Need Avice: First boat for the Ohio River

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by kitsinni, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    Reality finally hit me and I traded in my car on a new Ford Ranger 4X4 with the towing package! I love this truck. Now it is time to look for a boat. This will be my first boat and it does not have to be anything special.

    I am looking for a basic boat, I'm guessing I will look at a Jon boat but I am open to other things if they will work. I will probably use it in the Ohio the majority of the time since the Cincinnati public boat launch is less than 15 minutes from my house. I also plan to take it up to Ceaser's Creek, Paint Creek, East Fork etc. The boat will be used for catfishing 90% of the time with a few crappie or bass trips on occasion.

    I have a few questions if anyone could help out. What is the minimum motor I need for use on the Ohio River near Cincinnati? I am assuming I will need a V haul for the Ohio. What is the minimum length Jon boat you would feel comfortable in out in the Ohio?
     
  2. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    State:
    Indiana
    I have a Lowe 1652 modified-v, 20" transom, with a 40hp tiller motor, and have spent some time on the Ohio down in the Cannelton area. I was very comfortable on the big river. It's like everything else, you must exersize some caution and common sense, and know the limitations of your craft. Good luck.
     

  3. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Biggest thing to remember is to get a boat that does not limit your abilities on the river. Is this gonna be a summer and spring boat? Or winter also? I dont think you can go wrong with a v hull type boat. Something that sits higher in the water, the river can throw some nasty weather and wake at the drop of a hat. My boat sits about 2 ft or more out of the water, some may not like that, but it makes me feel more secure. If you go with an aluminum hull you wont need as much HP to push her around and through the current. I would want something atleast 17 ft, but again its all personal preference. If you plan on doing winter time fishing the deeper the better IMO. Good luck
     
  4. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Good advice so far with the Deep- V, antoher thing to consider is the towing capacity of a 4x4 Ranger, I doubt youll be comfortabe towing a 17 ft deep V with that so please consider that. I like my dual winshiled but it does take up space, the Ohio is the roughest body of water youll ever motor across and wave splash can be extreme so I like the walk through and am willing to give up a little room for it but it does make a boat heavier. Another thing to consider is most 17 ft boats probably wont fit in your garage without a breakaway toungue ( food for thought)

    Last and most important thing and Im sure Tbull will agree is to afford the newest, most reliable engine you can find. The Ohio is no place to be in the winter with a crapped out motor or one you can not trust to start everytime. For that purpose, i usually motor upstream and always have a fully charged trolling motor just in case the worst happens, always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.... :eek:oooh:

    I suggest running the new boat several times on a local lake long before taking it to the river unless you con one of us seasoned guys to go out with you in our own boats, we do a lot of partner fishing, we split up but always have another guys cell phone number just in case anything would happen. Its not like Erie where there are thousands of boats within a few miles, in the Winter on the Ohio, you may go all day and the only other boat out might be a barge, so a VHF radio might be another good option. I am looking at them now with xmas money.

    Salmonid
     
  5. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the replies!

    The ranger is rated to tow 5500LBs, I have not towed anything with it yet so I'm not sure how it handles.

    I will probably will not actually buy until late winter or early spring and would probably take it out in the spring for the first time. After getting comfortable with it for the summer I might consider taking it out after blues next winter.

    I would probably be comfortable in a 14 foot V-Haul Jon boat with a 25HP motor, but I'm not sure if something like that would be safe on the Ohio. I would rather save up more and buy something better if I am not going to be safe in something cheaper.

    There sure are a lot of choices when it comes to boats. I don't have any plans for skiing or anything like that, if I'm on the water I need a pole in my hand.
     
  6. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Man, if that river is above pool stage you would not catch me in a 14ft v hull on the big river. Just flat out dangerous, others may disagree but its just not safe or practical. I understand that sometimes its about what you can afford, I picked up mine for 3000, the engine I have on it now I have simply because I have a good friend who made that happen. Other than that I had to completley strip that boat down and build it from the floor up to suit my needs on the river. Alot of times getting an old junker for nothing and turning into something can be alot of fun. That being said its a very large boat compared to others, and I have had waves splash inside it no problem, just want to see you safe bro...

    Mark had a great point about the engine as well. I know mine inside and out, but thats only because I have had so many problems with it. Which in a way I guess has been sort of a blessing since I have learned so much about outboards in the process, but the river is no place to break down especially in the winter. So go as new as possible, and if not make sure that engine has been gone over with a fine tooth comb....

    Again bro, if you can afford to go a little bigger do so, you will be happier and safer in the long run. Just make sure the ol 4x4 can pull her in and out safely.:wink:
     
  7. kyelkhunter3006

    kyelkhunter3006 New Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    State:
    Ky
    If your truck's got the 4.0V6 you should be fine with just about anything you want. I've got a buddy who bass fishes (uck, I know, LOL) and he's got a Ranger 4x4 Ext Cab and he tows his 21' (I think) 2003 Nitro all over KY and the hilly areas in WV and TN to fish pro am tournaments and he loves the package.
     
  8. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio

    That is exactly the one I have. Everytime I get in it I like it more.
     
  9. BobbyLee

    BobbyLee New Member

    Messages:
    858
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohio
    All good sound advice...
     
  10. psychomekanik

    psychomekanik New Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    State:
    Illinois
    I have a 16 foot deep v with a 40 horse. And, I'd like a bigger boat for the river. It works great, but I would'nt want to go any smaller. Engine, or hull. I fish the ohio, and the mississippi.
     
  11. Kat-addict

    Kat-addict New Member

    Messages:
    114
    State:
    ohio
    I don't think that "pulling" it will be a problem...what about stopping it? If you get a bigger boat you can get brakes on the trailer which will let a small 4x4 handle a good size cat boat. I agree with tbull as far as picking up a older boat and redoing it for your need. We have a 17' trihull that we got for 400 bucks with a crummy motor on it,we replaced that motor with a suzuki115 FI that we got for around a 1000 bucks off ebay. Its certainly nothing to look at but functions well and is safe for the river. It has a full windsheild that is split in the middle and that is truly a lifesaver on long runs when it's cold outside. I will never be without a windshield again !! Besides, it looks really cool with dried up skipjack guts on it....lol

    So all in all we have less than 1500 bucks in a safe relatively fast ( 40mph) boat that operates fairly cheap and reliable....Hope this helps ya out....Randy