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Ranger Reata 2050 for Lake Michigan??

Old 03-18-2012, 12:29 PM
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Default Ranger Reata 2050 for Lake Michigan??

Hi All,

I live right on the lake and after watching boats cruise by for years and asking friends to take me fishing, I finally want to my own.

I am looking for a "do it all" boat, meaning something that I can trailer out of the water when needed to go up north to Wisconsin that can handle rough water decently (i'm not interested in fishing with in more than a 3' chop) while also having the room to entertain and do watersports.

The big issue I have is that I don't really have a place to keep a boat. Sure, I could rent a storage unit but that's another $300 a month and i have to trailer it in the big lake regardless.

So, my thoughts are the following:

Keep the 20' boat in Lake Michigan and trailer it out when I want to take it elsewhere. Now, I know that most of the boats I see are over 25'+ and fiberglass throughout, so I don't want to see my $50k boat swamped from bad weather.

Is this a good or a bad idea? Also, if anyone has some experience with the reata and how you think it would handle in Lake Michigan, please let me know!

Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:53 PM
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I ran my 202 Scout Dorado all over Lake Michigan and elsewhere. You're doing what most do and calling it quits when the chop gets over 3', so yea; that Ranger should do you fine. You'll be able to go offshore for Salmon in the summer and in tight for walleyes in 'sconsin.

Have fun!!!
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SalmonDaze View Post
I ran my 202 Scout Dorado all over Lake Michigan and elsewhere. You're doing what most do and calling it quits when the chop gets over 3', so yea; that Ranger should do you fine. You'll be able to go offshore for Salmon in the summer and in tight for walleyes in 'sconsin.

Have fun!!!
Right on! My big question is though, would it be alright if I left her to sit in a chicago harbor?
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:29 PM
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Sure, why not? Are you worried about security?
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SalmonDaze View Post
Sure, why not? Are you worried about security?
Not as much, more worried about it getting swamped from bad weather.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by manosteel00 View Post
Not as much, more worried about it getting swamped from bad weather.
Gotcha,
You'll likely leave it with a mooring cover, so most rain should shed off. I don't think this Ranger is self-bailing; so you will need to have confidence in the bilge pumps and battery charge.

Unless you were going to leave it for a month or two, I don't suspect you'd have cause for concern from too much rain swamping it. The one thing you will see is growth on the hull. Not many boats in this class with bottom paint.

Have you investigated rack storage?
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:52 AM
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For use on Lake Michigan, with a $50,000 budget, and looking for a "do-it-all" boat, I would be looking at a used (approximately 5-year old) Grady-White Tournament 225 or a Boston Whaler Ventura 210. The Ranger Reata looks more like an inland lake boat.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:21 AM
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Thanks for the help guys. Everyone I've been talking to has been trying to talk me into a bigger boat, saying the Reata would be able to do it but it's certainly not ideal.

I've been looking in the $50-70k price range and found some 290 Amberjacks but they seem to be really high off the water. I'm not sure if I'd like that.

I know you mentioned Scouts, Grady Whites, and Whalers, but is there a really solid model in my price range that would allow comfortable cabin space while being friendly for fishing and entertaining?
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:26 AM
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I intentially steered away from this, but now that the questions go to "type of boat" I'll weigh in . . .

The reason I didn't disqualify your Ranger on Lake Michigan hinges on your comments about towing and use on smaller lakes. However, I have to admit, I wouldn't want to spend much time at all on the big lake with it. You sounded pretty sold on the boat, but if you're open to other options, then absolutely: Grady, Pro-Line, other deep Vs.

*****BIAS ALERT*****

Having grown up and spent 40 years on the Lakes and ocean, I think Albemarle, Carolina Classic, Bertram, Tiara, Pursuit, and other similar manufacturers make THE BEST BOATS.

I searched for the 265 in my signature for a while, but was happy with my Scout before getting what I really wanted.

I displace a lot of water for a 26 foot boat. I feel safe in ANY weather, I can stand up in my cabin (I'm 6'1"), full head for the Admiral, full galley, fuel for extended trips (10 days in Georgian Bay this July).

And . . . . I can fish 8 rods on 4 'riggers without any problem.

And furthermore . . . you might as well budget for the big truck now too. I thought my Suburban would do OK with the Albie . . . no way. I want to get there fast, so I'll trailer 9 hours rather than burn the gas and worry about 2-4 footers.

Budgeted about your 50k for used deep V; and after the purchase, upgrades, replacement of parts on a 10-year old used boat, PLUS the truck; am on or a little over budget (~8k).

So, yea; get the bigger boat, your knees, back, friends, and wife will thank you.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:03 PM
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Although a big Albemarle or Carolina Classic would make an excellent fishing boat for the big lakes, they wouldn't be ideal for pulling a tuber, wake boarder, or water skier, and they wouldn't be ideal for use on smaller inland lakes. The same analysis applies for the SeaRay Amberjack 290 - nice rig for fishing the big lakes, but not ideal for small lakes or watersports.

In your last post you mention cabin space. Are you looking for a boat with a cabin, or did you mean cockpit space (i.e., the open space in the back of the boat)?

Assuming you meant cockpit space, I would again recommend the Grady-White Tournament 225. It will do everything you have mentioned in your posts. It is easily trailerable. It can handle the big lake for salmon fishing. And it can be used for watersports. It also has an enclosed head, which is a big plus for the ladies.

Other similar boats to consider are available from Boston Whaler, Pursuit, Scout, Pro-Line, HydraSports, and other builders. I'm not familiar with most of those models, but I have been on a Grady-White, and I know that it will do what you're asking. In this group of brands, Boston Whaler, Grady-White, Pursuit, and HydraSports are the most likely to retain their value, and all should be easy to sell when you're ready to upgrade.

Twin Cities Marine currently has a Grady-White Tournament 192 listed for $44,000. http://www.boattrader.com/listing/20...ment-100127311 It's a little bit smaller than the Tournament 225 and it looks like it doesn't have a head. But the 192 should be a good all-around boat that will be fishable on the big lakes, and can be used on small lakes for watersports.

I've never owned a Grady-White, but if I had a couple of kids and I was looking for a good all-around boat, I would be looking at the Tournament models, and the Freedom models, which is just a new name for the Tournament models.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:49 PM
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You guys are awesome and have been a big help!

I really like the GW but I do want to go 22' at a minimum and I'm having trouble finding dealers around Chicago that support them. I have come across some used Boston Whaler 210 Venturas that seem pretty freaking cool. Not sure how they will do with downriggers set up, but they look like a good fit and are right around 40k. The GW's I've looked at are all around 60-70 for a 5-8 year old boat which is just crazy to me!! I don't know why they are so expensive compared to the big cabin cruisers that are similarly priced.

I definitely like the concept of the dual console boat and I really am indifferent about cabin space. I just want something that is a comfortable ride, fishes well, entertains good, and looks nice. Is that too much to ask? lol

What do you guys think of the Whaler? I looked at the others but I can't really find any used boats near Chicago nor a dealer that would support them well that is close.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:51 AM
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It's really kind of a two boat problem. Anything that's good for GL fishing is going to be too big for inland fishing and anything that's good for inland is going to pound on the GL's. A boat that can do both really isn't going to do either well. I'd focus on the great lakes boat kept in a slip and then pick up a cheap fish'n'ski that will fit in the garage.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:30 AM
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I hate the idea of maintenance on two (or more), but Eddie's on it.

With the boat question and Chicago area, I'll suggest you need to greatly broaden your geographic search (THT is a great place to start). I'll see if I can find my short-cut to the Craig's list aggregation site and update this thread. Ideally, you want a boat that's lived its life in fresh water, but I don't think you need to restrict all options for this one. I bought my boat from a guy who kept it on a trailer in Virginia, and used on the Chessie.

Grady White continues to be a fine option; I have no reason to dissuade anyone on that boat; I've fished 'em, and they are good and safe. IMO they are also on the "utilitarian" side (good fit and finish, but not "lots of cushions for the kids." I'd say the same thing about Carolina Classic: look at the finish compared to Albemarle; they are both great boats (same lineage of builder and now the same company again), but the Albie has more teak, softer tones, enclosed head, etc.

Whaler . . . yep; like 'em. My advice: get out to a few dealers and ask for rides on boats. They may have lines on private sellers in any case; then negotiate your best deal. Of course, if you're in the Cleveland vicinity, PM me; and I'll get you out on a Sportfisher . . .
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SalmonDaze View Post
Ideally, you want a boat that's lived its life in fresh water, but I don't think you need to restrict all options for this one. I bought my boat from a guy who kept it on a trailer in Virginia, and used on the Chessie.
How'd you get it to the midwest? Did you drive to VA?

Also, should I stay away from painted bottoms?
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:47 AM
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Yep, drove to VA and picked it up. 9 hours there (way out at the end of a peninsula south of DC), 15 hours back (8 mpg . . . lots of stops, and only 60 - 65 mph). I hired a surveyor via internet search and a few phone calls; Ideally, I would have been there when the survey was done, but I couldn't make it, trusted in an unbiased report, and bought the boat sight unseen. Again, knew what I wanted, so not too much of a leap of faith.

Pay for the survey!!! It's not a guarantee, but you can avoid a LOT of potential headaches from a used boat purchase by investing a few hundred bucks.

The painted bottom question will get a varied result from folks here, and I'm a bit ambivalent. I wish mine had been pristine because I now have a $3,000 bill looming to have the old paint stripped and new bottom paint applied. However, most boats stored at dock (even just during midwest summers) have bottom paint to avoid blisters and discoloration. So, no, I wouldn't run away from paint, but finding a boat without it can be an added bonus; especially, if you're going to trailer or rack store.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:52 PM
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I think I'm going to check our a Sea Ray Amberjack 290.

I know, it's not a hardcore fishing vessel but it seems to be a nice value and you can do a lot out of it. 2001's are going for 50k and thry are local. Thoughts?
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:25 AM
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the amberjack makes a great salmon fishing platform,

Jerry
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:19 AM
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Very good boat for salmon fishing. Whatever you do, go with something that can protect you from the weather. Center console's and other open boats are great fishing platforms but you'd freeze your a$$ off unless you only fish noon to 4:00 in July and August. Even in August, it can be pretty cool when you're running out at 3:30 in the morning. A front cockpit enclosure with a removable back drop curtain is the best addition we've made to the boat.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:25 AM
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As mentioned above, sounds like you "need" two boats. I will suggest that whatever boat you get for the great lakes have a hardtop. Trust me.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:42 PM
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I think you need to do more research....

Don't be afraid of a boat from a ways away. There are issues with salty boats but a good surveyor will help.

There is a world of difference between a 20' boat and a 30' boat. Remember the cheapest part of the deal is the purchase price...
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