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Boatguys: Is there a boat thread? Looking at boats - I'm so lost... (1 Viewer)

Fat Nick

Footballguy
I did a little searching and didn't find an official Boatguys thread.  My parents just bought a house with a nice big dock off one of the tributaries of the Chesapeake bay this past weekend, fulfilling a life-long dream of moving to the water.  The even better news is it's only 2.5 hours from where we are in Central NJ, so we basically got a nice long-weekend vacation house when we visit.  A boat is in our near future...but where the heck do you start?  I've rented boats (usually pontoons) before.  I just don't know the first thing about ownership...Any boat owners who can give me some advice?

What I've gathered seems to be the type of boat that make sense is:

-20-25' dual console boat

-Needs to have a live-well for bait and such as we will do a lot of fishing.

-Needs to have a toilet for brown trout - ideally something more than just a bucket in the corner.

-Needs to have lots of comfortable seating as well since when we're not fishing, we'll be cruising with the family (Late 60's parents, my wife, two little kids - hence why the dual-console makes sense vs. the center console)

-Prefer outboard motor for simplicity unless someone can convince me otherwise.

-Like to stay below $100,000 but could go a little higher...new preferred, but could go slightly used. 

-Focus on ease of use/ease of maintenance.  There's tons of marinas near by, and they will likely put a lift in on the dock (it had one at one point that was sold).

Beyond that - anybody have any tips?  things to avoid?  Things you wish you did differently?  

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
I think there is another topic but it isn't really saltwater oriented.  I live on the ICW in FL and keep a boat on a lift on the ICW.  I also live in the town where some (not all by any stretch) of the best saltwater boats in the world are made.

It's a ton of fun, but also a ton of work and waaaay more maintenance than you can ever imagine. Salt air and water absolutely wreck everything.

Boat prices are obscene and very inflated right now but you have a sufficient budget for that size of boat new.

What kind of fishing? Inshore, nearshore, offshore?  And what kind of water depth do you have at the dock at low tide and on your way to deeper water?

 

Fat Nick

Footballguy
I think there is another topic but it isn't really saltwater oriented.  I live on the ICW in FL and keep a boat on a lift on the ICW.  I also live in the town where some (not all by any stretch) of the best saltwater boats in the world are made.

It's a ton of fun, but also a ton of work and waaaay more maintenance than you can ever imagine. Salt air and water absolutely wreck everything.

Boat prices are obscene and very inflated right now but you have a sufficient budget for that size of boat new.

What kind of fishing? Inshore, nearshore, offshore?  And what kind of water depth do you have at the dock at low tide and on your way to deeper water?
The area is the eastern side of the upper Chesapeake bay and associated creeks and rivers (mind you what they call a creek there is a river in most places, and rivers are massively wide as they are about to open into the bay).  Fishing in that area is all over the place - you can go up the creeks some and get LM bass and perch, fish the channels and get some flounder, then go out to the more open bay and catch striper, sea trout, etc.  There's also some of the best blue crabbing in the world in that area, so we'd drop some cages too.  It's not off-shore as in the ocean, but the bay is massive.  I'd equate the creek fishing to be similar to the ICW inshore fishing (although not nearly as fun/good) but then the larger bay fishing is more akin to nearshore.  There's no waves like offshore unless there's a massive front coming in.  It can get rough, but not off-shore rough.  

Water at the dock is at least 4' per the listing.  The guy who sold the house had a 30' sailboat there apparently.  There is some tidal impact, but it's not massive as we're pretty far up one of the tributaries.  4' is probably the shallowest we'd see as it opens up as you go out.  

Any thoughts/recommendations on brands of boat?  I've seen dual consoles all over the place in terms of price.  Robalo, Grady-White, Nauticstar, Scout (NICE, but $$)...any others you think I should look at?

 

Ned

Footballguy
Focus on ease of use/ease of maintenance
:lmao:  GL with that.

What area of the eastern shore?  I duck hunt the Chesapeake; gorgeous area, but the water depths vary like crazy.  There aren't huge tide swings, but with that size boat and the eastern shore, you need to learn how to read tide charts.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
The area is the eastern side of the upper Chesapeake bay and associated creeks and rivers (mind you what they call a creek there is a river in most places, and rivers are massively wide as they are about to open into the bay).  Fishing in that area is all over the place - you can go up the creeks some and get LM bass and perch, fish the channels and get some flounder, then go out to the more open bay and catch striper, sea trout, etc.  There's also some of the best blue crabbing in the world in that area, so we'd drop some cages too.  It's not off-shore as in the ocean, but the bay is massive.  I'd equate the creek fishing to be similar to the ICW inshore fishing (although not nearly as fun/good) but then the larger bay fishing is more akin to nearshore.  There's no waves like offshore unless there's a massive front coming in.  It can get rough, but not off-shore rough.  

Water at the dock is at least 4' per the listing.  The guy who sold the house had a 30' sailboat there apparently.  There is some tidal impact, but it's not massive as we're pretty far up one of the tributaries.  4' is probably the shallowest we'd see as it opens up as you go out.  

Any thoughts/recommendations on brands of boat?  I've seen dual consoles all over the place in terms of price.  Robalo, Grady-White, Nauticstar, Scout (NICE, but $$)...any others you think I should look at?
I would for sure add Everglades, Edgewater, and Pursuit to your list. Possibly Cobia for a slightly less expensive option. There are a bunch of other great brands out there like Invincible, Yellowfin, SeaVee, etc. but I don't know if they make DC's.  You may also want to look at some of the newer cats like Freeman. Lots of folks love them for some of the reasons they love DC's in the right area. If you are buying new, buying from a good local dealer with an impeccable support reputation might be even more important than boat brand once you are looking at mid to upper tier boats. Pay attention to the power you want (Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha are your current options). Factor in some of the higher dollar accessories you are going to need like spotlock trolling motor, power poles, jackplate, etc. It's very easy to buy a new boat and then have to drop another 20k on accessories.

I will add two other things. The boat market is nuts right now, partially accelerated by people buying due to covid. It might be smart to wait until later this year or early next year to have better availability and the crazy prices may have come down a bit. Secondly, go learn at thehulltruth.com. Lots of very knowledgeable boat folks over there and you'll be able to get opinions and reviews of the specific models you narrow down to and local dealers.

 

MTskibum

Footballguy
There is a big difference between a 20 foot and 25 foot boat. Most of the 25 foot boats have a much higher deadrise and will gain considerable weight and require much more power. For example I had a 24 Mckee Freedom that was 8000 pounds fully loaded and had 400 hp on the back and I also had a 20 foot seahunt that weighed half of that at 4000 pounds fully loaded with 175 hp on the back.

Going up 4 feet doubled the weight of the boat.

You can find longer boats that have less of a deadrise, for example the yellowfin 24 bay however the majority of the boats once you get into that 24,25 foot range start having more deadrise(and weight).

The below boat fits your budget and criteria.

https://seahuntboats.com/escape-235-se/

 
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MTskibum

Footballguy
@Fat Nick

You also may not want to eliminate center consoles. They will be easier to resell and there are a few of them that have great seating. Look at all of that Stern seating available in the below key west. They are a solid middle tier brand of boat similar in quality to a Robola, Nautic star, or Sea Hunt.

I found a 2021 for sale for 79,000 dollars so they are within your budget even with the addons.

https://keywestboats.com/our-boats/239-fs

One more model that I would strongly consider would be the Twin Vee. They are better riding in the chop and can go in shallower water and because of the wider beam all the way forward there is considerable more deck space on a cat boat than on a regular style. This is because a v shaped boat gets narrower as towards the bow, however a cat style boat stays wide near the bow. This adds considerably more deck space to a boat. If you wanted to boat with 6 people regularly this boat would be more comfortable. Another benefit is they are softer in chop, they will be more comfortable on the backs of passengers in their 60's.

The downside is that they have a reputation of being "cheap".

I personally am considering used Twin Vee 260s even though I know of their reputation. They have plenty of 20 year old boats on the market and their price is attractive.

If you compare their price to that of a world cat 24' foot boat they are almost half the price. Your budget does not come close to the other cats, except for Americat and they have an even worse reputation.

https://twinvee.com/model/240-dual-console-gf

 
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Galileo

Footballguy
The boats I linked all have a head.
lol  I just looked at the first one and it is listed as an optional feature. Where in the hell are they going to put it???

ETA...looked at the second where it is an integrated feature...impressive, but I'd be better off hanging my ### over the side then trying to dump in that thing...

 
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MTskibum

Footballguy
lol  I just looked at the first one and it is listed as an optional feature. Where in the hell are they going to put it???
Inside the console, heads on center consoles and dual consoles are emergency use only for adults. When there is an emergency you do not care that you are cramped.

 

MTskibum

Footballguy
I added edit as you were posting.  I stand by that.
My previous center console had a head, it was used once in 2 years but my next boat will have one as well. I have a 5 year old daughter and of course a wife. It is for them, not for me.

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Inside the console, heads on center consoles and dual consoles are emergency use only for adults. When there is an emergency you do not care that you are cramped.
And a wise Captain informs all passengers of the rule that whomever uses the head, cleans the head. That simple rule has kept mine from ever being used.

 

Fat Nick

Footballguy
:lmao:  GL with that.

What area of the eastern shore?  I duck hunt the Chesapeake; gorgeous area, but the water depths vary like crazy.  There aren't huge tide swings, but with that size boat and the eastern shore, you need to learn how to read tide charts.
Rockhall area - up Grays Inn Creek, near the mouth of the Chester.  

 
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Reactions: Ned

Fat Nick

Footballguy
I would for sure add Everglades, Edgewater, and Pursuit to your list. Possibly Cobia for a slightly less expensive option. There are a bunch of other great brands out there like Invincible, Yellowfin, SeaVee, etc. but I don't know if they make DC's.  You may also want to look at some of the newer cats like Freeman. Lots of folks love them for some of the reasons they love DC's in the right area. If you are buying new, buying from a good local dealer with an impeccable support reputation might be even more important than boat brand once you are looking at mid to upper tier boats. Pay attention to the power you want (Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha are your current options). Factor in some of the higher dollar accessories you are going to need like spotlock trolling motor, power poles, jackplate, etc. It's very easy to buy a new boat and then have to drop another 20k on accessories.

I will add two other things. The boat market is nuts right now, partially accelerated by people buying due to covid. It might be smart to wait until later this year or early next year to have better availability and the crazy prices may have come down a bit. Secondly, go learn at thehulltruth.com. Lots of very knowledgeable boat folks over there and you'll be able to get opinions and reviews of the specific models you narrow down to and local dealers.
Awesome info @Ron Swanson.  Much appreciated.  I've got some reading to do.  I'll take a look at these boat brands.  So far my favorite from my own research has been Sailfish - really nice dual consoles with some nice features...

Good point re. aftermarket stuff.  Trolling motor especially is something I overlooked when pricing (but know I want...)

 

Fat Nick

Footballguy
@Fat Nick

You also may not want to eliminate center consoles. They will be easier to resell and there are a few of them that have great seating. Look at all of that Stern seating available in the below key west. They are a solid middle tier brand of boat similar in quality to a Robola, Nautic star, or Sea Hunt.

I found a 2021 for sale for 79,000 dollars so they are within your budget even with the addons.

https://keywestboats.com/our-boats/239-fs

One more model that I would strongly consider would be the Twin Vee. They are better riding in the chop and can go in shallower water and because of the wider beam all the way forward there is considerable more deck space on a cat boat than on a regular style. This is because a v shaped boat gets narrower as towards the bow, however a cat style boat stays wide near the bow. This adds considerably more deck space to a boat. If you wanted to boat with 6 people regularly this boat would be more comfortable. Another benefit is they are softer in chop, they will be more comfortable on the backs of passengers in their 60's.

The downside is that they have a reputation of being "cheap".

I personally am considering used Twin Vee 260s even though I know of their reputation. They have plenty of 20 year old boats on the market and their price is attractive.

If you compare their price to that of a world cat 24' foot boat they are almost half the price. Your budget does not come close to the other cats, except for Americat and they have an even worse reputation.

https://twinvee.com/model/240-dual-console-gf
Thanks for the insight.  The Twin Vee is interesting.  Need to look into that one more.  I hadn't really thought through the benefits of the wider beam at the bow.  

 

Fat Nick

Footballguy
My previous center console had a head, it was used once in 2 years but my next boat will have one as well. I have a 5 year old daughter and of course a wife. It is for them, not for me.
Same.  This feature was "required" by my wife and mom.  My daughter is 3, and while right now it's not a must, she currently goes potty every 45 minutes, so if that continues as she gets older, it'll be a must for her too.  My son takes pride in his ability to lay brown trout with his #### hanging over the side of a boat.  He's done it many times and finds it hilarious.  

 

Ron Swanson

Footballguy
Fat Nick said:
Awesome info @Ron Swanson.  Much appreciated.  I've got some reading to do.  I'll take a look at these boat brands.  So far my favorite from my own research has been Sailfish - really nice dual consoles with some nice features...

Good point re. aftermarket stuff.  Trolling motor especially is something I overlooked when pricing (but know I want...)
Sailfish is a good middle tier brand.  They had some wiring issues a few years back but I believe those are ironed out now.

 

Ned

Footballguy
Fat Nick said:
Rockhall area - up Grays Inn Creek, near the mouth of the Chester.  
Ha nice. Have some blinds right across the Chester from there. Gorgeous area. 

 

Fat Nick

Footballguy
Ha nice. Have some blinds right across the Chester from there. Gorgeous area. 
We heard some folks shooting up a storm the last time we were down there.  We were going to head back down this weekend to get some measurements in the house for furniture, etc. but a teacher in my daughter's daycare came down with COVID, so we decided to skip interacting with my parents.  Hope to get back down soon and explore the area more.

 

Ned

Footballguy
We heard some folks shooting up a storm the last time we were down there.  We were going to head back down this weekend to get some measurements in the house for furniture, etc. but a teacher in my daughter's daycare came down with COVID, so we decided to skip interacting with my parents.  Hope to get back down soon and explore the area more.
One of the most popular duck hunting spots on the entire eastern seaboard. 

 

Fat Nick

Footballguy
I would for sure add Everglades, Edgewater, and Pursuit to your list. Possibly Cobia for a slightly less expensive option. There are a bunch of other great brands out there like Invincible, Yellowfin, SeaVee, etc. but I don't know if they make DC's.  You may also want to look at some of the newer cats like Freeman. Lots of folks love them for some of the reasons they love DC's in the right area. If you are buying new, buying from a good local dealer with an impeccable support reputation might be even more important than boat brand once you are looking at mid to upper tier boats. Pay attention to the power you want (Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha are your current options). Factor in some of the higher dollar accessories you are going to need like spotlock trolling motor, power poles, jackplate, etc. It's very easy to buy a new boat and then have to drop another 20k on accessories.

I will add two other things. The boat market is nuts right now, partially accelerated by people buying due to covid. It might be smart to wait until later this year or early next year to have better availability and the crazy prices may have come down a bit. Secondly, go learn at thehulltruth.com. Lots of very knowledgeable boat folks over there and you'll be able to get opinions and reviews of the specific models you narrow down to and local dealers.
It's been a while...I think in re-reading this thread, this post was spot-on in a lot of ways.

We've looked at quite a few boats, and expanded our budget a lot.  We're currently looking at a new Pursuit DC 266.  Looked at Sailfish, which I liked in concept, but EVERYONE said the electrical wiring was a mess.  Looked at Robalo at a local place...not bad, not great.  Wanted to find a Cobia, but the one I drove 2 hours to see sold just prior to me getting there.  Looked heavily at 25' Worldcat DC's...really liked the concept, but hated the layout in the stern.  Felt awkward.  Materials and fit/finish weren't on-par with the Pursuit.  So...that's where we are.  Found a place local to where the boat will be kept, and just starting to talk price right now.  

@Ron Swanson - Your comment re. boat market being nuts is 100% accurate.  The guy at the dealer said the same.  I think they have 1 Pursuit 266 between their 3 locations that isn't claimed already.  Not sure what kind of pricing leverage I'll have, if any...Still waiting on the guy we talked to last weekend to e-mail me back with answers to a few questions.

Getting closer to boat ownership...not there yet, but closer!

 

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