Need a boat

EarlEarl Posts: 53 Greenhorn
Hey guy's, I need some input regarding a boat purchase. Last month I bought a property in the Tampa area, and will be re-locating there later this year. ( I'm up in Ontario) I have experience with boats but only fresh water versions. I'm looking for something in the 18-20' range with near shore capabilities. It has to be fairly light and easy to launch etc. as I'll be fishing alone for the most part, at least for a while. I'm looking for something that is specifically designed with fishing in mind, not tubing or skiing or day cruising. Since I'm paying cash, my budget is limited to the 10-15k range. I plan on fishing the Tampa area with the odd weekend trip to the Upper Keys.
Given the above info, what can you recommend I set my sights on? I'm not set on any particular make/model or even new or used, just what those with similar needs find what works best for them. Thanks for any info

Replies

  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,332 Moderator
    Hi Earl and Welcome to the forum.

    I would think, that with your budget and area that you want to fish, that a good used bay boat or center console would fit the bill.
    Since there are some open runs in that area, stay away from a flat bottom boat. Something with a little V to it, will be a lot more comfortable in open water. Check the for sale section. There's lots of dream boats, but some reasonable deal can be had.
    Good luck with your purchase.

    FSD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • EarlEarl Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Thank you Dan. Exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. Never thot to to consider flat vs v-hull, but it makes sense.
  • EarlEarl Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Okay, it's been a couple of weeks and I've been looking around. I sold my 18'er and trailer up here in Ontario, but still have the engine. An 86 Merc 115hp. There seems to be lots of good deals around in Florida, but I'm up here in Ontario. Willing to make a quick trip south for the right boat. My question is: I've pretty much settled on a Key Largo or Proline. They seem to offer the most bang for the buck. As my original post stated, I'm not looking to go 50 miles offshore, just something that I can be comfortable in and get back to shore if the weather goes south. Am I on the right track, or are there other considerations that I'm overlooking? Any advice is appreciated, as I'de like to get it right the first time around.
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,332 Moderator
    Earl, there are lots of builders past and present that built boats that fit your needs.
    you will need to finalize some of your criteria.
    once size and type has been chosen, you can compare different brands layouts to find the ones that fit your need.
    No need to limit yourself.

    FSD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,205 Admiral
    If you are fishing by yourself I don't see why you would need something as big as 18-20'. I would think a 14-16 aluminum would do and you could probably get one brand new in that price range as a complete package. We've put my 1720 KW on a sand bar a few times and it's no picnic pushing it off.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • EarlEarl Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Ya, a 16' probably would be big enough, but I've had a couple that size and found them just to cramped for me. I've a bad back and can't sit for long. Got to stand and move around. Hence a bigger boat. Just want one in the 18-20' range that doesn't weigh a ton and can be handled by one person if needed.
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,283 Admiral
    If you want to go out of the bay 18 foot would be the smallest. And then you would have to chose your days very carefully. West coast chop can beat you up. Even in the bay a north wind and an incoming tide can make the inside a washing machine.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,205 Admiral
    Earl wrote: »
    Ya, a 16' probably would be big enough, but I've had a couple that size and found them just to cramped for me. I've a bad back and can't sit for long. Got to stand and move around. Hence a bigger boat. Just want one in the 18-20' range that doesn't weigh a ton and can be handled by one person if needed.

    Whatever you get i would definitely spend a good amount on the best trolling motor you can get. There are some now with GPS that virtually park themselves at the dock while unloading off your trailer. I think just about any 18-20' boat can be launched and loaded by one person with no problems. I would look for a shallow draft so you do not have to worry about pushing yourself off a sandbar.

    My advice is to go to some dealerships and start looking around. Have no intention of buying, just gather information and get up in them and see what you like and what best suits your needs. Does not weigh a ton is probably aluminum over fiberglass, unless you are dead set on a fiberglass center console. I would look for something with a big casting platform up front that you can put a chair on. Good luck.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • bay20bay20 Posts: 1,485 Officer
    Earl if you don't find something I will be putting my Ranger 20ft Bay Boat up for sale might be in your price range. Awesome boat have had it 30 plus miles offshore.
  • sonofagunnsonofagunn Posts: 66 Greenhorn
    I'm a fan of cats, something like this will handle the chop and nearshore better than anything else in your size and price range while still maintaining a really shallow draft. Might be tricky to add a trolling motor but it looks like it can be done.

    http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2003-PRO-SPORT-BOATS-2000-ProKat-102502322
  • EarlEarl Posts: 53 Greenhorn
    Thanks for all the common sense advice, guy's. I think I've come up with a plan. Wife and I just booked a week in Sept, with the idea of getting things in order for Nov. She's going to spend the week furnishing the home we bought back in April and I'm going to spend the week shopping (hee-hee) for a boat. Been in touch with a couple of Tampa area dealers. E-mailed them and they shocked the crap out of me by actually phoning me back. Long distance from Tampa to Ontario. Guess who the first two dealerships will be that I go to. One of the main reasons we decided to retire to Florida is the attitude of the people in general, and customer service in particular. Not knocking my own country, Canada, but no way would that happen up here. Looking forward to getting down there and doing what I like best. Thanks again.

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