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New boat recommendations

Old 12-04-2019, 01:16 PM
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Default New boat recommendations

A little background.... My 10 year old daughter and 8 yr old son are torn up with the offshore fishing bug after several charter trips the past couple of years. So much so that the Mrs. has signed off on a new boat purchase and a new truck if needed for the new boat (I've got a company car, so not worried about a 3/4 ton as a DD).

The Charleston Boat show is a little over a month away and my hope is to have the opportunity to scout out everything I can while I'm there this year. In the interim, I'd like to do my research to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck. 75% of the time it will be used for freshwater lake fishing/cruising <-- Read 'sandbar queen'. 5-6 times a year we'll take it to Morehead City for offshore runs on nice days and our annual family gathering in the Keys for a week.

Here are the must haves:
- New. I know, I know. New boat prices are crazy.
- Comfortable seating for the admiral and her gfs as well as the kiddos.
- Trailerable with 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck
- Strongly prefer twins
- One you'd feel comfortable making the crossing to the Bahamas in or fishing 25 miles offshore and can get you home when the summer storms kick up.

My budget is $130k for Boat with trailer and a GPS/FF. I don't want to finance, so I can't go over this figure. I know this puts me in the lower to mid-tier makes but if you were in the market what would you be looking at?
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:40 PM
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I really love the keywests I have owned. The KW 239fs was about as family friendly as it gets. It was our first center console and we loved it. Easy to trailer and still big enough to handle big water.

I would lean more toward a single as a family boat. The single engine makes swimming off the back or tubing much easier. A Bahamas run is really only like running 30 miles offshore which I would be comfortable doing with a newer motor.

a 3/4 ton truck is a completely different animal then a 1/2. if towing is the goal 3/4 all the way.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:12 PM
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25 or 27 contender, used

dont get some 2 piece boat
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CzechMate View Post
A little background.... My 10 year old daughter and 8 yr old son are torn up with the offshore fishing bug after several charter trips the past couple of years. So much so that the Mrs. has signed off on a new boat purchase and a new truck if needed for the new boat (I've got a company car, so not worried about a 3/4 ton as a DD).

The Charleston Boat show is a little over a month away and my hope is to have the opportunity to scout out everything I can while I'm there this year. In the interim, I'd like to do my research to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck. 75% of the time it will be used for freshwater lake fishing/cruising <-- Read 'sandbar queen'. 5-6 times a year we'll take it to Morehead City for offshore runs on nice days and our annual family gathering in the Keys for a week.

Here are the must haves:
- New. I know, I know. New boat prices are crazy.
- Comfortable seating for the admiral and her gfs as well as the kiddos.
- Trailerable with 1/2 or 3/4 ton truck
- Strongly prefer twins
- One you'd feel comfortable making the crossing to the Bahamas in or fishing 25 miles offshore and can get you home when the summer storms kick up.

My budget is $130k for Boat with trailer and a GPS/FF. I don't want to finance, so I can't go over this figure. I know this puts me in the lower to mid-tier makes but if you were in the market what would you be looking at?
Is this your first boat?
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:42 PM
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I agree with the Key West suggestion but would say the 244 might be better for you than the 239FS. We crawled all over the 239FS at the boat show and my wife really liked it but I want the 244 as it is better suited for offshore fishing. It still has the forward seating but it is typically equipped with dual 150's, has a higher bow for offshore, and can easily be towed with an F150.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gregb5220 View Post
Is this your first boat?
It is not. Iíve owned several myself and currently have one in storage as I type. I donít think Iíve gone more than a month in my life without having a boat of some kind.

I grew up in Florida and since my kids are getting to that age, Iíve been taking them down to my folks place and chartering to get them on the fish.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by blake0723 View Post
I agree with the Key West suggestion but would say the 244 might be better for you than the 239FS. We crawled all over the 239FS at the boat show and my wife really liked it but I want the 244 as it is better suited for offshore fishing. It still has the forward seating but it is typically equipped with dual 150's, has a higher bow for offshore, and can easily be towed with an F150.
The Mrs. really liked the 263 but I wasnít sold. Itís right there in my budget but Iíd need to upgrade to a bigger tow vehicle. After reading the F250 7.3L posts here, Iím dreaming big!
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:49 PM
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Cape Horn
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:52 PM
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Honestly, there are so many boats that fit your description. My suggestion would be to look around the boat show and see what boats/layouts your family likes best in your price range. Key West, Sailfish, Cobia, Century, Robalo, Sea Hunt, Sportsman, Edgewater, Pursuit, Grady White are a few brands I would consider, but there are many more. I think a 23-25ft single engine boat would probably fit your needs well. Center consoles will be a little more comfortable for fishing, but dual consoles might be a little more comfortable for the family thing, sandbar days, and water sports. Single engine is so much more convenient for the family thing, especially if you get into water sports which is likely as most of your boating is going to be freshwater. Really, you don't need twin engines for a few offshore trips each year within 25-30 miles. I regularly run my single engine 25' CC offshore to about 50 miles without any concerns. Get a towing membership in case of a breakdown. Anything with a beam over 8'6" is going to require special permits for towing. As for the Bahamas thing, Bahamas insurance is getting really hard to get for boats under 26' and those with single engines. Personally, I think a twin engine 26'+ boat this a lot more boat than you need for 99% of your use. It will be a hassle the majority of the time, and in your price range you would be really looking at the lower tier boats in this class. You would be better served with a slightly smaller/simpler boat and preferably one of better quality. I also don't really think a Bahamas crossing is the best idea with a family on board and a captain who only boats in salt water a few times a year. Things can go poorly offshore, and you really need to build up your experience gradually. I do not say this to be condescending in anyway, but as someone who is still humbled by the ocean after 25 years of offshore experience. In the end, get the boat that serves your family's needs the majority of the time, not necessarily the one for the pipe dream or that exotic trip you might realistically only do every few years.

Edit: Just saw in your comments that you have more experience than original post suggested. Bahamas crossing might be doable, but I would still rather a 23-25' single and just rent a boat in the Bahamas if you ever go there.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:11 PM
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One thing I never understood is how "center console" and "family friendly" can be in the same sentence. Personally, with $130K I would get something used and a little bigger with at least a cuddy.

Remember the kids will only get bigger. I'm wishing now I went for the 36 footer as opposed to the 33 I bought 5 years ago.

Last edited by gregb5220; 12-04-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:16 PM
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Yacht Huckleberry, I appreciate your candid feedback and didnít take it as condescending. Itís always better to be safe than sorry.

For some additional clarity, Iíve captained everything from canoes & airboats to a 40í Trawler. My dad and I sailed his 38í Krogen to Islamorada every summer growing up. One of the reasons I want a new boat is I spent way to many summer breaks working on his boats as free labor.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gregb5220 View Post
One thing I never understood is how "center console" and "family friendly" can be in the same sentence. Personally, with $130K I would get something a little bigger with at least a cuddy.

Remember the kids will only get bigger. I'm wishing now I went for the 36 footer as opposed to the 33 I bought 5 years ago.
I wish I could. The price is too prohibitive and Iím 140 miles from the coast. Something that big would be a nightmare to trailer.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CzechMate View Post
I wish I could. The price is too prohibitive and Iím 140 miles from the coast. Something that big would be a nightmare to trailer.
Edited my post..meant to put "used" in there
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:41 PM
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Man, there are pretty much too many options to list. Huckleberry covered where I would be looking in your shoes, but if you're 75% cruising and sandbar then I would definitely recommend that you check out other layouts than just CCs. Your use pattern would mimic mine (offshore a few times per year, but mostly in the Chesapeake and Delaware bays). My EW would be right on your pricing, but it is only a single engine in lieu of the twins you mentioned. It runs very well out to the canyons and back (70 miles each way for me) and is a comfortable boat to trailer.

If you've got the show coming up, take the family with you and park them in the boats to see how they fit, where they like to sit, etc.

​​​​​I also like the Cobia lineup right now, as well as the Sailfish, Robalo, KW, and Pursuit offerings. Grady and BW of course hold a high market share as well.

You've got a comfortable budget to work with, so I think you'll find a lot of options. I get the new boat idea, but wouldn't dismiss a lightly used one either.

Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:15 PM
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Not a lot of love for Scout boats on this site, but we have really enjoyed ours. They are very family friendly with nice upholstery and forward seating. We use ours mostly for cruising/tubing in freshwater with occasional fishing or crabbing trips in the Pacific.

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Old 12-04-2019, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gregb5220 View Post
One thing I never understood is how "center console" and "family friendly" can be in the same sentence. Personally, with $130K I would get something used and a little bigger with at least a cuddy.
Remember the kids will only get bigger. I'm wishing now I went for the 36 footer as opposed to the 33 I bought 5 years ago.
The reality is, something with a usable cabin will need to be, at a minimum, in the 30-32' range. That size boat is a lot to trailer and buying one less than 10 years old is unlikely for $130k
CC's are very family friendly in areas with warmer water than Long Island, and even on Long Island they work well from June 1 to September 30.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:50 PM
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for $130K i would get a useable brand new offshore aluminum boat with full cabin. trailer weight is 5K lbs, beam is 8.5ft and you can put new yammy outboard power on it for $130K. 26ft Hull is 60K new, 25K rigging + new outboard. you will lose something i.e. might be a bit hot and have to run with front door open but you will gain fairly good offshore performance and a brand new boat.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:00 PM
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If you're looking new in that range you should seriously consider the new Cobias, a lot of boat for the money and check out the builds at their new facility. The guys from Palmetto Boat Sales/Service are very professional and having a relationship with someone reliable for service is important. They'll be at the Charleston Boat show.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:00 PM
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I was in your shoes OP.....went with the 263....foam filled, room for 10 comfortably (especially your kidsí friends) and within that budget range.....easy to trailer, good quality for price, rainshield and gull wings make for year round outings, wide open bilge access for maintenance (was very important to me), off the shelf parts (nothing custom for hard to find parts), dual livewells, side entry door for kiddos at sandbar.....but biggest benefit was selling/servicing dealer was 1.4 miles from where the boat lives.....

lots of options out there, make a list of what you and family need, match boat to those needs....stay close to dealer as boats within that price range and size will need some work done during their ďbreak inĒ period.....
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:11 PM
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No particular order for new mid tier manufacturer in the 26' range below. I know you want new but you should consider used. You have a solid budget that could potentially buy a low hour boat that is of much higher quality, just need to spend some time looking.

Sailfish
Seahunt
Cobia
Robalo
Tidewater



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