Starter boat shopping questions.
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Thread: Starter boat shopping questions.

  1. #1
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    Default Starter boat shopping questions.

    Hey all, poking around the idea of picking up a small boat, starter boat per se, I have a place in Cape May NJ and would like to get out and explore the bays, crabbing, some fishing, really like to try some fly fishing in the back bays, like something small, 16 to 20 max, trailerable, if it can fit in my garage in the winter, that would be a big bonus. The gamut of used out there is pretty overwhelming. Like to get any and all input on suggestions. Background on me, approaching retirement age, never owned other than canoes and kayaks, been on charter boats and rentals, so been exposed, but don't even consider myself an amatauer. Like to be around the $10k level, unless you all tell me that going new is the way to go. Like to hear anything, good and bad, don't pull any punches, the good, the bad and the ugly!!! TIA
    Last edited by riperoo; 03-24-2019 at 06:23 PM.

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  3. #2
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    The one thing for sure I can tell you is "there is NO reason for you to go "new" at this time. I would seriousy look at a used 17 footer for what you want, Boston Whaler Montauk (more $$) or a Carolina skiff. Remember, your in the drivers seat, it's not like your waiting for a helicopter to land with a new heart (thank god),,,,it's just a boat, never fall in love with them. Sooner or later, believe me, you will find what you want for a decent price. Good luck, brother.
    riperoo and freelancer like this.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey O View Post
    The one thing for sure I can tell you is "there is NO reason for you to go "new" at this time. I would seriousy look at a used 17 footer for what you want, Boston Whaler Montauk (more $$) or a Carolina skiff. Remember, your in the drivers seat, it's not like your waiting for a helicopter to land with a new heart (thank god),,,,it's just a boat, never fall in love with them. Sooner or later, believe me, you will find what you want for a decent price. Good luck, brother.
    Like your thought process Joey o, I am thinking of this as a car, drops 25% they second it rolls of the lot, and I totally get the don't fall in love part, used to have that issue with Cars, couldn't let stuff go, but now I understand, work the values, I am assuming it is the same with a boat.

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  6. #4
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    Off the top of my head 17 - 20 ft. boat can be found in the 10 - 12 K range but i would suggest maybe putting it on the Board here before the purchase with as many details as you can get like make,model,motor ( Hours on motor )if it comes with a trailer,electronics ect...... many Barn members will share their their knowledge and/or experience on the different ones Good Luck in your Shopping
    riperoo likes this.
    Handle every stressful situation like a dog.If you can't eat it or hump it.
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  7. #5
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    Just a suggestion, from someone who has owned used and new boats. Get a new one!!! You deserve it.
    riperoo likes this.

  8. #6
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    Older 17 Whaler with a newer engine
    riperoo likes this.

  9. #7
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    Plan on 10% of the cost for maintenance issues annually to avoid financial surprises. Good to go used for first motor boat to learn home it works fishing. Like stated above you will then see what you would like in a new boat and go for that in a couple yrs. Test drive it if you can before you buy. Check for leaks and what works/doesn't work. See if you can get the manual for the motor and boat on line if the previous owner does not have it. Do not don't get rid of the canoe or kayak. There are days when you just want to paddle especially lake fishing.
    08 Tracker Targa. Be Prepared! Don't forget the net!

  10. #8
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    Consider this: As you get older, trailering a boat sucks. You have to attach the boat to the vehicle, drive to the launch area, launch the boat, park the vehicle. When done you have to get the vehicle, attach the boat, drive home, wash the boat, take the trailer off the vehicle. Consider getting a slip or rack storage.
    shbackbay and riperoo like this.

  11. #9
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    Older boat is fine, something with newer power is the way to go. At retirement age, I wouldn’t trailer a boat. Get a slip, you will have an easier time and use it more. I find boats for people all the time. Shoot me an email with what your looking for, I’ll find you a deal. [email protected]
    riperoo likes this.
    629 Shunpike Rd, Cape May Court House

    Now Booking Spring Services
    - Bottom Painting & Detailing
    - Launching
    - Filters, Zincs and Service
    - Trailer Storage

    Trailer Boat Storage Deal - 24hr Access to your boat. Your own key to the yard. Water and electric on site. Safe and secure yard, 24hr video survalance. Only $425 for May 15th - September 15th.

    We offer Mobile Shrink Wrapping, All Year Long!

    (609) 617-1009
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  12. #10
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    if I were in the market for a small back bay boat, I would look for a Carolina Skiff or Whaler in the 17' range. KISS.
    I would go used on the first one, once you get the bug, and you will, you'll be wanting to up size and will know what works and what does not, then on the second boat you could look for new ones.
    Good luck!
    GO PATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1974 Penn Yan Avenger 23'
    Mercruiser 350 tunnel drive - Sold

    1980 Penn Yan 30' Sportfish
    Twin GM 350 tunnel drives

  13. #11
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    I would go with a Carolina Skiff in the 16-18 ft range with a 60-90 hp four stroke. It would still be tough to get it in the garage. Anything less then 16 ft and you will soon be wishing you went bigger.
    Surething <br />Sea Isle

  14. #12
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    17 and under max 2 fishermen especially if fly fishing. If your fishing 3 or more go bigger. Yammi engine if you can-if you really want to do the back right get a gps bow mount trolling motor-i did fall in love with my 17 mako beast of a little boat- but there are days I wish it was a 19 to hit some bigger water
    Last edited by fish8; 03-25-2019 at 07:16 PM.
    1991 Mako 17

  15. #13
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    We just got in a boat that would be perfect for you. 17’ Carolina Skiff with a 2013 50hp Yamaha 4 Stroke. Trailer too. Great starter boat you could trailer and store in your garage. $7500.
    wired98, Hardtop, DRIFTER1 and 1 others like this.
    629 Shunpike Rd, Cape May Court House

    Now Booking Spring Services
    - Bottom Painting & Detailing
    - Launching
    - Filters, Zincs and Service
    - Trailer Storage

    Trailer Boat Storage Deal - 24hr Access to your boat. Your own key to the yard. Water and electric on site. Safe and secure yard, 24hr video survalance. Only $425 for May 15th - September 15th.

    We offer Mobile Shrink Wrapping, All Year Long!

    (609) 617-1009
    [email protected]

  16. #14
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    For back bay the CS17 would be ideal as you could pole/trolling motor into the skinny water and up into sod creeks. Great stable platform to fish crab what ever, and you could run all over the bay in that all day long.
    GO PATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1974 Penn Yan Avenger 23'
    Mercruiser 350 tunnel drive - Sold

    1980 Penn Yan 30' Sportfish
    Twin GM 350 tunnel drives

  17. #15
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    Your first boat should be a 19 footer. If you get a 17 footer, you'll be wishing you had a bigger boat within a year, I guarantee it.
    Fishing in South Jersey waters, even in the back bays, at times, can get dicey. Back bay fishing can get boring, especially when nothing is biting and there are lot's of 17 footers who can't go anywhere else. At least with a 19 footer you can fish the inlets and on good day get out in the ocean and still feel safe.
    With a 19' you're not limited to two guys, 3 is comfortable in a 19'. Most 19' do not draft that much more than a 17'. Unless it's a flat bottom 17. If that's the case, be prepared to stay wet my friend.
    I've seen plenty of 17' boats on a sand bar looking for that skinny water that everybody thinks the fish are hiding in. Go for a 19 footer, you'll be glad you did. I had a 19 footer, it took years to outgrow it.
    jdps150 likes this.

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