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

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

  1. Benn

    Benn Member

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    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."

    Benn
     
  2. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    That's it. In a perfect world, for me, the o/b would be a four stroke, but some folks prefer the two stroke.
     
  3. Michael Dunn

    Michael Dunn New Member

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    I bet it moves through the water pretty good with that 40hp!
    Probably the max recommended.

     
  4. tomc

    tomc Member

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    I've got it. Buy my dads' 13' bBoston Whaler. He wants an inflatable tender.
    Tom C.
     
  5. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Active Member

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    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.
     
  6. Clint F

    Clint F Fly Fishing Youth

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    What ever you choose, do not under power it. I think that is the worst mistake you can make. I have a 12' gregor with a 15 hp outboard and it works great.

    Clint
     
  7. Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston Been around a while

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  8. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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  9. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    I have a 1994 Smokercraft Alaskan 14', and it's rated for a 40hp !! Man, that boat might weigh 300 pounds; it would go like a scalded dog if fitted with a 40! Hmmmm, though I could get to my fishing spots faster . . . (the bass pro approach)
     
  10. Salmo_Gairdneri

    Salmo_Gairdneri Another Fly Fisher

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    No oil changes is definitely true.

    They are also low in cholesterol and fat free I think.

    An OMC -anything- is going to be cheaper than the "equivalent" Yamaha.

    -S
     
  11. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    here's what looks like a good deal, not too old a boat and newer motors

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/boa/829448270.html

    thumbs up also for the older Whaler Outrage, model years 1981 - 1992. Awesome all around boats and much lighter than their newer counterparts. Not in your price range and a lot more to move around but great hull.
     
  12. Peter Pancho

    Peter Pancho Active Member

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    This could be the ticket! Thanks dudes and dudettes!
     
  13. Michael Dunn

    Michael Dunn New Member

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    Looks good. Tell us how it goes.

     
  14. Benn, do you have a pic of your boat? Curious to see what it looks like. Ever since I sold my drift boat, I've been on the trail looking for my first prop boat. I have passed up several deals but its been a couple months of searching. After talking to many folks, testing different hull designs I know what I am looking for. I thought I wanted an open bow design for fly casting, but I also want to be able to do some Neah Bay work and in inclimate weather, having some sort of pilot house or shelter from the elements is a nice option. I've determined that I want to pay a little more to get the 4 stroke Honda or Yamaha, as I believe that no matter how good the hull, its useless with a dead outboard. I really can't stand the smell and exhaust emissions from a 2 stroke but they are light weight and do have some good aspects to them.

    I think 17-18' is ideal, could be Aluminum or Glass with a center or some consul steering, self bailing interior, deep V-hull, 4 stroke outboard, roller Galvi trailer with LED lights and bearing savers, With full electronics: GPS, Sounder, VHF, and electric or manual downriggers and happy kicker plate. I want to be able to take it out to Neah Bay with confidence and also do alot of local fishing. I'll keep looking...