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Kids & Boats

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Hello there, I had a smaller 14' boat for many years. We recently have moved so I decided to sell that boat.  That being said our family grew x2 in a hurry.  That being said I am wanting something that will last awhile My wife loves to fish and I have a 3 year old boy and twin boys that are 1 now which I will start taking out once I get a new boat.

What brand or length would you suggest? I was looking at an aluminum one but the fiberglass ones have hit my interest lately... Just not sure on the best option.. I am not a tournament fisher by any-means but I do like to go alone or with a few buddies for some week or weekend trips.

Thoughts or advice? Thanks in advance

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Depends on what type of lakes or what size of lakes you fish and how far you travel.    The ideal boat for a family with small children, in my opinion, would be a pontoon.   Or possibly a deck boat, which is sort of like a pontoon only with a regular hull instead of logs.  

On the other hand, not the best option for you and buddies to go off hard core fishing on big lakes in...  

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Yeah, too many unknowns here to give you any meaningful advise. 

I went from a 14' boat to a 16' boat with a console and the 14' boat had more usable space but the 16' was a bit more comfortable and faster. I have not had a boat for 3 or 4 years and am looking to get one again as well. I second Dell's recommendation of a pontoon. I like an 18' pontoon set up with swivel seats in all 4 corners. That will be my next boat. I think they are the ultimate fishing boat unless you are going to be out tackling 3' swells on Mille Lacs, Leech or Winnie. 

Some factors to consider:

What is your budget?
New or used?
What lakes or bodies of water do you fish?
What species of fish do you target?
What type of fishing do you do most, IE bobber, drift, trolling, etc.
Where will you store it?
What will you haul it with?
Do you want to do other things with it like water skiing, etc?

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I would look at a 16' deep vee, with little kids, having some tall sidewalls helps keep the kids in the boat. I would go with a bow mount trolling motor with remote. This lets you stay in the rear of the boat but still control it and have the family all in front of you. But really I would look for the best bang for your dollar, you will always be able to work around what you buy to get your kids out fishing. When they are young like that the amount of time thy will be actually fishing vs. enjoying a boat ride or eating lunch will grow as they get older. Storage is important just to have a place to put stuff away and not being on the floor for tripping or breaking hazards. Pontoons are nice but if you want that kind of fishing you can do it off a dock with little kids. AS for your buddies fishing with you, not to many guys are going to complain about your rig, it is after all your rig and you are the one paying for it. Keep an eye out for used boats I know a few guys who run two boats, one for the family and one for themselves. Might not be able to do it the first year but deals for boats always seem to pop up when you already have a boat.

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Thanks for the input guys.


Big Dave: 

What is your budget? 5-15k roughly just looking for a deal
New or used?used for sure
What lakes or bodies of water do you fish?i fish from 500 acre lakes to mille lacs and winnie
What species of fish do you target?anything that will bite :)
What type of fishing do you do most, IE bobber, drift, trolling, etc. I bobber fish with the kids but will typically troll or drift when with friends (walleye)
Where will you store it? preferably my garage
What will you haul it with? 1500 dodge ram
Do you want to do other things with it like water skiing, etc? im sure as the kids get older they will want to do that. I also like to get up on the water skis a couple time a year.

My father in-law has an 18' sylvan works great full windshield a year ago i wanted a single console due to space on the floor and how much they take up.  Although on larger bodies of water that full windshield is really nice.  I would love a pontoon but I do not have a lake place and don't really like trailing that every weekend or storing it at my place.

I will keep my eyes out thanks for the advice I was thinking along Bobby Bass's thoughts I would mind going a little older in order to save money although I feel like newer boats use a lot of the space for storage unlike the older boats which is really nice to get things off the floor. 

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