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Discussion Starter #1
i've got a '93 skeeter z150 in really good shape. 18.5' single console with a few dings of course (it's 25 year old!), but the motor is solid and starts every time (merc 150 2 stroke - yes i had an issue last time out because the ground bolt for the starter had come loose), all pumps and electronics work, new 698c1 for console and hook4 on the front, new(ish) carpet, hydraulic jack plate, minn kota 75#. the thing is new boats are SHINY and have more storage. the downside is the price!

so honestly- if you were in my situation where money isn't really an issue, your boat is solid, your boat is large enough, you fish once or twice a month on average (less in the fall more in the spring) and the only real reason that you're looking at getting a new one is because of the new bells and whistles as well as the afore mentioned SHINY....

would you upgrade?
 

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I'm in a similar situation. I've got a 2000 kenner with a 90hp merc, admittedly an entry coast boat. I've had a few problems here or there but the boat does everything I want to do just fine and its never been to the shop. It is a bit embarassing when I go down to the coast when I see these 50-100K rigs at the ramp and I pull up with my rig.
 

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I would look at the Bass Cat boats for sale. I had a Skeeter Zx with a 150 it was a little rough ride. If you can find a used P11 you could up grade to a really nice ride. It is a 19'1" boat with a 200 it will keep up with some of the big boys. Lots of storage, fishes great. They are very popular you might have to look to find the right one for you. Not a lot of dealers in Central Texas. Houston, San Antonio, Rockwall, there might be one in Temple. Good luck. I went to Rockwall to buy my Sabre. Probably should have up graded to a P11. Did not think it would fit in my garage, turns out it would have. Good luck with your selection.
 

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I was pretty much in the same situation, but did not have the funds to pull the trigger on a new one. I have a 1994 Ranger 175 HP merc and blew the power head and rebuilt the motor myself. Saved a lot of $$. The issue I have with new boats is they are extremely over priced. Used boats you are probably buying a problem someone else wants to get rid of. So used is suspect unless you find an honest person. If your existing motor were to blow the power head, then as old as your boat is it is really not worth much without a working motor. That's the situation I was in and because I'm mechanically inclined I rebuilt it myself. Don't know how many hours you have on the engine, but that's something to consider when you are making this decision.

There are plenty of brands of bass boats out there to choose from. All have plus and minuses. If you decide to go with new, I would recommend calling Gary at Bass Pro shops. Select what boat, motor size, etc. That would give you a basis of costs vs other boats. You may want to pull the trigger and buy or possibly get sticker shock! Regardless you have an idea what a new one will cost.

Good luck and hope this helps.
 

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My 2004 SX190 was getting ragged and dinged up, but the motor was solid so I decided to refurb rather than replace. So I got some overdue maintenance done on the Yamaha 150 Vmax and took the boat to Shoreline Boat and RV. New carpeting, reupholstering 3 seats, wet-sanding and polishing the entire hull came in at mid-4K. It really came out looking almost showroom (for 2004, of course). ;)

Then the old MK Maxima was replaced with a MK Fortrex 80, for another 1200. The livewells hadn't been used in years and the switches were funky, and one livewell pump was cracked. Switches and pump were replaced, both livewells now working fine. I recently upgraded the front HDS-7 Gen1 with an HDS-7 Gen 3 with a TM SS transducer. So far I've got about $6500 in the upgrades (not counting the engine maintenance) , and I'm pretty satisfied. I want to upgrade the console HDS-7 Gen 1 with an HDS-9 Gen 3. Or move the 9 to the front and the 7 to the console. To be decided later.

The cosmetics were done by Shoreline Boat and RV, the Yamaha engine and electrical work was done by South Austin Marine, and the trolling motor was installed by Gary's crew at BassPro.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i sincerely appreciate all the advice and information, guys. the cost of new and the amount i use it is my real sticking point. its hard to justify spending $50-60k on something i'll use literally only 200 or so hours a year. that's about $60 an hour for the first 5 years. then again fishing is worth every bit of $60 an hour to me. hell, what's a massage cost? $100/hr? i don't know, never had one. i DO know that even if i go home not having a single catch i am relaxed as all get out and there's no guaranteed "happy ending" with either.
Donf, i use to feel that way years ago, but with age comes wisdom. i am wise enough to know i can still fish with the best of 'em without a shiny new boat. use to piss my buddy off something fierce when i'd pull out an old zebco with stren and a power worm and kick his tail!

Sabre1, i really hadn't considered anything but Skeeter since i've had such success with them, but BassCat does have a good reputation. i really worry about the motor more than the boat, though. what's the most that can go wrong on a new boat? aside to cracking of course it's the electronics and even if they are broke you can still fish. if the motor goes out though.... i appreciate the input. there's a dealer up in temple or Waco i think. i'll check them out.

Bassectomy, that's precisely why i am only considering a new boat. i got really lucky with buying this one used and i drove all the way to houston to get it.

Fishin' Steeler, i am SO not mechanically inclined that my wife makes me call a contractor to change a light bulb! like i said, though, this boat is really in good shape for it's age. it's a matter of want not need. cosmetically only a few dings really not worth any work, carpet is newish and seats are new too.
 

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Does anyone really need a boat? Not unless you use it commercially or live on a river in some remote country. We all have boats to enjoy our hobby and to relax and get away from the everyday grind.

Having been in the boat business for well over 30 years selling boats to both dealers as well as fisherman, I've heard all kinds of excuses as well as good reasons as to why someone might or might not buy a boat. For instance, Bassectomy's comment that new boats are "extremely over priced." Are they? When I started selling boats in 1980 a Suburban was around $10,000. An 18.5' Champion or Ranger bass boat with a 150 hp motor was about $10,000. Today it is not much different. A Suburban is $60 K to $80 K and so are some of the upper end of bass boats. Boats seem to be really expensive today but that expense is not exclusive to the marine market.

Liebersdad --- I recently read a short story about a man on his death bed and he was thinking more of the things he didn't do more than the things he did. You only go around once in this life and believe me, as you get older you start thinking about how much longer you will be able to get out on the water without a lot of help.

From you comments about how much you fish and from my experience, you fish more than the average person who purchases a boat. You owe it to yourself to enjoy your hobby and if buying a new boat is within you means and is does not take too much away from your family obligations --- go for it.

As far as brands, listening to talk on forums is probably the worst thing you can do in trying to decide what brand to buy. There will always be a Ford and Chevy thing going on in life. From the sounds of it, your Skeeter has served you well. The newer Skeeter boats ride good, have plenty of storage and have good resale. Phoenix Boats have come a long way in a short period of time. Great fishing platform and fast. Not a great rough water boats, but it will get you back to the ramp when the wind picks up. Bass Cat builds a good boat as well. Another good fishing platform, fast, good ride in rough water. I won't get into the mass marketed boats available at Bass Pro and Cabelas (Nitro and Ranger) other than to say the if your budget cannot handle one of the first three I mentioned, there are other options out there.

Most importantly, don't buy anything without taking a ride in the exact model of boat you are thinking about buying. If the dealer you are talking to can't, or won't accommodate that requirement, look somewhere else. Buy what fits your needs and not what might fit the needs of your next door neighbor.

Good luck with your decision and search.
 

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If you are happy with the hull and motor, spend your money on an upgraded trolling motor and electronics. Ultrex trolling motor and 12" (or 16" if you can) screen fish finders at the console (with a great map card) and bow (elevated with a Ram Mount), then add a Hydrowave and you are set. I can tell you that those changes have helped me immensely. Also hire a good guide to teach you new techniques.
 

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That's a lot of numbers if money isn't all that important. I hope you're not thinking about any of that crap when you're out there fishing :)

I bought a new boat. But I needed to replace what I originally had, was looking used, and my wife of all people convinced me to buy a brand new boat. Buying new was and still is AWESOME. I threw about $2500 in electronics on before it left the showroom floor and watched the note go up about $30. I have a 7 year warranty on my 150 Mercury but (knock on wood please) I have not had one single mechanical problem. That motor was mine from day one and I know how its been treated and I'll know when it needs to be rebuilt, if ever. I bought it at BPS and they gave me a VIP card that made their stuff Academy prices for two years and I upgraded ALL my fishing gear with that thing. It'll be paid off in three more years and we will be buying another boat, probably a bad ass 'tooner. Because two boats is way way better than one. I will budget $300/mo for the rest of my life for boating because bro this is fishing! Go buy the friggen boat!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
more good info, George and Mark. The main reason for considering new is the storage space.

George i fully understand the chevy/ford/dodge thing as i am a chevy guy all the way and i've owned all of the brands. you of all people know that on boats the engine is key and part of the reason i haven't pulled the trigger yet is the yamaha on the back of new skeeters. i am definitely not in the market for a ranger or a nitro. i'm not impressed with either brand especially for the money.

Matt, pretty cool wive's we have! mine doesn't know i'm conisdering a new one, but that's the beauty. i know she doesn't care!
 
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