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First time boat buyer

Old 06-10-2018, 12:52 PM
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Default First time boat buyer

Hello everyone, first time poster. I'm looking to buy a new center console after the first of the year. Looking on the smaller side because I would really like to buy a new boat for my first. My boat budget is about 25k and I would like to add a nice fishfinder / plotter, ipilot trolling motor and a bimini top and be out the door with those accessories and tax, etc for under 30k.

I have searched these forums and just about everywhere else for options and came up with a few. I really want a center console I can fish the flats with, within reason, not looking for super skinny water, but would still like to be able to go out a few miles on a nice calm day. It also needs to handle wife and young teen daughter with me, so comfort is a consideration. As far as fishing, there would likely never be more than 2 fishing at a time (me and my daughter or me and a buddy).

A couple of things I really want are a swim platform, jump seats in the aft and room on the dash to flush mount a 7-9 inch plotter/sounder.

After lots of research, I've narrowed it down to a few different boats. I've looked at the Glassstream 17ccr, the Bayliner Element F18 and the Key West 1720. So far I really like the Key West 1720, which is about the top of my budget, and that is my plan to go with so far.

My question to all of you is are there any other options out there that I'm missing? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. I'm near the St. Augustine, Jacksonville area and plan to visit the Jacksonville Boat Show in January to see things first hand. Thank you all in advance.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:15 PM
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Buy used first.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:18 PM
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I would say that the wife would be happy with a little shade. So a T-Top or a Bimini top would be nice.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Buy used first.
This. You won’t know 100% what you really want with it being your first boat. You will end up trading it and eating it big time to do so. Let someone else eat it and buy a well taken care of used boat. But what do I know, the only new boat I bought I ate $20K on to upgrade three years later...
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:33 PM
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Heed everyone’s advise here and definitely buy used if this is your first time.
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Old 06-10-2018, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Sandman1128 View Post
Hello everyone, first time poster. I'm looking to buy a new center console after the first of the year. Looking on the smaller side because I would really like to buy a new boat for my first. My boat budget is about 25k and I would like to add a nice fishfinder / plotter, ipilot trolling motor and a bimini top and be out the door with those accessories and tax, etc for under 30k.

It also needs to handle wife and young teen daughter with me, so comfort is a consideration.
A couple of things I really want are a swim platform, jump seats in the aft and room on the dash to flush mount a 7-9 inch plotter/sounder.
After lots of research, I've narrowed it down to a few different boats. I've looked at the Glassstream 17ccr, the Bayliner Element F18 and the Key West 1720. So far I really like the Key West 1720, which is about the top of my budget, and that is my plan to go with so far.
.
Don't know the boating experience of wife or daughter but in my opinion the odds for them finding "comfort" in a little 17' boat are slim to non. Find a larger, clean used boat and let that first owner take the depreciated hit. Maybe even better option would be a boat rental club until you all figure out what fits best.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:19 PM
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I appreciate all the advice. Buying used just scares me. If I knew the owner and how they took care of it I'd be okay with it but I just don't want to get suckered into buying someone else's problem. Since I am newer to the boat buying world I just don't know what all to look for. Thanks everyone for the replies so far.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:23 PM
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Buying new is not an assurance of no problems!
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Buying new is not an assurance of no problems!
I agree with this above, every new boat has issues to work out and every boat period has problems from time to time. Buying used is definitely the best option for you, and you can get a little bigger boat that can take the chop better. I saw one of these recently that was in your budget and it could do most everything you're asking for (can't find the ad now and not sure where I saw it), but this gives you an idea to think about: 2009 Hydrasport 19 Baybolt with Yamaha F225!!! $27,995
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:36 PM
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Thank you everyone for the advice. It has certainly got me thinking!
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:38 PM
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I think you're better off with a lightly used boat vs brand new. Let someone else work all of the bugs out for you.
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:24 PM
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Your learning curve will be sharp. Learning is expensive. The paths you take will determine just exactly how expensive... Buying a new boat in your situation is the most expensive way to learn. Joining a boat club (mentioned by another poster) is probably a great idea, for one season. You will learn volumes. Then, go from there. Buy new, buy used, give up and take up golf. Whatever you do, you will be informed. .. and not broke.
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:20 PM
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17 is very small gonused and bigger like said before happy wife happy life
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:11 AM
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The two new boats I bought gave me more trouble than the two used boats I have bought. I'm OK letting someone else lose water time to warranty while getting the kinks out of their new boat.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:25 AM
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The most problematic boat I ever owned was the only boat I ever bought new, I was trying to avoid problems... Sure I would buy new again but no guarantee of stress free experience.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Sandman1128 View Post
Buying used just scares me. If I knew the owner and how they took care of it I'd be okay with it but I just don't want to get suckered into buying someone else's problem. Since I am newer to the boat buying world I just don't know what all to look for.
Been boating more decades then I care to admit. First boat was 12 foot and each one after was generally larger
then the previous one. A few of the ones I've owned are listed below. NONE were ever purchased new. As part of your
research you should ask around for a reputable surveyor, so you won't wind up with "someone else's
problem," and your purchase contract should state, "subject to survey & sea trial."
Boat Captain buddy of mine worked exclusively for a wealthy Ft. Laud guy some years back who owned a couple
boats that "dressed up" a chunk of his 160 ft. dock. He always dreaded when the boss replaced one of them with a
new one because it started the whole process of
"getting them right" all over.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:40 AM
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I recently purchased a barely used boat. I wanted something with a warranty on the motor. Bought the largest boat with the largest motor in my price range. I ended up with a 2017 Bulls Bay 2200 with a Suzuki 200 on it. Absolutely love the boat so far. Get a survey done on any boat that you want to purchase, also do a sea trial.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:17 PM
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Our first boat was a 17 ft Key Largo that we bought used. More often than not we got drenched in it. Limited us a bit on what we could do. Glad we bought it thouth because we didn't have much in it and we wete able to learn a whole lot about our boating style, needs, preferences and uses. Really helped us know what to look for in our next boat.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:52 PM
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I just got my first boat 3 years ago and was looking at new too. We looked at the KW 1720 and it’s nice, but small on the inside for me and my family. Ended up driving 4 hours to the East coast of Florida to look at a boat we found online at a dealer, looked it over, took a sea trial and got a print out from the computer showing hour history. It’s a 2010 Angler 183, enough freeboard to keep the kids in, fishes good, gets the family out to the sandbar and managble for me solo. I have learned a lot with it and I don’t feel as bad when I bang it into the dock occasionally. Now we have a idea of what we do/don’t like and are better prepared for what we want in our next boat.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:18 PM
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I'll give you a couple of other brands since I don't see a lot of suggestions mentioned. I bought my first boat last year new. It is a Scout 195 SF. I did go a little outside the range you mentioned, but I tacked on a lot of extras (I ordered it made for me). I love the boat and haven't had any issues. It provides a lot of comfort the way it is built.

I was looking for something between 18'-19'. I also liked Tidewaters, Robalos, and Key West. But, the Key West brand was probably third on that list for me. Scout and Tidewater both make 17-18.5 boats that are really nice and within your budget. You may also want to look at bay boats.

However, think about going closer to a 19' than a 17'. So, glad I did. Once you load down a boat with people, gear, etc... You'll be glad you have a little extra room.
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