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Two happiest days in a boat owners life.

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    Two happiest days in a boat owners life.

    Ok, as you may have noticed Mrs. H and I have bought a house on a lake. We'll be buying some kind of boat for this place. Reaching out to the Pit for assistance as I have no prior power boating experience.
    We have a boathouse with a lift. Want to be able to haul friends, maybe up to 10. Also will be fishing. Thinking a pontoon or deckboat no bigger then 20'. We'll need to go under a couple of bridges to get to the main lake. One has only 5' 4" clearance. I am close to retirement so I certainly will NOT be waterskiing but may pull a tube or something like that.
    Good golly there is a whole lot of boat info and manufacturers out there. Can anyone recommend a good brand? Or possibly one to stay away from? New or used? I know, I know, "What's your budget?" Thinking no more then $30k. But hoping less. A lot less Thank you for your assistance.

    #2
    Boating is big out here (seattle) but I'm not into it so my main advice is to hit up a boat show if you can and there's one within a reasonable distance. A show of any real size will have a lot of boats you can actually get into and check out and, of course, a ton of different dealers and manufacturers.

    My one real comment is that 20' feels small for a group of 10. 4-6? Sure. Two upfront, two on the sides, two in each corner. 10? No.

    Brands - look for long lived brands like Bayliner. You can sometimes find great deals used, but, as with anything, beware of awesome deals that feel to good to be true.

    Also, take a boating safety course. Boats are not cars on water.
    Last edited by rickgregory; February 15, 2020, 02:24 PM.

    Comment


    • OneEyedJack
      OneEyedJack commented
      Editing a comment
      Buying used is a really good idea. Disagree with Bayliner being a trusted manufacturer. Around here, San Francisco Bay, they are referred to as "Baylitter". A pontoon boat for socializing and hanging out sounds like a good way to go.

    • allsid
      allsid commented
      Editing a comment
      Bayliner does not have a lot of street cred in the boating world.

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      Sad about Bayliner. They used to be excellent. Thanks for the update.

    #3
    "Also, take a boating safety course. Boats are not cars on water."

    Boats don't have brakes so you need to be thinking ahead. Both you and your wife should take a boating safety course. In case something happens to you she can get the boat back to the dock or where the ambulance is.

    Comment


    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      rickgregory and frigate , I have already taken class and have the Mrs. H put on her todo list.

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      Good to hear Hawker. Too many people skip the boating course and so treat a boat like a car on water.

      FYI, there's a boat show in Richmond THIS WEEK apparently. not sure if that's close to you but...

    • Neris
      Neris commented
      Editing a comment
      When shit goes wrong on a boat it can go very wrong very quick. And booze & boats don't mix.

    #4
    My buddy swears by Boston Whaler, has 3 in various sizes to go with the rest of his fleet of 8 or so.
    Pontoon would be a 10 or so people hauler but has limitations over a runabout.
    For some reason New Hampshire is a real hot bed for used boats, that's where my friend has purchased the majority of his fleet.
    Donzie's, Cobalt's and the Whalers all at less than market.
    +1 on boating safety, the course is mandatory in Ontario.

    Comment


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      Lots of lakes there. Big ones too!

    #5
    A boat? You must mean a hole in the water you throw money into! ;-)

    Comment


    • johnec00
      johnec00 commented
      Editing a comment
      No fair warning Hawker, nobody warned me when I got my first one. I don't ave any excuses for the other 4.

    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment
      As I unnerstand it, BOAT is actually an acronym, fer "Break Out Another Thousand!"

    #6
    How big is the lake? Whalers are nice but more for bigger water. We rented a pontoon boat last summer. Was a 23 footer. We had 6 people on it and it was plenty big. Look at used 25’ pontoons.

    also check out what your neighbors have or any marinas nearby. Boaters are friendly and love to talk about boats.

    it’s like asking one of us about grills and smokers...lol.

    pontoons will give you the most deck space. Can pull a tube, fish, cruise, and swim off them. They are bulky and less maneuverable than regular boats but not bad. You most likely don’t have strong currents just wind to deal with.

    can have a folding Bimini top that will give you shade but can fold down to get under the bridges.

    Comment


    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      Main lake is 35 miles long, so good size. Whalers are nice. Nice and $$$$.
      Yes I can see a mix of pontoons and runabouts in my cove. This time of year not many people around. Was warned that once over a 20' pontoon the pontoons are bigger and makes it tight getting under that bridge. Also hard to get in trouble doing 30 mph.
      Last edited by HawkerXP; February 15, 2020, 03:19 PM.

    #7
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0O0nzkESTI

    Comment


    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok. So its a.....pontoon.

    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm sold on the putt putt patio....got the keg and BBQ action going....my wife still rocks a bikini, heck she brought another one today!

    • tmaan235
      tmaan235 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hold the phone! Modern pontoons are not the flattop put puts of yesteryear!
      There are pontoons on showroom floors capable of 80mph+ empty plus driver. And 65 to 70 with 10 peeps on.... not kidding.

    #8
    Is a pontoon going to fit under a bridge with only 5’4” clearance? That’s pretty tight to be honest. Most pontoons ive seen have a cover of some sort high enough for you to easily walk under. Others, you can fold up into place and perhaps that is what you are looking for. Even our boat with the wakeboard tower is higher than that.

    You could look at some of the “jet ski” type boats, with no prop in the back but two jets that propel you out of the water. I’m not sure what the budget on those are, but I’d say they would be what you mention. Also, make sure a 20” boat is going to be ok on the water you plan on running. Seems like a big lake, so big boats putting off big wakes. I don’t think a 20” boat is going to hold 10 people though, capacity will be about 8 at that size I would guess, and not sure what the weight capacity would be with newer boats these days.

    Just take whatever used boat you find and get a compression test done. So many people buy boats and dont care for them and run them into the ground in a few years. My dad has had a Chaparral since 1997 - it looks brand spankin new still, lots of love and care from both him and me over the years. It’s 19’ and 6 people it tight.

    But to answer your question - 2 happiest days for boat owners - the day you buy it and the day you pay it off!

    enjoy whatever you get and Have fun!!

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    Last edited by barelfly; February 15, 2020, 04:21 PM.

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    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      With bimini folded down less than 22' pontoons clear.
      Almost 10 foot water depth at the lowest bridge so this is not an issue. Chaparral is a nice brand boat. Correct about no wake board tower.

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      I thought the two happiest days were the day you bought it, and the day you find some sucker to take it off your hands!

    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      Bombardier in Quebec makes boats with jet drives under their Sea Doo flag.
      The things are a riot but I don't think they go over a four seater, six at the most.

    #9
    Okay, HawkerXP I have solved your dilemma. Big enough to hold all the folks you want, cool enough to earn the envy of the entire lake. And if you can afford it, you can afford to have the bridges raised if necessary.



    https://sierraboat.com/product/runab...m-commuter-38/

    Comment


    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      He'd better get the bumpers out before he gets to the dock in a wooden boat.
      Ask my buddy what happened to his Chris Craft in Port Carling locks when he neglected bumpers.

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      smokin fool Do guys have bumpers? Oh wait, you mean those rubber things hanging from the side of a boat, eh?

    #10
    I don't think he was thinking of it with the boat above but ComfortablyNumb brings up a good point. It is not the cost of the boat that matters, it is the cost of maintaining the boat that matters. To keep that boat looking like that is down the line of five figures each year. I have always said when it comes to maintenance, "Wood is good and steel is real but you can wrap my ass in fiberglass."

    Comment


    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      But there is nothing more magnificent than an old wooden ChrisCraft or Greavette riding the waves.
      Boat=Bring out another thousand. Cost is cost like owning a car or motorcycle, both items depreciate. Fun is fun, fun appreciates.
      Pontoon boats are aluminum, toss it on blocks under a good trap or shrink wrap in the fall, store the engine in the garage. Outboards aren't like they were even 5-10 years ago, they're more dependable than car engines now given correct maintenance.

    #11
    This is at the top of your range for a new one (Starts at $28k) but you could likely find a used one of these or something similar for much less:

    https://bayliner.com/models/deckboat...s/element-e21/

    Comment


      #12
      Boating has been my one of hobbies for 50 years. Owned over 15 different, all style's. How can I help? Do not be afraid to buy a 10 year old boat if taken care of. Not left outside, more so in winter. Brand names make a difference. Do you like to Fish? Here is one in Richmond.
      https://richmond.craigslist.org/boa/...072319754.html

      Comment


      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks. Yes I plan to fish. Haul some folks. Not to large because of bridges. Not afraid of used but what I've seen makes me nervous. I've been strictly lookin on line. Need to get out and look at local spots.

      • tbob4
        tbob4 commented
        Editing a comment
        I posed the question to my son who is a fisherman and scuba diver. He just bought a Carolina Skiff/Mud Boat. It was used. He had an independent mechanic check it out before buying. While this is his first purchase, he has a lot of water/boating experience. He suggests used because the price of a new boat is so expensive. He also said find a boat mechanic you trust. Expect to pay a little to the mechanic to say "no" to boats. It will save you money in the end.

      #13
      Pontoons are great. We had a Sweetwater and it was great. I would recommend a tri-toon. Gives you a smooth ride and planes out nicely.
      Last edited by DavidNorcross; February 17, 2020, 04:50 AM.

      Comment


        #14
        B.O.A.T. = Break Out Another Thousand. But fun anyway...lol

        Comment


          #15
          I like to fish too, and a few years ago, before we got the RV, I was looking at one of these:

          https://www.suntrackerboats.com/boat....cfm?boat=4625

          These are set up for fishing. I think the bimini top can be removed to get under that bridge, but it might be close.

          Comment


          • HawkerXP
            HawkerXP commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, we are looking at these. Pretty basic, no trailer, no depth gauge and low HP engine.

          • klflowers
            klflowers commented
            Editing a comment
            HawkerXP, we were looking at it at a boat show. They were willing to throw in a trailer, a depth finder and a trolling motor, especially if we took the floor model off their hands on Sunday afternoon so they wouldn't have to tow it back to the dealership. They probably would have discounted a higher HP motor too. So if you aren't in a hurry, and boat shows pop up around you, I would wait and go to one of those.

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