Needed: Boat Recommendation for Puget Sound (limited towing capacity content)

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Chris Puma, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    None of the earlier posters have touched on economy yet so I'll chime in with my $.02
    If you're looking at used stuff you should forget about the boat and start looking for a motor. Used boats are practically "free". It's the motors that cost money. I know that's an exaggeration but it's still a good rule of thumb when looking to purchase a used boat. Find a really good motor and then look for a boat or center your boat search on the motor. If you can afford a new motor, go buy one, then go looking for a used boat. If you buy based on the boat you might soon find that you own a boat that you like but the motor is shot and you need 2 or 3 grand for a new one. The alternative is to throw a bunch of money at a used motor that just "needs a little TLC". Whooo Boy!
    I currently own boats made of fiberglass (1), Aluminum (2) Wood (1) and Hypalon (1) they all require maintenance and they're all great for their intended uses. None of them works for all the different uses I have.
    Don't try to buy a boat that will do everything. Buy one that does one thing really well. Then get another boat for another use.
    Divorce kits are available online now.
    :clown:
    Have fun!

    JonB
     
  2. BFK

    BFK Member

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    Chris-- I've done the boat thing over and over and over. Currently I have four, make that five if you count my wife's sailboat project. If I were in your shoes and buying new, I'd go to the Lund dealer and look real hard at the 16' Alaskan with a tiller. A center console takes up quite a bit of room, and it seems to be compounded in a smaller boat. A tiller boat is generally cheaper and requires a little less maintenance. Another option is the Smoker/Starcraft Sportsman sled in 16'.

    If I were buying used, I'd look at both glass and aluminum. Older aluminum hulls can pound, but newer designs have reduced that considerably. My 18' Starcraft sled is the smoothest-riding aluminum I've been in yet. With the economy and gas prices the way they are, there are going to be a ton of boats being sold, and you can pick up some good steals, er, deals, if you watch the market closely.

    Jerry makes a pretty good pitch for the 14' Hi-Laker. I owned one for several years, and I towed it with a little 4-cylinder 2-wheel pickup. It's a good, stable hull that should be available for little money as the design has been around for years. It has a few drawbacks, but for the Sound, it should be fine.

    Have fun; the buying process can be a blast.
     
  3. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Jon makes a good point on motors. But, they're usually always money pits when you put a engine in anything. LOL. I'd advise on asking whoever you buy from to have a marine mechanic look at the engine. I've always done this with every boat I've bought that had an engine. It saved my butt on a sled I was looking at. The "deal" I thought I was about to get would've been a whole new motor (heads were shot, and the pump was toast as well). It only cost me like $75 last time I had it scoped out (been a few years, probably more for a pre buy inspection), but saved me thousands.

    Tis true, no one perfect boat. I'm back to rebuilding my collection again. I'm down to two whitewater boats, a glass driftboat, and my old wooden river pram. But I used to have almost 10 boats (including two DB's, a sled, and tons of whitewater boats in inflatable and composite). I wish I had one that did it all. Closest I had was my last jet boat. Was as near to perfect as I could've asked for. A semi V, so enough to run rivers, and just about enough to cut the sound (was still a bumpy ride). My trolling motor made it nice to troll lakes with, and since it was only a 14' boat, it had oar locks in it. Drafted like a driftboat. So I could jet up, and run back downriver with the motors up like a driftboat. Was an old Valco. Loved that boat to death. Still wish I kept it. But got too small for my family (was almost 7' wide at the transom for being a 14' boat). Was stable and drafted very little water. That was about close as I got to an all around boat.
     
  4. MasterAnglerTaylor

    MasterAnglerTaylor Member

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    I dont think you can go wrong with either material. I dont know why it would be any colder...? A top would help definatly on those days when that wind is in your face or you just dont wanna be soaked all day, but its not big deal. Like ibn said, diffrent people have different experiences with diffrent types of boats. Those little pamphlets and other things you see of aluminum boats fully flooded and still floating are kinda neat,i would hate to have a tanker wake you out though in that situation :)

    Motors are prolly more important then your boat tho. Gotta look for a good used one and get a little maintenance on it. New motors are insanly priced, but 4 stroke is a beautiful thing.

    Clarkebre- Riveted boats are fine, its one of those things tho, some people will have the boat for ever and never have a problem, then you hear some people that have a few problems with rivets. I dont guess hes gonna be bashin around the waves to much anyway.
     
  5. North Sounder

    North Sounder New Member

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    Chris, I just found a killer deal on a 16' Klammath on craigs list.
    (606480507). Your subaru should have no problem pulling it.
    Tom
     
  6. Curtis

    Curtis New Member

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    Chris,
    My dad has had an 80's blue fin, which was an economic aluminum family boat. The thing has done great over the years. It can take a beating, but still does great in the sound and even in sekiu. It is extremely light and can be pushed around with one hand while on the trailer. To put it on a hitch, lift it up carry it and set it on the hitch. It has made it extremely nice having such a lightweight boat. The motor, has even held up well. It was a force 50. So was only actually 35hp. Underpowered. With this I would suggest an aluminum boat. The lunds are great. Though the sides a little low. My dad's boat had a little higher sides, more like a glass boat, so could stay out of the cold a little easier.
    Anyway my .02
     
  7. East Fork

    East Fork Active Member

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    This is an old Bayrunner. Klamath manufactures them now. The 20' hull, motor and trailer weigh less than 1,000 pounds. It’s a good boat for Puget Sound but only a fair open ocean boat. It is easy to trailer, only a small motor is needed, and stays dry in a chop. There are good fly fishing stations in the boat, especially in the bow. The center console breaks the wind and keeps the driver dry but it takes up prime fishing and casting space. Unfortunately, the light hull doesn't push through a swell - it pounds over them. I'd rather have Ibn's Whaler with its heavier more seaworthy hull but I'd rather pay for and tow this boat. An 18' boat like this with a swinging tongue on the trailer would fit in most garages too. That would be a superior Sound boat.
     
  8. Chris Puma

    Chris Puma hates waking up early

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    You've got a good looking boat. I'm looking into Klamath while I eat lunch. They have some pretty cool setups. Aluminum may be the way to go. I don't know yet. I'm still really interested in fiberglass. I plan on starting to think about these things early on so I can do all my research etc... I know that good boat deals come and go. They always seem to resurface. No need to rush into things.
     
  9. clarkbre

    clarkbre Member

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    Do your research and have an open mind. You'll know the boat you're gonna buy when you see it.

    Another idea is to take a ride or two in the different types of boats you're thinking of. People telling you how comfortable or durable their boats are (myself included) means nothing until you actually experience it on the water. I'm sure lots of people would be willing to do this for you.
     
  10. MasterAnglerTaylor

    MasterAnglerTaylor Member

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    You could always get a sled and beat waves in the sound, who knows, might pee blood :(
     
  11. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Chris,

    A center console, or any console, makes for more comfortable piloting longer distances. But consoles consume valuable scarce space in a small boat. I wouldn't have a console in a boat unless it was more than 18' long. Not having a console means I have more space for fishing in my boat.

    Nothing beats wood for warmth. But if your interest in warmth/comfort is in regards to taking your GF out during warm weather, then it doesn't matter. My GF is a fair weather outdoors type, and she comes fishing in my Lund in the spring and summer. She wouldn't fish in any boat in the winter unless it had a full cabin with a fireplace inside. Which is not exactly conducive to fly fishing.

    Aside: I think using a woman as a factor in boat selection is an idea more likely than not to backfire based on several guys who thought boat choice would make a difference in their women's interest in boating or fishing. Choose a boat that will do well whatever it is that you want to do. You'll be far happier in the long run.

    Re: rivited boats. Some leak. They are not made by Lund in my experience with about 6 of them.

    Since you are looking for a boat that your Subaru can easily tow, you can get more boat in fewer pounds with an aluminum hull. If you want a boat that takes on rougher water, consider a rough water fiberglass boat like a Whaler or a Sea Sport. But you'll be in an entirely different economic realm, and you'll need a gas guzzler to tow it with.

    Sg
     
  12. Chris Puma

    Chris Puma hates waking up early

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    Thanks for your thorough reply. I'm rethinking things just a little right now. Yesterday it cost me $47 to gas up my Outback. I think I'm going to concentrate on something well below my comfort level for affordability. Especially since I'm a relatively young guy. There's always time to get my dream boat later. Seems like aluminum makes a lot of sense in my situation.

    I completely understand your comment about the possibility of buying a boat which would please your girlfriend. Thankfully, my girlfriend is not high maintenance. I think she'd be comfortable with everything you guys have describe about aluminum boats.

    Also, I'm getting the impression that the motor is almost more crucial when shopping than the boat. Can anyone recommend a good mechanic which could take a look at a motor if I find one I'm interested in? I rather pay up front than deal with problems later. Are most people willing to take their boat to your mechanic for an inspection?

    These questions might seem extremely obvious and simplistic to you guys but I'm starting from base one here.
     
  13. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Chris,

    I'd always been fearful about outboard motor reliability. But I'm running a 1972 Evenrude 50 hp. I bought it with my previous boat from the original owner in 93. I knew him well enough to know that he took good care of his equipment. I've never done a thing with that motor except change plugs once and grease the jet pump every few outings. Sometimes I wish it would give up the ghost so I could justify a nice new 4-stroke, but then I think about the $5,000 that's gonna' cost.

    The upshot is that I wouldn't be leery of a used outboard from the original owner if I had a little background knowledge about it. I think a reasonable seller would understand that you'd like to have the motor checked out by a mechanic. Tom's Outboards in Oly is a good choice, but probably not close to your neighborhood.

    Sg
     
  14. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    Chris, another consideration: a friend and I were fishing the S Sound on Thursday and the wind was blowing so we decided to beach the boat and fish from shore for a while to avoid hooking each other with spasticasts in the breeze.

    My boat was beached when the Coast Guard went blasting by in a cutter, closely followed by a rigid. The wake was at least 3 ft. I had anchored the boat in about 5 ft of water and run a line to the beach. The CG wake shoved it into the beach before I could get to the boat and do my best boat fender impersonation.

    A heavy glass boat would have taken quite beating. My boat is wood composite with a 1/8" polyurea coating on the bottom and sides so it's pretty much bullet proof. An aluminum boat would've banged the beach a few times but there's no gel coat to damage.

    This is a consideration when launching and retrieving your boat also. If you fish alone you won't have anyone to hold your boat off the rocks while you get your soobie and trailer up/down the ramp. It can really put a damper on your day when some goober in a wakeboarding boat comes flying up to the ramp and leaves a wake that bangs the gelcoat off the bottom of your beloved boat.

    In the end, they're all good, just different. You'll love whatever you buy. :thumb:

    JonB
     
  15. hendersonbaylocal

    hendersonbaylocal Member

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    Salmo has some good input.

    Aluminum isn't bad, but glass would be my first choice. Much easier to repair, more stable, rides better... all around better boats in my opinion but yes, you will probably spend a bit more than if you buy aluminum. In the 13-14' range, my choice would be an older 13' Whaler. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one of the older hulls... they were well built and they're great platforms for fishing. Very stable and they probably have more square feet of space than any other 13' design. They tend to hold their value as well...