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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to buy my first boat,any advice would be greatly appreciated! I was really leaning towards getting a bass boat,but thought about it more and more,and was thinking of something more versatile,something that would be suitable for fishing as well as towing a tube or board. Im 22 so I have plenty of friends,as well as myself,who love to get on the lake and tube a little. I am looking at a 11000 or less range.Not really sure how the payment plans work on boats,some have told me longer than a car,some have said less.Any ideas on a good first time boater buy,what style ect. any ifo will be put into thought. Dont want to rush out and buy something that may be overkill for me. Thanks in advance. Also if anyone has anything for sell would like to know and will take those into consideration.

One more thing,what size vehicle would I need to tow a boat. I am also looking for a towing vehicle unless anyone knows of a tow hitch that can be put on a 323i.
 

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Yea, a 323i would be a little tough to get a hitch on... ;D

It all depends on what you want to do, no one boat is going to do everything well, so you have to decide if you wanna fish more or play more?

However on the playing part, just about any boat will pull a tube and probably a skier if it's got some power to it.

And just about any boat you can fish ok out of (assuming you can get a trolling motor on it)

So figure out what you want to do more of and go with it...

As far as the truck, just depends on how much boat you get, I have a 1/2 ton 2 wheel drive V6 chevy and pull my bass boat around no problems, but it's not a huge boat, only 18 foot and single axle trailer....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. I guess I was also wondering if a bass boat could pull a tube. I dont need anything able to pull a skier, I just want to be able to slap a rope and tow a tube for my buddies or girlfriend a day out of the month or every two months. Will be mainly a fishing boat. But still want to know I can rig a tube and have some fun if I feel like it.
 

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I have a 2000 Sprint fish & ski. It's 21' long and has a Merc 200. It does do it all. I also pull with a V6 F-150 and it has no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Danose,that holds 5 or so?Comfortablly?How do you do on it gas wise?With 3 bucks a gallon and rising,gas is another factor I have been looking at.
 

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I purchased a Ranger R77 Fish/Ski boat back in 1996, for $8K....It was one year used. Per Ranger, it can hold up to 5 adults. However, I only ride three at the most. It is only 16 foot. WOT is 55MPH. Plenty fast for me.

I would consider used for your first time boat owner. I have owned center console boats that work with both salt and fresh water fishing. They also can hold up to 9 adults, if you get a 20-22 footer. Example: Bluewave, etc.

Bass boats come is different seating arrangements. Fish and Ski models can hold up to five, if you get a 20+ footer.

Pontoon boats, can also hold up to 12 adults, and can pull tubes and skiers, too. I call them party or booze barges...They can be setup with a  front trolling motor.

Review in my $0.02:
Freshwater SKI and FISHING, then look at this type of runabout with fishing equipment.
http://www.glastron.com/pages/models/gx180sf.html

Saltwater and Freshwater SKI and Fishing...
http://www.whaler.com/Rec/default.asp?content=boats&family=ventura&number=180&type=Ventura



If using it in both saltwater and freshwater, get a Center Console boat. Example of style:
http://www.bluewaveboats.com

For freshwater FISH and SKI
Example of style of boat:
http://www.rangerboats.com/pages/boats/210.cfm


If taking a whole family or group out, try out a potoon boat. Ken Milam, striper guide on Lake Buchanan, uses pontoon boat to guide from.
http://www.crestpontoonboats.com/fishingGallery.html


ALL BOATS LISTED ABOVE CAN BE PURCHASED USED TO SAVE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.....

OR
Rent a fishing/Ski boat at
http://www.rocketrentals.org/boat.html


If not sure, get into a boat club or rent a boat or test ride with another boat owner.
http://www.volenteboatclub.com/join.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the indepth response Ranger. I was thinking used as well,but not sure what exaclt I should look for,hours on the motor seems to be something alot of people say to look first for,also damage to the hull? Any tips on the main things that you should look at first when buying a used boat?
 

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Jason, yes the boat does ride 5 great, I can ride about 7. Gas does cost a bit. I have a 36 gal. tank and it does cost a bit. I fill up and fish and pull a tube for a week while on vacation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank your for the help and input Danose and everyone.I think I will look a bit more into the fish and ski style,want something that will hold at least 3 or more,and also have 3 neices who would love to get out in the boat so need something a lil bigger than just the reg. bass boat.
 

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Having owned boats, 2 of them new, 4 of them used, here is my advice:  
Think of it as this, you are buying a motor...the boat and trailer just happen to come with it.  Usually most of the value of a boat is in the MOTOR, so give that extra special attention.  Make sure the motor horsepower is right at or reasonably near the maximum rating as stated on the hull, or you will probably regret it later.  The main thing about the hull, flooring and especially the transom is that it is all solid and that it not leak in water.  The main thing from the motor you will be thankful for, in the long run, is that it be reliable and dependable.   Take it for a comprehensive test drive, see how easily it unloads and loads onto the trailer.  Look it over top to bottom, side to side, front to back, every which way.  Don't forget to examine the trailer closely as well.  
The hardest thing about looking for a boat is PATIENCE.  Look at a lot of boats so that when a good value and just the right boat comes along, you won't hesitate much in buying it, you will just know that it is right.

Give the tow vehicle a lot of consideration.  Consider that when towing a boat uphill with the A/C on and the vehicle loaded with gear and people, you're going to need extra power.  A front-wheel drive vehicle is going to have trouble at some ramps.  Boat ramps get wet from all the loading and unloading.  If it is rear-wheel drive, a locking differential is helpful.  4-wheel drive is of course ideal.  Having a "tow" button that delays the shift points in an automatic transmission is real nice.    

Then, protect your investment.  Always recharge the batteries a.s.a.p, never tow it without a transom saver, grease the wheel bearings, change the gearcase oil once a year, never store it outside without a cover, clean it up after every use, note that most damage tends to occur right at the boat ramp or boat dock, watch out for shallow water, be wary of high winds and lightning, and always make sure the drain plug is IN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for all the help guys,really does mean alot.Hopefully when I buy it,it will be the right boat. Patience is something I am working on here, I get the bug to buy something and want it right now. But I have been doing alot of reading and looking around on this so I hope my final choice is the right one. Thanks to the tips and web sites you all are providing I have all the tools I need in choosing the right boat. Thank you all.
 

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I agree with one of the posts above about a vehicle with a V6.  Since you're going to get a boat in the 16 to 18 foot range then all you need in a tow vehicle is a V6.  If it doesn't have a hitch on it when you buy it, having one installed with the light hookups will cost you about $100 depending on where you get it done.

Call Austin Boats and Motors and see what they have used on their lot - http://www.austinboats.com/contactus.php

PS. Rex gave great advise as well...
 
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