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Old 09-08-2005, 09:08 PM
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Default Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

I have a 19 foot trophy CC and am tired of dealing with brakes and the other issues related to a heavy boat(3500-4000 lbs). I never go offshore but occasionally fish the surf. I mostly fish inshore canals and oyster reefs. My Trophy is great in a chop but I really don't like fishing in it anyway. It is time to repower and I don't want to spend $8000-10000 on a boat that is really too big and uses too much gas. I am looking at the 15 foot Whaler Sport and the 16 Mckee Classic because they are close to lifetime boats. The only thing I don't like about the Whaler is there appears to be no trolling motor option, but someone must know how to mount one. I am also looking at the assorted 17 foot aluminum boats. Finally, what can I expect to spend on the Whaler or the Mckee?
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

If you're looking for a high end boat with a lifetime transferable warranty, check out Edgewater's new 17' cc. Nice layout for its size.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

The 15 Whaler is too small and sides too low. I'd go with the 17. You will regret the 15 and want to immediately get a 17 and the price difference is not really that bad depending on what power you get. They make two models, the original 17 Montauk (the classic 17) or the 17 Outrage. However the Outrage is much more expensive.

The McKee is ok but it's flatter on the bottom and neither ride that great but the Whaler will ride better and keep it's value better.

You should be able to get a new Whaler 17 Montauk for 17-20k depending on power. A 90hp 4 stroke is more than enough but you could go with a 115.

I'm not sure of the price on the McKee as there are no dealers around here in central Virginia.

I'd stay away from the aluminum boats. They are a great utilitarian boat but in salt water they are very dangerous due to the lack of sufficient flotation and one wave over the bow can send you to the bottom quickly. Of course the whaler and mckee are unsinkable.

You can mount a trolling motor on either by manufacturing a plate to fit along the bow corner and securing along the bow rail if you don't want to drill holes in the hull. I've done it for a prior whaler I had and it worked fine.

There are plenty of other nice 15-17' v hulls out there. I've got a Jones Brothers 17 cape fisherman and it has level flooring, center console and a very sharp entry. The boat will slice through 2 foot chop at 25mph like it isn't even there. It is a very dry hull as well. Better yet it will run mid 30's with a 50 4 stroke and I can run it all day on 3-5 gallons of fuel. Has a self bailing cockpit so any water that may get in goes right out the back. In all the years I've owned it I've never taken a wave over the bow and my bilge pump has never come on. It only weighs about 1000lbs fully loaded and I've got 3 batteries in it due to having a 24volt minn kota riptide on the bow..

Good luck.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

Quote:
CBP - 9/8/2005 9:28 PM

If you're looking for a high end boat with a lifetime transferable warranty, check out Edgewater's new 17' cc. Nice layout for its size.
Nice boat but I want something that I can bolt a trolling motor on the front. Honestly if I probably save the money and just repower what I have instead of getting something so close to what I have now. By the time you figure the motor, trailer and fuel the tow weight would be close to 3000 lbs. I am trying to stay in the 2000-2500 lb range.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

i had a 15 whaler center console for a few years. had the boat every where. oregon inlet fishing a few miles off shore. man o man was it sketchy coming in through that where there were breakers on either side of you. it was a tank non the less. never had a problem that wasn;t an easy fix. i miss that boat and if i found one for the right price id buy one in a heart beat. if your looking for an older boat makos and seacrafts can't be beat. also the robalos are a good choice.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

I'm not a big fan of the boats but the Key Largo,Palm Beach, Cape Craft line (all the same manufacturer) builds a pretty solid and inexpensive non liner boat. The 18' boat is supposedly from the old sea craft mold. They are easy to trailer and modify. Trailer Boats Magazine took a bare 18' Palm Beach with 90 hp 4 stroke, trailer and added a heavy duty saltwater bow trolling motor, gps, fish finder and dual battery setup. Total cost for boat and upgrades was I believe 18k. I still have the article if you want it.
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Old 09-08-2005, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

Look at the 17' Dusky. Megabyte had the deep V version of the boat and was more than tickled with it before moving up to a 25' Parker.
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

take a look at the 185 bay classic by McKee. Slightly larger than what you mentioned, but the weight is right in line. Hull weight of 1560lbs, 35 gallon fuel tank (210 lb fuel load). Add a motor @ about 415 (suzuki 115 4 stroke), and you are at a total of 2185lbs, and you have a lot of boat for that weight.

here is a link for the boat
http://www.mckeecraft.com/boats/classic185.htm

Granted, I am partial to the McKee line. I've been on several whalers and other CC's in the same size range, and spend a ton of time on a 2002 Montauk that belongs to my uncle, it doesn't even compare to my McKee when it comes to price value. The build quality of the McKee & Whaler are close, whaler may have a slight edge on stuff like preriging, but overall I would take another McKee any day of the week.
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

Find an old 17' Whaler that's been repowered (or buy an old one and repower yourself). Remove the bow rail and add a trolling motor and you're in business. I owned one for 10 yrs and you really can't find a more low maintenance, idiot-proof, simple, durable, and economical rig to own. It's small enough that it's a breeze to tow and is plenty fast with a 90 hp engine. The ride isn't as bad as everyone says, and I think it's one of the most seaworthy small hulls around - I used to run mine up to 35 miles offshore on nice days and felt safer doing it in the Whaler than I would in most 20' boats (note I said safer and not morw comfortable). It was a breeze to handle at the ramp alone and could fish all but the skinniest flats. I sold mine a little over a year ago to jump up to a 24' boat for offshore, and I love having a bigger boat, but I sure do miss the Whaler. Best part is that if you ever decide to sell it, nothing holds its value like a 17' Whaler. I bought my 1988 Whaler in 1994 for $7000, spent $6500 on a repower and new trailer after 5 years, and then sold it for $9500 in 2004. That's 10 yrs of boat ownership for $4000 - you can't find a better value in boating.
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

http://www.releaseboats.com/Release-17.htm
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

When I bought my current boat about 5 years ago, I knew it was too big but the deal was too good to pass up. Now someone is offering me a thousand less than I paid for it. The person wants to repower anyway so he doesnt care about the 10 year old Force 120. The motor has never given me any trouble but people don't like them and the boat is underpowered. I do know that I am at the end of the reliable life of the 1995 Force and do not want to invest in a boat that isn't a perfect fit. I look at the kind of fishing I do and I never hit the beaches unless it is dead calm so I don't really need the rough water capability. My fishing trips on windy days are not productive anyway so I usually stay in unless the weather is perfect. The biggest reasons for going lighter and smaller is I am tired of dealing with brakes in saltwater and the fact that my wife wants a minivan. We have a camp on the coast so I would like a boat that I could atleast launch with a minivan. When I say 2000-2500 lbs max I am talking about total trailer weight. My parents had a 16 foot Mckee when I was a kid 25 years ago that would seem to be ideal for the fishing I do now. My experience with the Mckee was that it was as close to the older whalers that you could get for less money. I should have taken a friend's advice 5 years ago when I bought my 19 footer when he told me "the bigger the boat you get, the less you will fish."
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Old 09-08-2005, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

I agree, 17 Whaler Montauk. Have had mine for years, fish it hard, trailer it all over and it has been a great boat. Low maintenence, quality, unsinkable, seaworthy, fun. I have a 115 Yamaha on mine and it is like a sportscar, great acceleration and handling. I plan on keeping it forever, even as I upsize, this one is staying in my garage. Easy deal on mounting a trolling motor, just remove the bow rail and put batteries in the console. The nice thing about the Whaler, as stated above, is that you can always get your money back if you can bear to part with it.
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Old 09-08-2005, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

15 to 17 is very small, really.

I would look at a Cape Horn 17, Seacat 18, or Twin Vee 19 as a minimim. All are light, sturdy, inexpensive, cheap to operate, and will give you mosre deck space than most.
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Old 09-09-2005, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

Bullshipper, if he feels like the 19 he has is too big for him, then a 15-17 footer will be the right fit. NeilC, I admire you for knowing exactly what you want. Have you considerd a Carolina Skiff type boat? How about a Scout? Both of these will last and can be purchased in that size range. First problem is solved- you know what your use REALLY is.
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Old 09-09-2005, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

Maritime Skiff 1890 w/70hp four stroke 32" console & leaning post on a Venture trailer. Can't go wrong!! www.mskiff.com
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

Most of these boats that are mentioned above are fine bay boats but the thing you mentioned was going out into the surf. That being the case you will need something with a deeper vee. My choice wood be the Cape Horn 16 or 17. Both of these boats allow trolling motors due to the split bow rail option. Also they only draft about 10 inches. They are unsinkable and most come with the four strokes. Another good thing is that compaired to a Whaler they are much more affordable and much roomier.
They are made in Milton, FL and web site is www.capehornboats.com.
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

Take a look at the Carolina Skiff Sea Chaser rolled gunnel 17.
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

I think Whaler will have a winner with this boat... the new 150 Montauk:

http://www.whaler.com/Rec/default.as...0&type=Montauk

Actually much closer to the older 17 Montauks.
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

If you want an inexpensive boat with a fine, dry ride take a look at the Kenner rollled edge boats. They make an 18 that is very utilitarian and has a decent ride. The Caolina Skiff is a well built boat, but not known for their soft ride. Jones Brothers "Bateau" series are very well built. Consider a Mako 171. Yea, yea, yea....we all have heard of Mako's trials and tribulations......but, the 171 is a darned good boat in that size catagory. One last suggestion is the Edgewater 175, it is one fine boat.
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Old 09-09-2005, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Downsizing, whats the best 15-17 foot boat?

I started out with a 1990 Montauk Guardian series - nearly 10 years and 5 boats later. I would do anything to get that boat back. As you implied - bigger is not always better. That Montauk was a fantastic fishing platform, a perfect ski boat and great for those booze cruises. I most definitely agree "The Dude" - find an older Montauk and repower. This will ensure many, many years of trouble free boating. My Montauk was virtually maintenance free for the 3 years I owned her. They also maintain their resale value better than most other similar sized boats.
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Just my .02cents...

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