Advice on first boat

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by ILHG, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Folks, I have been looking lots at boats & am getting ready to pull the trigger. I have been wanting a boat that I can use out in the chuck, & also in the lakes around home. Something that I can have fun with the family on summer days.

    I want to be able to take my boat up to Haida Gwaii when I take the family up there for summer holidays. I wont be to far off shore, but still want to be able to handle the chop. As you will see below I have been mostly looking at welded aluminum boats due to seeing the abuse they can take at the lodges & keep on going.

    I have a couple boats that I have been looking at & would like your feed back. Also any recommendations you may have.

    The first boat is below:

    The second boat is a larger brother to the one above:

    Lastly, is this boat: This one seems like it would be good for the family as well.

    Thank you for taking the time to look & give me your feed back. You have much more experience then I do & value your input.
  2. Franko Manini

    Franko Manini Well-Known Member

    I would definitely encourage the welded aluminum choice. If you're going to lakes and such, the ramps can often be sketchy and light aluminum boats are easier to launch and you can run them up on the shore or ramp without damaging gelcoat. Further, it seems to me that you'd encounter some rough roads up your way and the light boats are easier to trailer and can take a beating on and off the water.
  3. Clint r

    Clint r Well-Known Member

    First boat usually means inexperienced pilot so I'd look for something a little cheaper. Something that wouldn't break my heart if I hit a dock too hard or some rocks or something. Would suck to buy a nice fancy boat only to scratch it or worse when trying to dock/trailer. My advice would be to get some experience first then get a big dollar boat. Disregard my post if you do have previous boating experience.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    Birdsnest likes this.
  4. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Do you think the River Hawk 16' will be to small?
  5. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    Stick with your gut on the aluminum, I would stay away from boats with the motor well like that and find a full transom. I hate that about mine, 2 4 strokes and 2 guys landing a fish and there's water coming over. I also wouldn't go center console for a multi purpose family boat, you're either gonna want protection from the rain and wind or the sun, how many perfect sit in the open days a year do you get? There's a reason that out of 100 boats in any rec fleet 1-2 are CC. That bimini on the back of the second one looks awful to fish around, imagine trying to get your tip up and poke a net through there to land a fish, there's no taking a couple steps back. I'd look for a 20' aluminum full windshield with a full transom and spend $200 on some tractor suspension seats. Whatever you choose look hard in the states, Oregon is full of aluminums and even with the dollar where it is there's way better deals and importing is easy.
    BCRingo likes this.
  6. floored

    floored Member

    Aluminum is great, but cheap is better....for a first boat.
    Hard to tell in the pics, but the aluminums (at least the first), look a little shallow. I prefer high sides.
    You should be able to find a nice little boat for $5,000-$10,000. And if you shop well enough, it'll come with all the gear, etc... you could want or need. Then if boating is a hit, and you want bigger, fancier, etc... you'd still probably be able to get out close to what you put it.
    I use to have a nice little Lifetimer hardtop, but the fishing/boating didn't stick with the young family. So we sold it, got dirt bikes that made everyone happy. Then years later, we got a loaded (electric Scottys, good Prawn gear, nice crab gear, life jackets, safety gear, etc......) little 16.5' Campion CC for $10,000. Now we have bikes and a boat.
    Would I like to have the Lifetimer back? Yes, but not at the sacrifice of the bikes. ;)
  7. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    I'm with triplenickel if the family is involved the CC will not work. At the least windshield and top or full cabin. Stick with the aluminum, look for walk though windshield great for running up on the beach. If your not running up on the beach there are tons of nice glass boats to get but glass and hard surfaces don't work well together.
  8. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys!! I have a dumb question.... I think I know the answer it want to check.

    What is a "full transsome"?
  9. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    What sites do you look for boats in the states?
  10. Franko Manini

    Franko Manini Well-Known Member

    Yeah - too small. I have a couple of boys, and with my wife and I and the kids, my 20' ThunderJet feels a little cramped for an all day fishing/exploring excursion. Even my boat feels pretty small when I'm 15 miles offshore hunting halibut. I wouldn't even attempt that in a 16' boat. perhaps an 18' would be adequet since you also don't want to go too big if you're looking at using it in lakes. but I'd say that should be the minimum. The bigger the boat the more days you will be able to use it relative to weather. Small boats just are not practical in a lot of the weather you're likley to encounter.

    I liked the suggestion to try to find a full transom boat (that means the outboards are mounted on a pod). They handle a lot better AND there is less likely to be water coming over the transom in a following sea. I also agree that centre consoles should be relegated to the hardcore fishers. They are great for walking around, especially if you're a flyfisher, but you cannot get out of the weather, be it sun or rain. And you need a place for the wife and kids to hide out when it turns snotty.
    agentaqua likes this.
  11. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  12. Franko Manini

    Franko Manini Well-Known Member

    On any given boat, you have a transom - the aft section of the boat where (commonly) the motor mounts. In order to mount the motor to the transom, there is a U-shaped cut-out and a motor well that surrounds the outboard. The fact that is cut-out is made into the transom means there is less freeboard (the distance between the waterline and the top of the transom) and this can let water in when waves come over the back of the boat. On a full transom boat, most commonly referred to as a "podded" boat, the transom is as high as the sides of the boat so there is no cut out for water to come in. The outboard is then mounted on a pod (or offshore bracket, or "extended transom") which is behind the transom somewhere around the level of the floor in the boat. There are a lot of benefits to this configuration such as better handling, the leg of the outboard can be a lot shorter - which means a lighter outboard, you move the outboard far back from the hull into undisturbed water, which allows the prop to work more efficiently. I think that it makes a lot better use of the space too and you end up with a bigger area for fishing at the back of the boat.
  13. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Thanks again..
  14. Franko Manini

    Franko Manini Well-Known Member

  15. ericl

    ericl Well-Known Member

    Well, if I am not already universally hated, i will be now:

    Would NEVER own a Merc; had several trips ruined because somebody else owned one.

    AL boats are too light for rough water IMO. You want something heavier (FG) with a deep vee.

    Bayliners have a poor reputation for build quality.

    As for not going too far from shore, I wouldn't count of swimming much more than 200 yds in the salt around here.

    Center consoles are nice in Florida. As said above you need cover.

    I had a 24 Searay I/O converted to a pod/OB. Raised the stern, dropped the bow, boat rode like a dream; would take inland water chop at 50mph.

    Save money for great safety gear & electronics.

    Late 70's - 80's were the glory days of well made FG boats.
    tincan and N2013 like this.
  16. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    Craigslist has tons, Use the search tempest link above or just Google Craigslist for Portland, Medford, Seattle, Spokane. You'll find something in those areas, Like I said above Oregon usually has lots of tin boats.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  17. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    I love mine and feel safe in the crappy stuff. This one is much nicer. Take the seat off the bow and put a fish box/bag up there, or a box with tools, flares, halibut stuff, extra stuff, etc... Move the fuel tank to just aft of the bow locker and add a 2nd battery where the tank is now. Add a racor type fuel filter. Get an 8 or 9.9 kicker for peace of mind, especially if it can charge batteries. With no cc, there is lots of deck space to play fish. Buy rain gear, hats, some dry bags, and sunscreen. Could work well for your walleye in AB?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  18. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Gents I can not thank you enough. You have given some great advice & I am starting over with what I want for a boat.

    I still want welded aluminum, but not centre console any more. Also family safety #1.

    My budget is up to $30k at most.

    Agian thanks guys
  19. Stoisy

    Stoisy Member

    MadJigga likes this.
  20. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

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