*** Buying a New Boat? ***

Discussion in 'Boating' started by SmokinBarrel, May 19, 2009.

  1. SmokinBarrel

    SmokinBarrel New Member

    Messages:
    921
    State:
    St. Louis, MO
    First, I'd like to introduce myself, and that I'm glad to have found this site. I hope everyone enjoys catfishing as much as I do!

    With that said, and after 6 years without a boat, I am getting ready to pull the trigger on one of two boats I've picked. If possible, I'd like to get members views on which boat they'd recommend? Here is out the will be used:

    1. Catfishing (60% of time)
    2. Crappie, Bass, other (25% of time)
    3. Pleasure, buzzing around, on the water with the ladies, etc.... (15% of the time)

    Here are the boats:

    Sea Ark: Pro Cat 2472, Suzuki 175. http://www.seaarkboats.com/boat.php?measure=Standard&boat=ProCat+240

    Hewescraft: Pro-V 20', Yamaha 150. http://www.hewescraft.com/2007/sportsmanpv/index.html

    Personally, when fishing for big catfish, I like as much room towards the back. The Pro-V has plenty of room behind the driver/passenger, almost 10'.

    The Sea Ark has improved that space behind the driver/passenger in their Pro Cat 2472. Actually, I'd like them to move the console on the Pro Cat forward about 2 - 3' and Cha Ching!

    Anyway, I wanted to get your recommendations, or suggestions? I plan to make a decision by tomorrow. The pricing of each boat is roughly the same.
     
  2. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    if you want the console moved talk to sea ark they will normally work with you

    i know they did on my boat
     

  3. SmokinBarrel

    SmokinBarrel New Member

    Messages:
    921
    State:
    St. Louis, MO
    dumptruck,

    I have talked to Eric(?) at Sea Ark, and he's going to speak with engineering regarding movement of the console forward. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a Pro-Cat up close, but I have a feeling the room behind the driver/passenger is 4 - 5 feet to the back bench.

    Personally, I'd add a storage box to the front of the front deck, and slide the consoles all the way forward. Now I have all the room behind me to work. I think it makes better room of the floor space. The space in front of the consoles is dead space - somewhat....I'd rather have it behind me. Everything else stays the same. Besides, I don't really need a bait well, or wash down, just a small cooler to throw my bait fish inside on ice.

    Everyone has their own preferences. I also know Sea Ark doesn't like to be known as a "custome" build boat manufacturer. Maybe they'll see my boat as an opportunity to "think outside the box" and make it a test bed. I can't help but think they've been asked this question or type of request before?
     
  4. Hoopie

    Hoopie New Member

    Messages:
    818
    State:
    Ohio
    Man thats a tough decision...... what type of waters do you fish the most? Rivers or lakes? That may help you decide on which one handles better in different water. I wish I had that decision to make.lol:wink:
     
  5. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    I'd never heard of Hewescraft before....I checked out their website and found a dealer in Chicago and checked out their website as well....I must say that I really really like the looks and layout of those boats! :big_smile: I have a 2072 SeaArk RiverCat currently and want to "upgrade" someday. Don't get me wrong, I am a big SeaArk fan, but when it's time for me to make the trade, I am definately gonna check out those Hewescraft boats! I like em! Thanks for the link!
     
  6. SmokinBarrel

    SmokinBarrel New Member

    Messages:
    921
    State:
    St. Louis, MO
    I just watched the Pro Cat video, and I will say that Steve did a good job in designing the boat. In fact, I like his thinking and everything about the thinking behind each idea or layout.

    In fact, I sensed that he himself was looking for more room, or additional room within the boat, or back of boat. But, because of flotation, they had to build a bigger bench in the back. Thus, it took away some room.

    I think it's a great design, but I still would like to have the console pushed forward, keeping the front deck. The size of the front deck is great. Anyway, I suppose I have a decision to make.

    The only problem with the Hewescraft is that there's no livewell, and you loose about 2' of space because of the splash basin where the motor is. They make them with a livewell across the transom, which is very nice, but that style of boat is $$$$, and personally border line a little heavier duty than what we need around here in my opinion.
     
  7. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    I'm good with the Heavy Duty! I fish the Mississippi near St Louis alot, summer, fall, winter, spring...lots of barge traffic...I like the 24 foot Alaska model and would consider purchasing that boat for me in the future.
     
  8. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    You've got about 8' from the back of the consoles to the front of the rear deck in a ProCat. Don't know how much more room you think you need; it's easy to fish 4 people out of the back of the boat with the space currently available. There's no other dual-console walk-through windshield boat out there now that can match that space.

    The consoles are about as far forward as they can be on the ProCat; any further and the windshield won't fit. There's also a step up of about 2" from the main floor to the space behind the front deck - the consoles are up against that step and can't go any farther forward. The step up is required to give clearance for the hoses that go to the 50 gal belly-mounted fuel tank. (You might begin to suspect at this point that a lot of thought and design effort went into getting the boat into it's current layout, optimizing everything as much as possible. And you'd be right.)

    The space in front of the consoles is perfect for storing all the crap you bring on board but don't need under your feet all the time. Coolers, bait tanks, anchors, throw nets, etc. etc. There's not much room on either side of the front livewell to cut out for storage space. That area is sloped due to the v-bottom and is full of flotation foam. It might be nice to make permanent storage boxes on either side in front of the consoles, but I've grown to like my boat without them. I keep a big Rubbermaid container on one side with all the stuff I need in it; on the other side is milk crates holding my anchor and throw nets (and propane tank for the heater in the winter). The center is taken up by my 30 gal bait tank. Still plenty of room to move around and get up to the front deck.

    You won't be happy with a 175hp motor on the ProCat - needs at least 200, preferably 225. It's a big, heavy boat and you need a lot of motor to push it around. I run a 225 Suzuki 4-stroke and it moves the boat around with authority. The boat is heavy when there's nothing in it. Fill up the 90 gal livewell in the back, the 25 gal livewell in the front, fill the 50 gal fuel tank, add a 30 gal bait tank plus all your gear and suddenly the boat goes from being heavy to being really freakin' heavy (that's 1150 lbs of water alone, plus 300 lbs of fuel plus maybe 300 lbs of gear. And the 225 Suzuki weighs around 650 lbs.) The 225 Suzuki pushes it around at about the same speed no matter how much it's loaded. I might lose 2 mph between empty and fully loaded. A 175 won't do that, I'm pretty sure.
     
  9. BIGCATFISH64

    BIGCATFISH64 New Member

    Messages:
    525
    State:
    Muncie,Indiana
    First of all, Dennis welcome to the BOC, have you looked into or at any of the Lunds?
     
  10. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,623
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Dennis i have not seen the boat u r wanting but by going by Mr T's post ,it sounds like they already have it laid out for maximum space
    My boat is a center console boat not a dual console

    Which ever one u decide on i hope u get many years of enjoyment out of it ,keep us posted :big_smile:

    There i go again ; talking about thing i know nothing about :smile2:
     
  11. illinois_angler

    illinois_angler Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    IL
    Has Sea Ark changed the rear livewell in the ProCat recently? According to their website it is only 40 gallons.
     
  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    The ProCat livewell has always been larger than 40 gallons, though the literature may be stating capacity to the overflow port. Mine was the third one off the production line and the livewell is 48x21x12 for about 52 gallons completely full (it's easy to make a standpipe that lets you control the water level regardless of the overflow port location). The livewell I have is plenty big enough for my needs, but...

    The latest incarnation (on boats currently coming off the assembly line) puts it at roughly 90 gallons when full to the top. Measures 72" wide x about 2 ft deep x 12" tall, and the door is huge; don't know the exact dimensions but I promise there's not a catfish you can catch that won't fit in that tank quite comfortably.
     
  13. SmokinBarrel

    SmokinBarrel New Member

    Messages:
    921
    State:
    St. Louis, MO
    The Pro Cat is a great boat! I will admit, the design is next to perfect! It just seems, there's never enough room to move around on a boat, seriously. I suppose I like it big and open, with plenty of room.

    I suppose I am looking at recreational fishing 70% of the time, and tournament fishing 30%, or occasional tournament for fun and grins. So, I am not sure I need that extra space.

    I suppose I just like "room", the more the better. And, after watching that video, I think Steve was trying to address that, because he sounding disappointed because they had to meet a minimum flotation, which cased them to have to extend the back bench. Otherwise you could of picked up another 1' or 2'. Anyway, I suppose I just need to make up my mind. Or, possibly consider another model and see what options are available.

    Other than that, I am still really really considering the Pro Cat. But, now you have me worried about the motor. Of course, it's in my price range right now as is, if I add a larger motor, then I am hosed.

    hmmmmm...
     
  14. SmokinBarrel

    SmokinBarrel New Member

    Messages:
    921
    State:
    St. Louis, MO
    Mr. T,

    By the way, I wanted to say I like the aluminum rod holder you have on the back of your boat. Is that an after market? If so, do you mind sharing the dimensions? And, did you weld or bolt it on?
     
  15. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    Boat dealers will *always* quote you a sweetheart price on a boat with an undersized motor because they want you to buy the boat and they'll spend a lot of time convincing you that the boat will be just fine with that smaller motor on it. Most of the dealers have probably never actually been in that boat with that small motor on it, so they're just blowing smoke anyway.

    The first boat I had (18 ft Xpress) came with a 60 hp 4-stroke and was "in my price range". Then I tried to actually use the boat, couldn't get on plane with 3 people in the boat. So I spent the rest of the money and put a 115 4-stroke on it and never looked back.

    The ProCat will still move up and down the lake with a 175 on it. But you're going to find yourself running at full-throttle most of the time, always wishing you had a little bit more. You'll put more wear and tear on the motor because you're working it harder and running it at a high RPM. And when the day comes that you really *need* that extra speed (like to get away from a storm), well, *then* you're hosed.
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    That's my old boat and the custom-welded rod holder I made with the help of a friend who has expensive toys... It's bolted onto the boat but welded together. 2" x 1/8" wall square tubing for the main rail.

    More photos here: http://www.pbase.com/martyt/rodholder
     
  17. illinois_angler

    illinois_angler Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    IL
    With all the open space the ProCat 240 has, it really looks to be pushing the flotation requirements. Either that or some of the other aluminum manufacturers are sticking to the safe side with what I think is way too much.

    Is it really necessary to rate the ProCat at a 10 person capacity? Would it be possible to lower that to a 6 person capacity and jump the hp rating to 300? A 300hp Suzuki is only a couple thousand more.
     
  18. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    I agree completely Rat, I was thinking the same thing when I looked at that link. I was also impressed with the Sport Jet, like the idea of fishing some smaller rivers from time to time.
     
  19. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    The more I look at those boats, the more I like em! The hull is thicker than the SeaArk's too! Just seems to be well built, functional boat! I wish I was in the market cause I would seriously consider driving to Chicago to take an up close and personal look at one...then probably hook it up to the dually and drive away! :crazy::big_smile:
     
  20. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    tough call either way. I went through the same dilemma last year when I was looking along with a couple other manufacturers. I settled on the SeaArk because they are highly customizable and pricing in my case. But I would have felt comfortable in either one, to be honest. Go with your gut feeling, is about the best I can tell ya.