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Craigums

Buying a boat

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I may have the income sometime between now and next open water season to purchase a used boat. I am hoping to have anywhere between $9,000-$13,000 and had a few questions.

1. What can I expect in that price range (year, motor size, boat size)

2. Were is a good place to look for boats in that price range, I've been browsing bass boat central and everything decent seems to be $20,000+ which is well out of my price range.

3. What are some things I should be looking for in a used boat?

4. What kind of payment can I expect to be making for a purchase such as this?

I may have more questions but these are good starter questions. It should also be noted that dependability is a concern for me. I don't want to get a boat that I have to fix more than fish out of.

Thank You,

Craig

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I think you should be able to find a late 90's 18'-20' boat with a 150-200 on it. The key will be do you want a little newer boat that is a little smaller? Or do you want a bigger boat that is a little older? I would go for the smaller and newer option since you don't want maintenance. You should be able to find a late 90's 19-20' boat with a 150 on it since thats all they really allowed back then in tournaments. So you would have a bigger boat but just not the speed.

The key things to look at are the motor, trolling motor and electronics as those will be your biggest money pits. Any boat you look at will have a decent amount of hours on it, but getting a compression test will be huge.

Classic bass is a good place to look here in MN.

I would steer clear of off-brand motors. Hard to find parts for.

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I think I would be good with a smaller boat maybe around 18ft. 115-150hp would be acceptable also. Good point about the electronics and trolling motor, what lb. thrust should I be looking at for the Trolling motor. the compression test is another good point

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IIRC Craigums has a pretty small boat. Even a 17'-18' boat is a huge upgrade. I'd look at what you really need and only spend on the wants if you are getting a heck of a deal. Unless you have a small tackle shop of equipment, fish with 4 people, or feel like you need to get to every spot pronto you probably don't need anything bigger than 18', the extra space is just really nice. I fish muskies out of a 16.5' with 3 guys throwing and space is rarely an issue, despite muskie fishing requiring more space than any other fish species.

Cecil covers most of the things to look at. Other things to check into are hull condition, floorboard condition, and the trailer.

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I would get a 74# thrust motor. Not only because of the power but as you will want 24 volts for the longer trips and windy days.

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C-list is a decent place to start looking, (where I bought my current boat) For that price range you should be able to get an early 2000 boat 17-18ft w/ 115-150hp. As stated earlier you will want a 24-volt trolling motor.

Have a marina check it out before you buy it, it cost me only $80

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While I do not call myself a pro boat buyer.. I have done quite well for myself over the years..

My advice......

#1 Be patient!

#2 Know exactly what you want..

#3 Know what its worth..

If you do those things.. you will be fine.. My best tip, just start doing google searches. for the year and make of the models you are interested in. I have not bought a boat of the e of bay or the list that craig made. There are a ton of used boat sites out there, and often times if you just do a search you may find your boat at a dealer out of state.. For the most part thats what I have done. I forget what boat number I am on right now.. but I do know

I bought a trackerish boat in Bemidji for about 2K.. and sold it for 2K 3 years later..

I then bought my first bass boat 19' Champ for 5K(in Iowa), sold it for 5K 3 years later..

Bought a 18' triton(bowling green Kentucky) for 12.3, sold it for 12.5 5 years later..

Drove to Ohio for my BassCat Puma but paid 8K under book.. Not sure when I will sell this one. But when I do, Will not loose much money.

Know when you see a deal.. Know what its worth.. be ready to drive that day when you find it.. When I found my puma, I left 1 hour after getting off the phone with the dealer.. and was at their door when the opened the next morning.. drove all night.. did the same thing with the triton.

There are deals out there.. If your willing to drive and spend an hour each night doing searches.. you will find a boat.

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Agree with D. Be willing to travel. The boat we picked up this year in VA was by far and away the best deal I found for what we wanted. It beat the next best deal by about 3-4k.

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Deitz, When you were looking for your triton or champ did you know the exact make and model your were looking for or did you stumble across it? All I know at this point is that I want about an 18ft boat with a 115-150hp. As far as make and model is concerned im at a loss because there are so many out their and the price range is all over the place.

Also, Im assuming insurance will be a must?

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If you're buying from a local private party one thing to keep in mind is that there are some well known marine dealers in the metro that offer used boat inspections for $100-$200 depending on how detailed you want them to get. They'll check things like engine compression, transom condition, trailer condition, and more.

I purchased off of Classic Bass last year and found that the vast majority of the sellers there and on "the list that Craig made" have their boats over priced, so definitely know what you want to pay, negotiate, and be patient. There are alot of boats out there right now too, However if one pops up that is legitimately priced it sells very quickly. Dealers want alot more for their used boats but they'll also certify that the boat and motor are sound. A couple things that were factors in my purchase were the overall length of the boat on the trailer (I had limited storage space), and because I was limited to a 18-19 footer I wanted a single console boat to maximize deck space. It seemed to me that 3 out of every 4 boats that I ran across were dual console. Dealers also hunt down financing for you, which can be tough to get if you're buying an older boat from a private seller. The banks I talked to on my own wouldn't even consider financing anything older than a 2004 model. From my experience, I'd say there's alot of good boats out there that are within your price range..... enough that you should be able to get the specific features that you want.

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Thanks for the input guys...I'll also be needing a tow vehicle. For a boat in the 18ft range would a V8 be required?

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Not required but certainly preferred. On level highways a large V6 is just fine, but when you start getting into hilly areas or steep launches the extra V8 power will be nice to have.

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Ive got a V6 suv that i pull my 18.5 skeeter with and have only had one problem with not enough power, and ive dragged it down to missouri and back. You just arent going to be pulling out in front traffic and be able to kick it down. I would go with a V8 though, so when ur ready to upgrade, and all of us want something bigger and faster, you have the vehicle to pull it.

Ive had both single and dual consoles and would definitly go dual if your going to be doing tournaments. The space in the single is way better, but if your a nice guy like me, hahah, and let ur friend drive once in a while you realize how much difference the console makes. Especially in the rain and cold! Also dont buy a black boat like mine. It looks like ive taken it mudding all the time.

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Ive had both single and dual consoles and would definitly go dual if your going to be doing tournaments. The space in the single is way better, but if your a nice guy like me, hahah, and let ur friend drive once in a while you realize how much difference the console makes. Especially in the rain and cold!

I thought thats what the save phace was for! lol

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