Looking for a Boat

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Rivercat09, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Rivercat09

    Rivercat09 New Member

    I am interested in picking up a boat, but I’m not sure what exactly to buy, so I thought I would ask for some advice here. The boat will be used primarily in the middle Potomac River just below DC to chase blues and channels, but I want something big enough to handle the Chesapeake Bay in most weather situations. I am planning on going out with my wife on weekends on the boat, and I want her to be as comfortable as possible. I’m looking to spend between $5k and $10k, but would not pass on a good buy if it were a little over $10k. I am thinking of something in the 16 to 20 foot range, and I want the rig to be easily trailerable by a Toyota Tacoma with a 6-banger. I am considering two main options:

    Option 1 would have a retractable canvas top so my wife and I can shelter ourselves from the sun, would have a live well, and would have a center console and plenty of storage. The ability to fix a trolling motor to the front would be a plus. The boat would have the ability to go out into the bay in most situations, so it would probably be a vee hull design.

    Option two would have a cuddy cabin with a small head, and more than likely have an inboard outboard power plant. This option would also have a live well and plenty of storage. This option would be much more comfortable for the wife, but would be more of a pain to trailer.

    My one buddy is trying to talk me into going the cuddy cabin route, but I want something that I can trailer easily. Plus, it’s my understanding that cuddy cabin cruisers typically do not have live wells (a must). Option one would be more of a river boat, would be more limited on the Bay, would be less expensive to buy and maintain, and would be less comfortable for the wife. Option two would be mush more comfortable for the wife (which is key), would be more expensive, and would be more of a pain to trailer. I will be doing a lot of catfishing with my buddies, but I will also be going out a lot on weekends with the wife. My wife fishes too, but we will be doing a lot of nature watching from the water.

    We currently use a 16-foot flat back canoe, one of those plastic Coleman jobs, and have a 5 hp outboard. This rig is a pain to load onto the back of the pickup, and it is a pain to muscle the motor around (as it is not permanently fixed). I am looking to get something that is easier to deal with (just drop it into the water and go), as I am not getting any younger. I know I’m all over the board here, but I am just starting my research. I would appreciate any good advice. Thank you very much!
  2. bigcat_chaser

    bigcat_chaser New Member

    Cincy, Ohio
    first off a deep "v" is the way to go a cuddy cabin is nice but it was my experience that it became more of a storage bin than anything else, they also get VERY hot in the summer time so lounging in one isnt always a comfortable experience. you can go with a slightly larger boat if you opt not to get a cuddy as it will weigh much less I have a 22 ft starcraft (aluminum) it is very light could be pulled with a smaller vehicle and has a removable canvas top for shade a boat of this type would be good for any river and would be more pretty decent for the bay, as for a live well ? I cant help you much there we have never had a boat with a live well depending on what you are going to keep in it we have always used a large cooler with a really nice aerator and that has proved to be satisfactory for most of our situations hope this in some way helps good luck :cool2:

  3. Rickb6959

    Rickb6959 New Member

    Clayton NC
    My next boat will be either a center console or a pontoon. Only reason i am considering a pontoon is for family outings. I have a friend that had a pontoon and as far as comfort goes it was like fishing from my house. But the down side was fuel economy. It was terrible it was a 18ft and had 25 hp motor. Maybe if hp was higher it would of got better gas mileage. He bought his boat from this site http://www.kingrv.com/ They deal in repos i think he got it at a good price. You can go and check out all of their boats they sell every thing. You can look at their pictures and see what you and the wife like with out driving all over town. Good luck
  4. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    You might want to look at a modified v hull mine is an 1885 and you can find them with a center console, I have a bimini top on mine and it is a lifesaver at times. I would think this would be easy to find in your price range and you could tow it with no problem with your small truck.

    A bigger boat is not going to tow with the small truck.

    The main thing is to get the boat you want, forget about a live well, if it is what you need you can always install whatever you need.

    A deep v is the boat for the bay one like mine is ok on a nice day but won't ride as well as a deep v in rough water.

    If you get a double counsel you can have a canvas full enclosuer for bad weather and they also have the most room at the back for catfishing. This may be my next boat.

    You don't need a giant motor but I would not look for anything less than a 90 and again for the bay a 115 up to a 150 would do you a better job.

    The best time of the year is comming up for buying a boat. Good luck
  5. huntduck

    huntduck New Member

    About 3 years ago I swapped from strictley BASS fishing to the REAL fish.I'm on my 3rd boat now,and think I am now satisfied.Since I traded my B_ _ _
    boat off for
    1st- 1754 WarEagle with 40hp Yamaha 4 stroke
    (not big enough for all 4 in family)
    2nd-24' MonArk pontoon
    (tooo bigg for my taste)
    As they say 3rd time is charm
    (LOVE this boat.)It will run up the feeder creeks to the deep holes on my home lake,but also tackle the mighty TENNESSEE that we fish as she swings through north AL.But the ONE!!! thing that you will love the most is the mobility you have in a center console boat.I can fish off the front and still help out my two boys fishing off the back without going around or over the world to get to them.

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    i would check into a pontoon boat we are starting to see more and more of them on the potomac and they make a great fishing boat as well. I just saw one that was set up to fish 6 people and still had room to move around, you are looking for a use boat to be under 10K so as we get to years end more and more boat are going up for sale. I have saw some very nice boats listed as auto auctions as well kepp checking to ads and good luck
  7. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    I have mixed feelings on the cabin route.

    While it would be nice in the rain or cold weather, you just loose so much room by having it. Most also seem to make it a hassle to get to the bow to anchor.

    Pontoons are nice, but they are a pain to trailer and to get out of the water. Launching is easy, taking them out a pain and near impossible in a cross wind.

    I would suggest going to some boat dealers and looking at new boats to get an idea of what you like and really want to go with. Then you can start shoping for used boats online and in the newspaper.

    www.boattraderonline.com is great resource for finding used boats.
  8. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    I got a fish-n-ski made by Javalin id get rid of. I want a center concole boat just for fishing.
  9. Rivercat09

    Rivercat09 New Member

    Thanks you kindly everyone! I think I'm leaning towards the small boat: cheaper to maintain and run, and easier to trailer. I think that it will be a better fishing machine, especially for those shallow water trips up the creeks for when I cast spinners for some white perch. I can always get a bigger boat later on. Plus, I would feel more comfortable driving and getting use to a smaller vessel. I think that it is time to hit some boat shows and dealers. I have marked, checked out, and will be using the boat resale website that were suggested. Thanks once again!!
  10. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Supply NC
    Unless you've got alot of money for upkeap and maintenance, stay away from the inboard/stern drive option.
  11. Pogo

    Pogo New Member

    North Carolina
    There should be more boats avaliable around your area than you can count, Don.

    I lived in Lexington Park/Leonardtown/Solomons Is for a few years and found that whole area just full of used boats for sale, not to mention the marinas still operating who build real Chessy Bay boats.

    For added flexibility in that very changeable water, I agree with the Vee or Semi-Vee hull. Even the Potomac and Patuxent rivers can get pretty rough and the Bay is famous for rough water.

    I also agree with Bob about power plants. Although I do like inboards for some applications, I think outboards are much easier to set up and maintain.

    While I was there, I took 24' Deep Vee, I/O cuddy cabin that I bought for $2500 (including trailer) and modified it to take twin 125 OB's ... really enjoyed that boat and she would go anywhere on any water. Even a 24 footer can be launched and recovered about as easily as any boat going.

    Check around the marinas on the bay ... for some reason they appear to have more reasonable deals than those on the rivers. Also ... check around the military bases ... Camp Davis, Andrews AFB, NATC Patuxent River, etc ... the military guys often buy new boats and then sell them pretty cheap when they transfer.

    Good luck ...
  12. Rivercat09

    Rivercat09 New Member

    Thanks once again to everyone! I've come to realize that a 18 to 22 foot boat with an outboard is the thing. It will be a great boat to start out with and to learn on, and I will get more out of it. This boat will be big enough to do the bay and go for rockfish and yet small enough to trailer around and do the small creeks off the Severn to cast for white perch. I could do Solomons one week for rockfish, hook up with buddy with the huge cabin cruiser the next, and do the river for cats constantly. I will definitely be checking boat shows and dealers to get a feel for what exactly I want, and will check marinas on the bay and military bases for a deal. I'm really looking forward to getting the boat and landing my first fish on it!!
  13. special liberty

    special liberty New Member

    Take a look at the Carolina Skiff line. Rugged & roomy yet affordable. Super stable. I have a 21' CC with the new Boston Whaler type bottom. Four men, ice, beverages & tackle and there was more than enough room to break out the lawn chairs and still move around. Easy to maintain - a garden hose and a little bleach when ya get home to wash out the blood and your done!