First time boat buyer advice

sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
Hello everyone. 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.
«1

Replies

  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 962 Officer
    edited June 10 #2
    Out of the three options you stated, go with the Key West if it is in comparable condition to the other two. Key West is by far the better quality.
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Thank you. I can definitely see the difference. It's right at the top of my budget but worth it I think. 
  • MelbourneMarkMelbourneMark Posts: 1,442 Officer
    Key west seems to keep their value more than some others.  I own an older 1720 myself.  I bought it used and did some mods to it over the years.   I also added a hinge on the trailer tongue so it will fit in the garage..which was the biggest buying point for me.  (I had to keep it in garage, for my HOA)

    If you started looking at slightly used boats, you can likely get a better deal with someone already adding items..  
    But, I refuse to buy a new car/boat ever, as the second you drive it off the lot; the value drops %%% ....  Just my .02
  • mattb78mattb78 Posts: 163 Deckhand
    Key West is solid.  I would check out Scout boats as well.

    In my opinion if you are on a budget, its difficult to justify a brand new boat when a slightly used boat will still bring you years of reliability with a smaller price tag.

    I would buy brand new if I had a very specific set up that would be pricier or very difficult aftermarket.

    I can tell you that having my boat for a few years now, whenever I build a new one, I will know exactly what I want and how I want it setup.  I am glad I didn't buy it new because I would have spent alot of money on some things that I didn't actually need, and vice versa excluded some things that I really wanted.

    Jack plates and trim tabs are things to consider as well.
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 218 Deckhand
    Key west with a Yamaha. Put the max power recommend by boat mfg. An under powered boat is no fun. Skip the Bayliner you look like a novice.
  • Al BundyAl Bundy Posts: 224 Deckhand
    My experience was that we bought used, got a good deal and used it for a couple of years.  In those years we figured out the types of boating we liked and didn't like.  I learned a lot about boats and boating...what I really liked about our boat and what I wanted to change.  2nd boat was a demo with new engines...I didn't go used again because I had such a long "want" list that I couldn't find it used, in a decent time frame.

    I know I'm giving you an answer to a question you did not ask, but consider a used starter boat to learn on so you can experiment and discover what you like and don't like.

    good luck
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Thank you Shamrock. I already scratched the Bayliner off my list. Also thank you Mattb and Melbourne Mark for all of the advice. 
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Thank you Al. I really wanted new but I keep hearing the used angle again and again. It's definitely worth exploring. 
  • petedoggiedogpetedoggiedog Posts: 98 Greenhorn
    key west is a nice boat, for a reasonable price. you mentioned buying after first of year, but after thanksgiving to christmas is a great time to purchase a new boat. salesmen are generally very motivated to deal in december to make some christmas money and are eager to sell off the remaining current year boats and motors. just my experience.
  • petedoggiedogpetedoggiedog Posts: 98 Greenhorn
    sorry for another post, but also be willing to travel 500-1000 miles for a good deal, and whatever brand outboard you consider, its nice to have several dealers in your home area that perform warranty work on that brand. good luck.
  • sigiiligansigiiligan Posts: 78 Greenhorn
    Key west will hold it's value better in the long run if you ever decide to sell it trade it in and upgrade later.
  • one fish two fishone fish two fish Posts: 52 Greenhorn
    Make certain your trailer is the right size for your boat. Dealers will sometimes sell you a trailer that is too small for the given boat. It happened to me. Also trailer related, make sure you have all the brakes you are required to installed. My trailer needed brakes on all four tires but only came with two. I went back and had them installed. Make sure your boat is properly positioned on the trailer so that it's balanced and not forward heavy. 
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    I keep hearing that sigiiligan, thank you. One fish two fish, I didn't consider that. Thank you for the heads up. 
  • DropTheHammerDropTheHammer East CoastPosts: 185 Deckhand
    We all new what we were doing until DropTheHammer showed up.
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    I have looked at the Carolina Skiff's I'm just not in love. I keep hearing they beat you to death in a chop. I'll have to see if I can get some rides on different boats and see what I like better. I've also considered Lowrance and they are definitely in the running. Thank you for the reply. 
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 7,981 Admiral
    sandy1147 said:
    I have looked at the Carolina Skiff's I'm just not in love. I keep hearing they beat you to death in a chop. I'll have to see if I can get some rides on different boats and see what I like better. I've also considered Lowrance and they are definitely in the running. Thank you for the reply. 
    Of all the used boats on the interwebs, i see more skiffs for sale in the 20-30k price range that are late model than anything.   I would want something with at least a little deadrise rather than just skipping across the water like a stone.  
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    So after doing some more research, I found the Blazer Bay 1860. I know it's a rolled boat vs the capped KW and not quite as pretty but it's a foot and half more boat for around the same price. I've read some good things about them. I also like the Bulls Bay 1700. Same length as the Key West but 6 inch wider beam. It's cheaper than the Key West by a couple thousand (leaving me more room for toys) so it's very attractive. What say you all?
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 218 Deckhand
    What tow vehicle do you have that is a big factor in the size boat you can tow and if you needed trailer brakes ( which trailer brakes is a maintenance item.) What motor are you thinking about ? A capped boat has a nicer finish and more storage.
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    I have a newer Ram 1500 with the 5.7. It is equipped with trailer braking and hitch etc. For what I'm looking at, I believe it is more than sufficient. I'm not looking for a speed demon so I'm thinking, depending on the boat from a 90 to 115 or so. 
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 7,981 Admiral
    edited June 13 #21
    I have a 2012 ram with the same motor, it will haul 9k.  More than you'll ever need for a 19' boat honestly you could haul up to a 26'er with that truck  with no issues. 
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Same truck. 2012 Ram. I thought it could handle anything I'm looking at.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 7,981 Admiral
    That hill assist has come in handy at the ramp, not that i've ever lost traction, but it's nice that the truck won't roll backards at all.   
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • shamrock1188shamrock1188 Posts: 218 Deckhand
    Great tow vehicle you will have no problem hauling a boat of the size you are looking at. You will only be limited by the trailer tires which have a 65 MPH speed rating.
  • SportsFanSportsFan Posts: 130 Deckhand
    Just a thought for you. Check out the Keywest Boat Forum. I researched my center console boat and ended up with 196 Bayreef with a 150 yammy.  Mine is used as and as others have said a clean used boat with low hours saves a bunch of money. I mentioned the forum as these guys were friendly and informative. It was because of them I choose a Keywest. I love my boat, it gets pretty skinny and with a 19 deg deadrise it handles the bay chop very well. I also like the " I thinks it's called Carolina Flair " which makes for a dry ride in all conditions. Anyway new or used the forum is a wealth of information.  Hope that helps. 
    image-logo.png
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    It does. Thank you for the advice. I'll check it out .
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Great tow vehicle you will have no problem hauling a boat of the size you are looking at. You will only be limited by the trailer tires which have a 65 MPH speed rating.
    Another thing I haven't thought about yet. Thank you for mentioning that. I knew my truck could handle it but haven't thought of the trailer capabilities. 
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 601 Officer
    something to keep in mind... you are going to pay for the boat now or later... If you buy new, your going to loose a couple thousand dollars as soon as it comes off the lot.  Lower end boats depreciate faster and you will end up taking more of a loss in the long run than by buying a higher quality boat.  Do Not be shy about buying a HIGH quality brand boat that is a few years old (3-4 yrs) as you usually still have some warranty left in the engine. Most banks will finance boats within 7 yrs old (and i wouldn't hesitate to buy a boat that is 7 yrs old and has been taken care of).  You will save a ton of money and have a serviceable boat. Since you are new to boats, have a good mechanic look over the boat for you and do a survey.  Even new boats can have issues.  Simple things like pumps and wiring can cost a ton of money to get fixed (nickle and dime you), and there is nothing more of a turnoff than having a newer boat with stuff not working.  Focus more on the bones of the boat and less on the accessories as you can always add those...also, you will get the next bug.... it happens once you start to pick apart the things you like and dont like about your boat. so then you look for the "next" best thing... 
    Best of luck to you. 
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    Solid advice. Thank you Capt. Dan. 
  • adampaul883adampaul883 miamiPosts: 7 Greenhorn
    You should go for Key West, its best in my opinion. 
  • sandy1147sandy1147 Posts: 114 Deckhand
    You should go for Key West, its best in my opinion. 
    I'm definitely leaning that way. I keep looking at others and each one I say, well, i don't really like that (insert particular feature) but how can I do something to make it better. I'm not doing that with the Key West so, to me, that answers my questions. I haven't found anything I don't like about it so far. 
«1

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file