Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > The Boating Forum
Reload this Page >

Need guidance on first boat with details (long)

Notices
The Boating Forum

Need guidance on first boat with details (long)

Old 05-21-2019, 10:29 PM
  #1  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
Posts: 118
Received 31 Likes on 21 Posts
Default Need guidance on first boat with details (long)

Hi THT,

I come as a newbie seeking input. Background Ė just wife and me, early 50ís. In my wifeís first life she loved boating. Iíve always been a car guy. Very comfortable doing mechanical work. Iím ok with old cars that may break down. I understand them and know how to get them home and fixed. With our kids recently out of the house I started thinking about getting a boat for the next stage of our life. I have no water experience. She has plenty and will be actively engaged in all facets of owning a boat. I donít yet have a comfort level with the whole experience. We have a Suburban and Iíve towed a lot of trailers, so no issues there.

I want a boat that wonít be a project. I want to use it and know itís going to work. Getting stranded in a car is no big deal to me. I donít want that experience with a boat. I want the boat to be a source of enjoyment and relaxation Ė not a mechanical adventure that constantly needs something. Gawd knows I have enough cars like that.

I also want to spend roughly $20k on the basic craft. I know there will be other expenses involved and thatís fine. With all of our other activities (the cars and bike riding) I know weíll use the boat but our lives wonít revolve around it, so I donít want to spend much more.

We live near Clearwater, FL. Primary use would be Lake Tarpon and Lake Seminole. Some Tampa Bay and maybe the Gulf near shore but not too far out?

I want the boat mainly to cruise and get her out onto the water. I donít expect weíll do more than half-day ďputting around.Ē I have cars for high speed, and no kids that need something good for wakeboarding or tubing. No interest in fishing. Sun worshipping and quiet relaxation/isolation is the goal.

On the entry level side of new I see Bayliner has a 170 bowrider and Element E18 deck boat near my price point. When I look used in my price range (high $teens for used) most name brand boats seem to be 10+ years old. Occasionally Iíll find something like what is currently on CL Ė a 2004 Sea Ray 185 OB with a 115hp 4 stroke with 112 hours and trailer listed for $10k.

I would really appreciate comments on new entry level vs. used in terms of my concern about mechanicals vs. entry level quality? Any other comments to help guide my thoughts? Is there a better place to post this sort of question?

Old 05-21-2019, 10:34 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,107
Received 2,788 Likes on 1,169 Posts
Default

Pontoon boat, used, 150hp 4s outboard minimum.
Old 05-22-2019, 05:15 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 513
Received 112 Likes on 73 Posts
Default

Stick with outboards have the ECU read for faults and sea trial the boat before payment.OB are very reliable Yamaha Suzuki Mercury Honda/Tohatsu all excellent motors these days and built to run the snot out of them.
Likes:
Old 05-22-2019, 05:59 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Florida Man
Posts: 162
Likes: 0
Received 18 Likes on 9 Posts
Default

You can find many used good boats for about $20K. Keep in mind that the economy is strong, it is the beginning of the season right now and people got their tax money.

You will find that working on an outboard is easier than working on car engine once you get the hang of your particular motor.

I would find something with a 4 stroke, aluminum trailer, in the 20 to 22 foot range with no wood.

Do some research on here about what you like. For example I just learned Yamaha engines have corrosion problems that I never knew about because I have only owned Johnsons. Research first. Buy later.
Old 05-22-2019, 07:52 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 107
Likes: 0
Received 64 Likes on 30 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by rojeho View Post
Hi THT,

I come as a newbie seeking input. Background Ė just wife and me, early 50ís. In my wifeís first life she loved boating. Iíve always been a car guy. Very comfortable doing mechanical work. Iím ok with old cars that may break down. I understand them and know how to get them home and fixed. With our kids recently out of the house I started thinking about getting a boat for the next stage of our life. I have no water experience. She has plenty and will be actively engaged in all facets of owning a boat. I donít yet have a comfort level with the whole experience. We have a Suburban and Iíve towed a lot of trailers, so no issues there.

I want a boat that wonít be a project. I want to use it and know itís going to work. Getting stranded in a car is no big deal to me. I donít want that experience with a boat. I want the boat to be a source of enjoyment and relaxation Ė not a mechanical adventure that constantly needs something. Gawd knows I have enough cars like that.

I also want to spend roughly $20k on the basic craft. I know there will be other expenses involved and thatís fine. With all of our other activities (the cars and bike riding) I know weíll use the boat but our lives wonít revolve around it, so I donít want to spend much more.

We live near Clearwater, FL. Primary use would be Lake Tarpon and Lake Seminole. Some Tampa Bay and maybe the Gulf near shore but not too far out?

I want the boat mainly to cruise and get her out onto the water. I donít expect weíll do more than half-day ďputting around.Ē I have cars for high speed, and no kids that need something good for wakeboarding or tubing. No interest in fishing. Sun worshipping and quiet relaxation/isolation is the goal.

On the entry level side of new I see Bayliner has a 170 bowrider and Element E18 deck boat near my price point. When I look used in my price range (high $teens for used) most name brand boats seem to be 10+ years old. Occasionally Iíll find something like what is currently on CL Ė a 2004 Sea Ray 185 OB with a 115hp 4 stroke with 112 hours and trailer listed for $10k.

I would really appreciate comments on new entry level vs. used in terms of my concern about mechanicals vs. entry level quality? Any other comments to help guide my thoughts? Is there a better place to post this sort of question?

Careful, you've come to the THT where Bayliner is actually a 4-letter word.

I have the Element 16 personally. If I could have fit an 18 in my garage I would have.
Bayliners are definitely an entry level boat, but they do include a lifetime hull warranty which is nice, but I've not heard anyone actually needed to exercise their rights under said warranty.
As an entry level boat, they lack a tachometer, and fuel level gauge ( there's a built in float level indicator on the tank under the seat for reading the level )
For just puttering around and sun worshiping the element is an excellent little boat, but they do lack the expansive deck space of a pontoon.
That being said the deck layout is well designed and quite enjoyable.
The element is perfectly happy on a lake but venturing into Intercoastal Waterways and even the gulf should be left to the bigger deep vee hulls.
The element is an M hull design that rides flat and ROUGH in heavy chop and it's very easy to stuff the bow into a wake / wave if you're not careful.

A used pontoon should be do-able in your price range or you can enjoy the peace of mind of brand new.

Old 05-22-2019, 08:25 AM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: NC
Posts: 49
Received 36 Likes on 25 Posts
Default

Try and find an 18-20 foot Key West/Sea Hunt/Pioneer with a 150 four stroke on it. 2010-2014 should be in your price range with some haggling. Boats hold there value well and easy to maintain.
Old 05-22-2019, 08:54 AM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 6,839
Received 1,500 Likes on 749 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by yellerdog View Post
Try and find an 18-20 foot Key West/Sea Hunt/Pioneer with a 150 four stroke on it. 2010-2014 should be in your price range with some haggling. Boats hold there value well and easy to maintain.
This. But I would also suggest you consider the dual console style of these boats since it sounds like you're mostly cruising/sandbar usage.
Old 05-22-2019, 09:19 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
Posts: 1,956
Received 357 Likes on 198 Posts
Default

Yamaha has 2 19' models that start just under $30k. If you could bump up your budget a little, those should be trouble free boats that you can just hop in and go.
Old 05-22-2019, 09:32 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,107
Received 2,788 Likes on 1,169 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by scott_gunn View Post
Yamaha has 2 19' models that start just under $30k. If you could bump up your budget a little, those should be trouble free boats that you can just hop in and go.
I would avoid the Yamaha jet boats. Not great for a new boater as they are seriously difficult to maneuver around the docks. I had to help a guy dock on the lake in light wind in one of those, it took him 5 tries, he was always ending up sideways in the slip, crunching the bow on the pier. He was finally was able to bring the bow to me at the end of the finger and I walked him in. I know they've implemented all kinds of little tips and tricks for low speed maneuvering but they still are bad at it. slamming your new boat into the dock every time you want to get gas or grab a sandwich is going to get really old, really fast.
Old 05-22-2019, 09:34 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: WI
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 475 Likes on 267 Posts
Default

well I will give you my input which may be very different from others here.

we are early 50's as well. always wanted a boat.
I am great with cars and bikes etc love working on them etc
bought a used boat. did not know what I didn't know about them. learned that outboard engines are freaks of nature that do not even remotely resemble a car engine.

last year bit the bullet bought a brand new Stingray 20 foot bow rider.
still wound up getting stranded, engine blew with 6 hours on it. (boaters are nice folks, they towed us in) nice part was it was under warranty. now it is a ton of fun to go out and cruise around in.

not to mention most of the used boats I looked at were taken care of by the owner, oil in the bilge is "no big deal" happens when you change it, mildew on cushions is "no big deal" happens because it is a boat, they get wet, cracks in gel coat are "no big deal" it happens....on and on.
boats are like cars, if they are in great shape and well loved...they aint for sale. if they are for sale it is because somebody is sick of dealing with it.
oh did you know you can sea trial a boat for a short while and not realize it has bad issues. a survey may help, but those cost sometimes hundreds of dollars and oh they are not guaranteed to be accurate.

my thoughts, you're in your early 50's, at least moderately successful if you wish to buy a hole to throw your money in, do it right the first time. find a nice new boat you can afford and that you both love. skip all the BS trying to find a diamond in the mine field and get one you can enjoy.
there are lots of boats brand new around 20K or maybe take a bigger bite and finance a nicer boat.

I don't mind buying used sailboats but I much prefer the brand new power boat.
Likes:
Old 05-22-2019, 09:36 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: North NJ
Posts: 937
Received 486 Likes on 292 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by scott_gunn View Post
Yamaha has 2 19' models that start just under $30k. If you could bump up your budget a little, those should be trouble free boats that you can just hop in and go.
My last experience with these boats was they were not fun, hard to control, and sucked up more fuel than a pair of 540cubic inch blown big blocks.
Likes:
Old 05-22-2019, 09:47 AM
  #12  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Winter Haven FL
Posts: 1,336
Received 403 Likes on 234 Posts
Default

Get a 20'-22' with a 4 stroke outboard or a pontoon boat like mentioned before. BTW, my Honda 225's are 6 cyl Honda car motors and easy to work on.

I/O's, inboard/outboard have a lot of issues later on down the road. I stay away from those.
Old 05-22-2019, 09:54 AM
  #13  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Long Island
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 34 Likes on 22 Posts
Default

Best advice about boating to avoid any problems....Make friends with someone who has a boat and get invited on their boat.
Likes:
Old 05-22-2019, 10:07 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: WI
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 475 Likes on 267 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by ByrdmanFL View Post
Get a 20'-22' with a 4 stroke outboard or a pontoon boat like mentioned before. BTW, my Honda 225's are 6 cyl Honda car motors and easy to work on.

I/O's, inboard/outboard have a lot of issues later on down the road. I stay away from those.
yeah but that Honda 225 will also take his whole 20K budget. LOL
Old 05-22-2019, 01:00 PM
  #15  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Winter Haven FL
Posts: 1,336
Received 403 Likes on 234 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by avenger79 View Post
yeah but that Honda 225 will also take his whole 20K budget. LOL
The point of my comment is that older 4 strokes are not too complicated considering his background with cars. I wasnt suggesting he go out and buy one, but mine are 2003's and if I could get $20k out of them I would sell them tomorrow, LoL 😁
Old 05-22-2019, 01:44 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: WI
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 475 Likes on 267 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by ByrdmanFL View Post
The point of my comment is that older 4 strokes are not too complicated considering his background with cars. I wasnt suggesting he go out and buy one, but mine are 2003's and if I could get $20k out of them I would sell them tomorrow, LoL 😁

I kind of figured you were going that direction but couldn't resist....

Likes:
Old 05-22-2019, 01:48 PM
  #17  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Carolina Beach/Charlotte/Lake Wylie
Posts: 1,504
Received 173 Likes on 108 Posts
Default

Go one ahead and get one 2' longer than you think you want now.
Likes:
Old 05-22-2019, 01:59 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 127
Received 112 Likes on 45 Posts
Default

Pontoon or a Deck Boat (Hurricane and others) with an outboard. Easier to work on the outboard, and both will allow ease of movement around the boat and room with your friends for "putt-ing around".

https://www.boattrader.com/listing/2...dard%20listing

Best of luck!
Old 05-22-2019, 02:03 PM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 45
Received 26 Likes on 16 Posts
Default

Man I wish I was working with that budget! Instead, I picked up my 89 Seaswirl bowrider with a 150 outboard, for $3500 from a loving family.

I second the ďstay away from I/Os if you can help itĒ and the ďbuy new if you can help itĒ advice, though the latter did not bite me on my purchase.

Iím also almost 50, and have not boated since I was a teenager. My wife has boating experience. We love to fish. We love to put the boat in, blast out across the lake, and turn the thing off so we can make mimosas or pour a pint or a glass of wine and just sit there in the sun or shade and regale ourselves with stories of fine living.

That being said, I checked out Stingray boats online after seeing one posterís comment here. Sounds like they are fast and fancy for under $1000 per foot, new. Iím sure many other brands are priced similarly.

I love my open bow, but I am already lusting for a bigger boat, and Iím a mess anyway. I want something at least 21í long, and I really want to sleep overnight. And Iím craving a small block exhaust note. Shit, or a big block. So there goes the I/O advice.

Really though, consider that many folks seem to move up to bigger boats. I think 21 is a good starting point.

We also bought a used Class A motorhome around the same time we bought the boató all this was penance for my wife asking me to give up riding for a while. We just got married and I guess she wants me around for a while.

The point is, we discuss it frequently and we both feel like boating is our favorite part of life right now. Enjoy this new phase!
Old 05-23-2019, 09:01 PM
  #20  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
Posts: 118
Received 31 Likes on 21 Posts
Default

Thank you all for your comments. It was helpful. This will be a process - I have lots of reading to do and boats to look at!

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.