View Full Version : buying a first boat
I live in Ocean city and interested in buying my firts boat. I am looking at center consoul's outboard under $20,000. I think I would like something about 17-19ft and am thinking of buying new for a good warrenty and the safty of learning how to troubleshoot problems one at a time instead of getting myself into something over my head. Any suggestions on buying a boat would be greatly appreciated such as type of engine (make model and hp),length of boat recommended , make of boat, trailor's, warrentys, accessories, places to buy and buying tactics and things to keep an eye out for while looking for a first boat. Thanks in advance and hope others will find any responses helpful. bbum2001
Capt Dave Waldrip
01-18-2004, 12:10 PM
My first advice to a first boat owner is to first of all don't rush into anything. You are making a good move here by asking for advice, don't be afraid to keep asking questions. Go to the boat shows to look around (leave the check book at home) and compare those boats in your price range and size which are on the floor. Remember once you purchase a boat, there will be many other items you will want such as possibly a trailer and the electronics for safe navigation and fishing.
Don't overlook checking out used boats which are only a year or two old that someone found out, this is not for me, need to move up, the judge told me to sell as part of the divorce and the many other reasons they are out there. Look for one with low hours on the engine and was properly maintained. I wish you the best of luck and have a great day.
01-18-2004, 12:12 PM
Go to the A.C. boat show and start learning how to dicker with the salesmen! Get info in your hand so you can compare apples to apples. As one salesmen said to me, boats sold at the show gets the same deal as if you walked to their marina and made a bargain. Watch the extra's that are thrown in eg rod holders, lines, saftey equip etc. Don't be in a rush to buy the first "good deal" there are more out there. Good Luck.
01-18-2004, 12:33 PM
Welcome aboard Capt. Dave!
Barners, be good to him. Capt. Dave is a good friend of fishermen. Besides the fine work he does at the US Coast Guard, he continously bust his butt as a volunteer to pass the Masssachusetts Freedom to Fish Act and beat back the enviro-weenies who are trying to shut down Stellwagen Bank.
01-18-2004, 12:41 PM
All the above is very good advise. Also consider what you want to do with the boat,as in where you might be wanting to operate(consider draft if your running back bays and shallow flats) type of fishing( CC's can be cold running during striper season,but some people like the open fishing space)number of people that would normally be on board with you(17 footer's get crowded real quick),etc. I would also strongly reccommemd that you take a Coast Guard Auxilary boating safety & small boat handling course, to learn the rules of the road and safe operating practices. As well you might want to take the navigation course that they also give, it will give you the basics of getting around and enhance you knowledge of nav aids and rules of the road. If you can, also I would go with the next available power upgrade. For instance, if you boat comes standard with a 115 hp and the next option is a 130 hp, go with the 130 , boats get heavy fast with gear. Fuel consuption is not all that much more and boats tend to get heavy faster than you can imagine when you start loading on gear and people. It's nearly always less expensive to go with a larger engine at intial purchase than decideing later you need more oomph and want more horses.
01-18-2004, 02:07 PM
CAPT.DAVE WELCOME TO THE BASSBARN HOME OF BORED PEOPLE RIGHTNOW.WHERE YOU FISH DO YOU GET ANY SHOT AT TUNA?I DIDN'T NOTICE IT IN YOUR SITE.
BBUM---JUST ONE THOUGHT UNTIL YOU ARE TOTATLY AT EASE WITH WHATEVER YOU BUY AND USE TO THE AREA KEEP ALL THOUGHTS OF OCEAN FISHING AWAY FOR AWHILE.
GOOD LUCK BOTH OF YOU.
01-18-2004, 02:16 PM
20 grand outta do nicely for what you want. You could probably do it for 10. Where do you plan on fishing? If it's the back bay then take a ride to Somers Point to Steve's Deepwater Marine and check out the Carolina Skiff. Good first time boat! Then there are the Maritime Skiff at Somers Point marine across form the Anchorage.
01-18-2004, 03:39 PM
If you deal with a boat broker, be sure to get references. You will find some good ones and some bad ones, but the bad ones are really bad. Also, I am not a lawyer, but it pays have a lwyer look over the papers before you sign. I got involved with a broker last year that decided to inform me the day before closing that the boat had been sold to somene else. To make a long story short, I did not get my deposit money back, until after I hired an attorney.
Capt Dave Waldrip
01-18-2004, 03:41 PM
Thanks Egghead and Jack,
Egghead is correct about busy with fighting for the rights of fisherman to continue fishing. I just wish more people would get involved and Thank God for the job RFA has done here in MA. The website is in the process of being changed. Tuna is not up there but will be as we get into the summer months. We have a pretty good giant fishery here even though this past year was a little disapointing. I hope to be on here frequently and anyone can ask me anytime what is going oup north and I will be glad to fill them in.
01-18-2004, 04:44 PM
Welcome Capt. Dave
BBUM, I work in OC and live in LInwood, If I may make a suggestion.
If you are in the market, go and see Sean Reilly at Waterfront Marine (base of the Somers POint bridge)
He is a very good friend and has been in the boating bus for a long time, He is the least pushy guy you ever want to meet, He can educate you, show you things, and give you a straight answer, which is tough to get in the industry.
For 20K you can get a lot of boat in the 17 - 19 range, I feel you would be better off with a one year old or so boat, Most likely the warranties are transferable and the previous owner can take a fair amount of hit off of depreciation.
That's is just my .02 cents, Give Waterfront a call or wait for the show and stop by and say hello to him.
JUST DONT RUSH YOUR DECISION, You think there are alot of boats for sale now, Wait 2 more months and look out.
Thanks for all the exccellent information and please keep it coming. I plan to fish the back bay, GE inlet, Corsons and inshore with the proper conditions. I plan to take the boating course and attending the ac boat shoe in feb. as recommended. Also upgrading the engine hp sounds like great advice thanks capt. Perhaps my biggest question is what engine is preferred and why?
01-18-2004, 06:07 PM
bbum, I have a real nice 1999 20' Aquasport CC w/ 130 evinrude and trailer. Great boat for what you're looking to do, even comes w/ fishfinder, vhf, and custom canvas covers. It's in excellent shape, I just bought a new 22' CC. I still would encourage you to go get info at the show and shop around, but send me an email if you are interested. Asking 14,000 OBO..striper13
01-18-2004, 08:05 PM
OC is my stomping ground also. Hope to see you out there.
Remember you pretty much get what you pay for. I would go for 18-20 range to start. We have a great fall fishing in the area but its mostly out front. 20 ft might sound big for your first boat but if you want to go out front your 17 will get old quick. The inlet can be a mess and even on most calm days it can be bad on a outgoing tide.
If you want to stay in the bay you can't beat a skif. Our first boat was a 16 ft aluminum and I was looking for 18 ft to move up. I found a 1 year old 21 and after 5 years moved to a 24.
As stated early you can get a nice used boat and most warranties transfer. Take your time look at the boat show for the things that are important to you. Just my 1 1/2 cents.
01-19-2004, 01:47 AM
Heres my new boat. Ain't she a beauty!
[ 01-18-2004, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: Schmaltz-Herring ]
01-19-2004, 09:13 AM
bbum - I wouldn't be too concerned about not buying new and having problems. If you have at least 1 boating friend or at least the Bass Barn....a 17-19 footer doesn't have too many things to go wrong on her.
The biggest expense and source of problems is the engine. If you buy a boat that was taken care of, the engine should be fine and give years of good service, Don't think new boats are free of problems.
A new boat loses about 15 percent of its value as soon as you sign the papers....even from the same dealer you just bought from....so if you find shortly after you bought that another boat would be better for you...you take a big hit where a slightly used boat will hold its value for a bit longer if you did your homework. Use the 5 thousand you save to buy all the gear your gonna want (slickers, binocs, electronics.. which are often near free when used, fishing gear, anchors, lines, etc...etc)
The other thing... is you better love fishing and be a hardy sole to buy a center console. They look great and fish great when fishing....but darn near kill you during the early and late seasons due to wind chill and spray. Except for certain types of fishing, CCs aren't the only way to go and something with a deck and windshield can turn a miserable day to tolerable.
Good luck and keep getting plenty of advice and opinions before you sign....
01-19-2004, 12:44 PM
If you buy a used outboard there are two very importtant things. 1. Make sure a compression test is performed and the cylinders test out within the specified range. 2. Make sure the boat is run under load and then let the lower unit rest for several hours and then check the lower unit gear lube. Smoky looking or the presence of water will be a red flag. After the unit sets the water will settle to the bottom. Seals may need to be replaced or gears could be shot. Make sure these tests are completed by a certified mechanic of the engine that you are purchasing. If you are buying a hull that is out of warranty make sure a hull surveyor or fiberglass guy inspects for cracks, blisters, stringers etc.This money spent up front will save you in the long run. You are buying a boat for the hull first then the power. The other stuff on the boat is of little value electronics etc. Good luck.
[ 01-19-2004, 10:47 AM: Message edited by: To-Do ]
01-19-2004, 02:43 PM
The Rodfather! Click on link. (http://www.thebassbarn.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=001566)
01-19-2004, 05:34 PM
Welcome aboard bbum. I'm a propontent of buying a used first boat unless you have experience trailering and docking someone elses. Kissing a pile or fixed dock with a brand new boat can be an expensive lesson. Knot to mention some learnings on the ramp. I had the opportunity to watch a beautiful new CC bounce down the ramp on the outboard's skeg this summer. You will have an oopps or two. Count on it. Better to learn the hard lessons on something less expensive. After a year or two sell it and by what you really want. You will have a much better idea of what you're looking for.
An outboard center console about 17-19 ft is a good choice for your stated plans. Save some money for maintenance and goodies.
01-19-2004, 07:39 PM
Everyone has given you good information, I personally don't like cc because of the wet ride. I have a 1988 bowrider for sale, it has a brand new engine 140hp mercruiser runs great. I just bought a bigger boat a cuddy walkaround 21ft. I have fished the bowrider in the bay out to the Atlantic City Reef, from April to late November. It does get cold but the windshield closes to keep the spray off you. I'm asking 3,500 for boat and trailer.Good Luck to you.
LOST A ROD
01-19-2004, 09:18 PM
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP. TRAVEL AROUND TO ALL THE MARINAS AROUND ,LOOK AT THE DESIGN OF ALL BOATS AND THINK OF WHO YOU WILL TAKE FISHING WITH YOU .NOW THINK OF WHERE YOU WANT TO GO FISHING OCEAN OR BAY OR BACK BAYS.NOW LOOK AT THAT BOAT AGAIN HOW HIGH ARE THE SIDES ,BOW DESIGN,TRANSOM.CENTER CONSOLE GIVES YOU ALL THE ROOM TO FIGHT THEM FISHIES.NEED A LITTLE CABIN FOR THE KIDS,WELL THAT CUTS DOWN ON FISHING ROOM . GO TO THE SHOWS FORT WASHINGTON THIS ,AC SHOW LOOK AROUND THERES NO HARM IN LOOKING.!!!!!MY BOTHERS AND BROTHER IN-LAW ALL HAVE BOATS . MY BROTHER-IN-LAW HAS A PELICAN BAY CENTER CONSOLE NICE BOAT BUT MADE CHEAP!!!!!! BLISTERS IN JELL COAT RUB RAIL AH. MY YONGER BROTHER HAS A BAYLINER WITH CABIN 150 MERC NICE BOAT BUT NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR MORE THAN 3 PEOPLE.NOW MY OLDER BROTHER BUILT HIS BOAT THE GUYS IN THE MARINA LIKE HIS BOAT 16.6 LONG 70INCHES AT TRANSON ONLY HAS 50MERC ON THE BACK . ONLY TWO PEOPLE ON BOAT BUT ITS RIDES PRETTY DAM GOOD . WATCH THAT DESIGN!! GOOD LUCK tongue.gif :D :rolleyes:
01-20-2004, 08:12 AM
Used boat is a good choise for a first like stated above.Many can be found fully trimmed out with all the goodies your be buying anyway.So you save money on the boat and get fishfinders,gps etc.for free.For the back bay a small shallow draft is great for learning the bay,but all boaters want bigger eventually.Good Luck.
01-20-2004, 12:18 PM
Hi bbum, I was just helping a buddy look for a smaller boat and we came across 17-6in. Sea Hunt at J&B Boat Sales in Westville NJ, it's located on RT 47(Delsea Dr). It was out of my buddies price range, and it's not any bigger than my little boat, if it were I'd absolutly go for it. It has a 55or60hp Evinrude on it(I think, maybe bigger--85hp), It's a 1999 or 2000 and they sold and maintained it. It has some goodies already on it, DF, VHF,etc. and it looks like it just came out of the showroom. If your serious, I'd give them a call and take a ride to see it. I've dealt with these people for YEARS, there good people. If you want to email me about it go ahead, I'm not a salesperson or anything, but this is a really clean machine, Leon I forgot, I think they are asking $6500 or $8500
[ 01-20-2004, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: fishpole5 ]
01-20-2004, 12:22 PM
Unless you have money to waste, there's alot of homework to be done. All boats are a compromise of attributes and qualities. You need to seriously look at how you will use the boat and for how long. Is you situation likely to remain stable and you'll likely use a 'new' boat for 5, 10 or more years? Or, are you early in your career/live and maybe start a family soon? Babies and boats do not mix well and you'll use it less. If your income is going up, it's likely you'll get two-foot-ittes and want a bigger boat in a short time. A new boat will lose value fast in the first years. Assuming you work a routine job, this will be a weekender. So, you want to be able to go out regardless of some less than perfect days. So comfort may be a bigger issue and you may consider a cuddy, wac or larger console windshield. Retired/self employed and you can wait for better conditions. How far will you run to the spots? A deeper 'V' gives a smoother ride but draws more water and is less stable at rest or slow speeds. How many people? A cc will accomodate more fishermen, but a family may want some shelter. The price of the boat is about half the cost. Will operating expenses be an issue? Trailering, wet slip or dry rack? Where's your winter storage? Some engines are much more efficient, but much more expensive. Will you use the boat enough to justify a more efficient engine? There are many, many more considerations that you should think about. Whatever boat you get will be a disappointment in some ways - none can do everything good. If the disappointments are many or outweight the positives it will be a very expensive lesson when you sell the boat you bought new in a few years to get the 'right' boat. Invest a lot of time and thought first or money later. Don't be discouraged, it really is a fun endeavor.
The good news is there are so many variaties of boats and motors, there will be something that is right for you. Let us know more about your situation and you'll get tons of good, specific advice. Better to calcuate on paper than find out from trial and error.
Homework is exactly what I am tring to do. I work 3, 13hr days a week so that gives me 4 days a week to fish and enjoy a boat. I plan to keep it in a wet slip close to my house for easy acess anytime I want. After listening to everyones thoughts I will look into 1-2year old boats and maybe there is a 2003 leftover out there still. 19ft foot seems to be the length, hp @9o-110 ouutboard. The type of consoul still needs to be determined after listening to everyone's comments. I would like to fish from end of march till early dec. Fair weather days later in the season or course. Fishing with 3-4 people on board seems realistic. Fishing grounds will be within ocean city limits which gives me many options.
01-20-2004, 04:37 PM
For where you fish and the time that you will have I think you should looking at 19-20 footers.
Its plenty of boat and you can still easily fish the backwater. If you go out Corsons I would want to be in a 19 footer instead of a 17 no doupt.
As far as engines Johnson are good and there are plenty of people that work on them.
I have a 22' Angler with a 120 gallon fuel tank but I used to have a 19' Privateer with a 20 gallon tank. If I was to be buying that 19' again with that tank I would look into the Honda's which have great fuel economy. If you fishing into Dec there are very few fuel docks open. So if you new boat has a small tank you will want the best engine with the best milelage.
Boats Check out the Anglers very solid boats and plenty of storage. Also look into a brand of boat called Logic they are very well made and are surprising well priced.
01-20-2004, 07:03 PM
Sorry if I implied you didn't contemplate things enough. It's my initial reaction when I hear a first time buyer say they want a new boat at a certain price. Many end up disappointed.
You seem to be on the right track. In that size, the biggest item of concern is the motor. There is not much else to go wrong on a smaller center console. Especially, the right boat. It would not hurt to consider older, quality hulls and upgrade the power. Regulators, Boston Whalers and Parkers are prime examples. Unfortunately, everyone wants a cherry Whaler or Parker with a blown engine so prices can be high. Best to get chummy with folks around there and put the word out. I know a few folks that lucked into a great, quick buy on word of mouth.
Otherwise, you are into the mid-tier boats. There are dozens of good models out there. Most are selected based on personal preferences (price, layout, features, ect.) I think the best are readily apparent. The layout and components are give-aways. When at the boat shows check out the top end boats and count the number and size of cleats, notice that everything is stainless and not plastic, there are no extra 'jump' seats taking up space or flimsy cup holders hanging in the way, the batteries and other components are above decks and easily reachable - not twisted into an inaccessable bilge compartment, no bare or exposed electrical connections and wiring is tied down and accessibly routed, all deck cutouts (inspection ports/hatches) have good seals, hinges and latches, fiberglass in bilge and out of the way places is not rough and sharp, plumbing is high quality, properly installed and accessible. You'll get many recommendations and many complaints in this size/class of boat. Take all with a grain of salt. Many will overstate their boat to support their choice, others will overly complain because they made a bad choice and are disappointed.
Motors are more of a pain to decide. Everyone has a favorite, all models can have problems and there is a wide range of options. Seems the hard cores (CG, marine police) now have Hondas. I prefer simplicity and love my carburated, gas eating Johnson. Unless you plan on doing some work, this decision may be based more on available local, quality service. Go for more hp when possible and practical. At some point you'll want it and it will never be wasted.
Trailers are rollers or bunks and ramp conditions are the biggest consideration. Rollers let you pull the boat on in shallow or short ramps. Bunks require floating the boat onto the trailer so you need more depth or a longer ramp. At that size and the little trailering you'll do, I suggest avoiding trailer brakes and look for the fewest axels.
As far as things to be concerned about when buying, trust yourself. Be reasonable, but if you have any concern, or just a queasy feeling don't go any further. Don't demand a test ride on every boat out there, but if you are seriously considering a certain model you should not have to sign a sale contract to get a sea trial. Today's deal will be available tomorrow. A dealer that applies pressure is to be avoided. Get everything in writing. If a dealer says he will fix something or add something, get it in writing! If you are at all uncomfortable with anything do not proceed until you are. I promise, when the right boat deal comes along, you will feel good about it.
I envy you. Not that I didn't buy a good boat for me. I decided to take whatever time I needed for the right deal. I really enjoyed learning from the good builders and dealers and jerking the jerks. It was an exciting time for me. I went for a lower price, larger boat with a good layout and upgraded important items myself. See you in AC in early Feb.
thanks for all the great information I appreciate
it, and to all of bassbarn this is easily the best and most valuable site on the web. smile.gif
01-20-2004, 10:26 PM
My advice? Finish your research and narrow it down to a few vessels, then make a road trip up to some of the port towns around the Great Lakes. I've seen ACRES of boats for sale by owners that either got buyer's remorse, or as mentioned before, had to liquidate quickly. Honestly, the prices are close to HALF of what I've seen in PA and SNJ, and these boats haven't seen salt...
Just a thought.
01-20-2004, 10:48 PM
Nice thing about Great Lakes boats are they were used in fresh water...less corrosion usually great condition.
Be sure you decom for zebra mussels if you bring back here....
01-21-2004, 11:14 AM
Some other good sites for information about this subject are www.thehulltruth.com (http://www.thehulltruth.com) and www.wmi.org/www/boating/boatboard/index.html (http://www.wmi.org/www/boating/boatboard/index.html)
I am sure there are others, but I've gotten some good information on these.
01-22-2004, 01:25 AM
Welcome to the Barn Beach Bum,
I fish a lot of the water you do and trailer my 21'CC Starcraft down to OC all summer and spring/fall striper bunker chunk around Fortesque on the Deleware Bay. I decided to go with my boat since my good buddy "On The Hook" here on the Barn has the exact same boat. He's taken me out several times in his boat out of Money Island for stripers. Going out on his boat is where I made the decision to look for "that EXACT boat".
It had ALL the features I was interested in and
MOST IMPORTANTLY was that I had actually been out on the boat fishing and loved it. I have bought and sold many(13)boats over the past few years many way more expensive than my current and too many times I bought them for the wrong reasons.(they looked good all nice and shiney and/or they were a good deal) I have a freind who is looking for a boat and thought he wanted a specific brand not to be mentioned. He had a good idea in that he decided to charter with captains who we using that type boat even though it may cost him a few hundred a trip. It may seem an expensive thing to do but in the grand scheme of things, when you are going to spend thousands on a new boat, it may well be a wise investment. It was for him! The boat he thought he wanted WAS NOT for him and that $300 half day trip saved him $50K and a lot of heartache. Meanwhile he is still happily shopping. If I can offer one piece of advice it's TRY BEFORE YOU BUY! No matter how pretty it looks or how good your buddies tell you it is try it out for yourself first. Good Luck and will see you out there mate. ;) :D
01-23-2004, 12:11 PM
Don't discount the charter idea. If you do the quick numbers, charters can be less expensive than ownership in many cases. New boat rigged about $35k (assume 10 year life), annual expenses about $3k, used twice a week, April through November = about 32 annual trips = $200 per trip. That's about your 1/3 share of a charter with no muss, no fuss, no cleaning, no, no, no, no, no, etc.
Then there are the pluses of chartering. Someone has already found the fish for you. You can fish different locations - like Florida in January! Someone else drives, cuts bait, hauls anchor, ties rigs, etc.
There are still many times I wished I 'hired a professional'. Like in the middle of a striper frenzy when idiot relative has a firm hook set on the lower unit and and moron friend has turned a simple backlash into a weaving project. Or this weekend when I may have to travel 40 miles to brush snow off the boat.
Best financial advice I can give you is "Don't buy a boat, buy a friend with a boat".
01-23-2004, 12:37 PM
My friend is sellin a 23' stieger craft chesapeake model with a 225 suszuki in excellent shape with some electronics in the water in west wildwood.$18,500
01-23-2004, 01:03 PM
Bbum. Try Island Marine in Ocean View. One of our advertisers. Ask for Mike in sales.They have all sorts of new and used boats.
The Hard Way
01-23-2004, 02:18 PM
There is so much good advice on here already.
Some that I like best are Capt Scott, High Wire, To-do.
The biggest thing is to is don't go for a fast talking sale.
You have all the time in the world.
At this time of year look and listen as you are doing now.
I don't know if it has been said above you have to think about service of the boat and motor.
Any day of down time means aggravation for you and your friends.
If you save a few hundred dollars and the dealer cannot service your needs you did not get a bargain
Also when you look at dockage ask if you can work on your own boat.
I have heard some horror stories about marinas.
01-23-2004, 03:32 PM
i was recently in your situation and i bought the bought that i had thoought would meet my needs. I purchased a 17 foot carolina skiff with a 40 hp 4 stroke yamaha. because i my mis judgement I need to go out and buy a bigger boat to suit my needs. if it will cast a 1000, or two more for a few feet and more horsepower then i would say go for it. it is cheaper in the long run to go for something that may excced your needs a little. If you are looking 17-20 foot, go for the 20. you will be much happier in the long run I promise
01-23-2004, 09:20 PM
Save yourself a pot of cash and buy my boat... It has experience all around Corsons Inlet. Great boat for this area, I am selling only because it just isn't what I need anymore. Check it out on the Barn Sale http://www.thebassbarn.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=001610
01-28-2004, 02:01 PM
Moving this topic to the Tackle Box...our "General Conversation" forum smile.gif
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