt. The roller bunks have been day-savers when you have to launch or retrieving at low tide. I can crank the boat on the trailer without even having the hubs submerged. The 15 HP kicker is likely the best motor I’ve ever owned on any boat…starts first pull each time and runs strong. I don’t think I’ll part with it until they finally ban 2 strokes for good.

    Is it the “Perfect” boat? No way. Would I rather have an 18’ Dauntless with a 135hp 4 stroke? Hell yeah! Am I willing or able to shell out $30K for that boat? Hell no! So I better be happy with what I got…As they say don't let the "Perfect" be the enemy of the "Good."

  16. That's it. In a perfect world, for me, the o/b would be a four stroke, but some folks prefer the two stroke.
  17. I bet it moves through the water pretty good with that 40hp!
    Probably the max recommended.

  18. I've got it. Buy my dads' 13' bBoston Whaler. He wants an inflatable tender.
    Tom C.
  19. A new 2 stroke will weigh 20% less, be more powerful, and use just about the same amount of fuel as a 4 stroke. I just bought a 175 e-tec cheaper than I could buy the Yamaha 4 stroke. No maintenance for 3 years. No oil changes. I can troll with it. These are state of the art motors, and a lot of people are making the switch back to 2 stroke. Check them out before you jump. The weight difference alone will mean a lot on a small boat.

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