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Old 12-29-10, 03:50 PM   #1
G-Man
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Default Looking for Advice on a NEW Bass Boat

Happy New Year Everyone!
Last week Santa said I can get a new bass boat. (OK It was my wife but she was wearing a red sweater and black boots)
I have a house on Lake Hartwell, I am a entry level fisherman and am looking for any and all advice you can offer with my purchase of a new bass boat.
I realize this opens up a can of worms and expect to get several opinions but I would be very grateful and appreciate your help. (I would also believe in more the things I read here than from a salesman at a boat show.)
What manufacturers should I look at and what mfg's should I stay away from??
What about size .. of boat and engine size.
Any recommendations, suggestions comments are very welcome here.
Thanks so much.
Best to you in 2011
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Old 12-29-10, 03:57 PM   #2
WTL
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What is the budget?

Bullets with 300 hp evinrudes are nice.
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Old 12-29-10, 04:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply.
I dont have a budget.
I dont want to spend more than I have to BUT I don't want to be afraid to spend money for a boat I plan to keep forever and regret not getting something ( option , or size) when I had the chance.
I want to buy a boat and fish on it for a very long time.
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Old 12-29-10, 04:21 PM   #4
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I'm gonna suggest boats nicer than I can afford, then...my experience is that of a guy who sits on the water oggling at what other people have...

Look closely at the Tracker series of boats, they offer them between 17 and 19 foot I think. They are what I would buy if I had the means at the moment.

I would recommend for a entry level type angler to get an aluminum boat, just cause I think it is better not to have to constantly worry about your gel coat, cracks, anythink that might happen with glass. Around marietta, you are gonna be out on some big lakes I take it, but if you ever hit a tailwater or want to, aluminum is prefered cause of close encounters with rocks.

War eagle and G3 also make lines of aluminum boats that are very nice.
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Old 12-29-10, 05:06 PM   #5
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Again Thanks for your reply.
I have an old 16 foot Lowes Aluminum boat and was really looking at getting something much better and moving away from aluminum.
I went to Bass Pro Shop and looked at Nitro 7 and Nitro Z8. I like the 8 but didnt fall in love.
Any other suggestions??
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Old 12-29-10, 05:14 PM   #6
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I think the others might be better positioned to recommend a fiberglass boat. The most important thing is what you want.
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Old 12-29-10, 05:32 PM   #7
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I will give you my take on boats that I have dealt with a great deal, and not on boats that I have never been in or know very little about. I just hate it when people give advice about boats that they know nothing about, this can lead to someone making a decision based on bad information.

Right now I am running a Triton 21XDC. Learning to drive the boat took a little time because of the chine walk, however it's not hard to learn it just takes some seat time and patience. This boat has tons of storage and its layout is just perfect, saves me a lot of wasted motion over the course of a day.

Before my Triton I ran a Ranger, it was a good boat but just not what I expected out of the Ranger name. This boat was a 2001 so I won't try and compare it to my Triton apples to apples, I will just say I don't know why there is such a love affair with Rangers.

I have 2 buddies that have Champion 210 Elites and another buddy that runs a 198. The 210's are a good riding boat but honestly the ride has nothing on my Triton and I am faster. They fish funny to me, the bow of the boat sits high out of the water and not only make me feel like I am fishing up hill but also catches a lot of wind. The 198 is not that good of a ride at all. It's a very very very wet ride, no matter what the wind contions are...........you will get wet in this boat.

Bass Cat makes a great boat! Possibly the best riding bass boat on the market and they are a very fast hull as well. Their customer service is what everyone else in the industry shoots for, there just isn't a company out there that can hang with Bass Cat when it comes to customer service.

Phoenix, I will say that the only experience I have with this brand is from seeing them at a boat show. The storage in the 721 (21 foot model) is unheard of. It's just a disgusting amount of storage, and every bit of it screams that it was thought out for us anglers. Excellent fit and finish and I hear great things about their ride and speed as well.
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Old 12-29-10, 05:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTL View Post
What is the budget?

Bullets with 300 hp evinrudes are nice.
My dream boat. Sorry guy I ca't help you but good luck.
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Old 12-29-10, 05:57 PM   #9
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THANKS FOR THE INPUT ON TRITON BOAT
I plan to go to a few dealers and se for myself before I go to boat shows
I am undecided on length..???any comments 19?? 21???
Im not looking for speed but dont want to buy 19 and wish I had 21
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Old 12-29-10, 06:00 PM   #10
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Bass cat has a 2011 Show special on Puma advantage...Do you think its worth the money??
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Old 12-29-10, 06:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
Bass cat has a 2011 Show special on Puma advantage...Do you think its worth the money??
The Puma is a great boat, as is the Cougar. Go as big as you can afford, because if you don't you will wish you did later on.
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Old 12-29-10, 07:25 PM   #12
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bullets ride terrible on rough water. they are FAST and VERY LIGHT but the ride comfort isnt there. I fish out of a 21ft skeeter with a yamaha vmax 200 on it and its a very nice blend of ride comfort and speed. the only guys in our series faster are bullets...and when theres a little chop on the water we will pass them like they are tied. if you budget is unlimited...get a sterling.. i think they are around 60 grand though lol...that z-8 is a really nice boat...i really like them
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Old 12-29-10, 07:50 PM   #13
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Don’t get boatitus.... like I did!! Get the biggest boat you can afford (and tow). Typically you don't hear of guys down sizing too much, they always wish they had bigger. The other thing to think about is your tow vehicle. If you can only tow 2000 lbs, a 21' boat might not be for you. But if it was me looking for a new boat, I would look at a Triton 20XS, Bass Cat Cougar FTD or a Skeeter FX20. Again, I would get everything factory installed (electronics, TM (36V), stereo (if you want one), Power Poll and so on, it'll be cheaper in the long run. Good luck in your search!
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Old 12-29-10, 08:28 PM   #14
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ok..........IF there is no limit on your budget. i would recconmend the PHENIX. like c-rig said, it has everything a true fisherman needs or wants. it is trhoughly thought out in the design, fit and finish. it has more options than most cars do. IF i were to win the lottery.........this is the rig i owuld go to. and i now have a 97 cajun, love it but.......
and i used to own a ranger OLd model though years ago. i have gone through the phenix at a dealer and at the classic. i truly believe you get what you pay for. if oyu want something that will last as you progress with bass fhishng. this is what i would say get. just my 2 pennies. good luck.
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Old 12-30-10, 10:59 AM   #15
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Well, unless I win the lottery sometime soon, I'll probably still be running my '98 TR20 until my time comes. It's been a great boat, and I'd have to look hard at another one if I were in the market. However..........Price being no object, there are two that would run in my top 5. The first is the Bass Cat. I'm really partial to their new Eyra model. The second would be the Phoenix. It's got it all, and the storage, as mentioned, is out of this world.
Good luck. I wish I were in your shoes.
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Old 12-30-10, 11:19 AM   #16
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If you are buying a boat that you will keep a long time, then go Bass Cat.

They are the best in the bass boat industry.

Family owned by the same people for years. No corporations to worry about selling off, or going bankrupt and leaving you holding a worthless warranty.

They build everything they can on site in Mountain Home , Arkansas.
Use USA made materials.
They build their own trailers on site out of C channel steel. Each trailer is made to each specific boat hull. No corners are cut on the trailers, no tube steel to rust thru.
Trailers are painted and coated with gator Hyde to prevent chipping.


You need to look past all the glitter and research how the boats are built and why they are built that way.

Cat builds the only all fiberglass boat in the bass boat segment.
All glass, no tri core, beet board, honeycombed foam board, no
" composite board " all solid glass that is molded into a one piece structure,

All storage boxes are fiberglass, no drop in plastic boxes.

The stringers are all glass, the transom is solid fiberglass.

All these pieces are then glassed together to form a one piece hull with the top cap then glassed to the hull to form a one piece, solid monocoque boat.
This reduces the chance of pieces flexing which is the major cause of stress cracking in bass boats.
Little things like seat pedestals. Most are held in place by being screwed into the deck.
Bass Cat puts theirs all the way thru the deck down to the hull for a rock solid pedestal mount.
That is the reason Bass Cat offers the only true 100 % lifetime hull warranty in the business.
Most companies lifetime warranty is only to the original owner, the 2nd owner gets the remaining years left from the original owners 10 years.
( if original owner has boat 7 years, 2nd owner gets only a 3 year warranty)
Bass Cat warrants their hull to whoever owns the boat, no matter how long.
They are not an assembly line boat, they build roughly 2 - 3 boats a day.

They monitor most of the larger message boards and you will get a response from one of the owners of the company to your questions on them.
They take care of their owners.
Spending what a new boat costs today. You want a company that has been around and will be there in the future.
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Old 12-30-10, 02:54 PM   #17
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also, get a dual console, in the long run all of your fishin buddies will thank you. not to mention your wife if she goes out on the water with you
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Old 12-30-10, 03:11 PM   #18
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Being as I dont own a boat at all, my input is based on reading other owners experiences. My choice is as follows.

BassCat Jaguar. Eevrything BassCat7 says is right one. Only problem I have with bassCat is that their consoles always look like a 16 year olds Honda who has been watching one too many Fast and Furious movies.

Phoenix 721 Pro. New company, so you are taking a little chance on future support. But the removable dual console and storage options are insane.

Skeeter 21i. I know the new FX is a really sweet boat, but for less money, the 21i is just as nice. These boats seem to be the best blend of comfort, ride, and speed.

Triton Boats are excellent boats as well. Probably the second most popular boat you will see on the water. Killer build quality, and great ride and speed.

Stratos rounds out my list. Two model options... 201 Pro XLE or the 210 Elite (a Cjampion 210 Elite with stratos badges) These are great boats as well, but I have to admit that my attraction to them is a loyalty thing. My Dad has always owned stratos and they have always been great boats.

One thing to remember is that Ranger now owns Champion, Stratos, and I believe Triton as well. So their build quality may all be about the same before too long.
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Old 12-30-10, 06:36 PM   #19
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I just went through the process. My interests were a four stroke Yamaha SHO on a Skeeter, Bass Cat and Phoenix.

I chose a Phoenix.

Without a doubt, look at the Phoenix line in the various sizes available. They are excellent, equipped properly and competitively priced.

Try to nail down what power plant you want as this is the most expensive component of the rig.

Do your due diligence of the boat via the web and forums. Get down to short list of possible brands. They are all good but just different flavors. Some are very expensive, some moderate, some inexpensive.

Once you get to the short list you can start by contacting dealers and going to see the rig. Some of the various forum guys will show you their rig. Spend some time looking closely at the boat, motor and trailer. many will emphasize taking a ride but if you are beginning, you wont know what to look for so only do this once you have statically looked at the boat and determined that you like it. Then get a test ride to confirm your like and dislikes in handling etc.

Take a little time and it will come to you. Also look at the waters you will be fishing. If they are very large bodies of water, bigger boats have the advantage. If they are small lakes with speed limits etc a smaller rig will work just fine.

Good Luck
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Old 12-30-10, 07:20 PM   #20
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I went to look at Bass Boats today, Triton, Skeeter and Nitro Z7 and Z8 and well for the money the Nitro Z8 seems to be the best value.
The Nitro Z8 is almost $10,000 less.
What do y'all think??
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Old 12-30-10, 07:49 PM   #21
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I went to look at Bass Boats today, Triton, Skeeter and Nitro Z7 and Z8 and well for the money the Nitro Z8 seems to be the best value.
The Nitro Z8 is almost $10,000 less.
What do y'all think??
What motor was on the Z8? Like I said earlier, Nitro likes to underpower their boats to keep the price down but this is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 12-30-10, 07:53 PM   #22
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You would be doing yourself a disservice to not look at a Phoenix and Bass Cat...two very high quality rigs.

Make sure you are pricing apples to apples as far as trolling motor, electronics, trailer features, engine etc. Many boats start out looking like they are cheaper and then get fairly close once you equate them.

However, avoid buyers remorse and get the rig that you like. Nitro's are a good boat for the value. However most would say they are not on the same level as others. I am not knocking the boat but do your homework.

You get what you pay for in most cases. There is a difference between a $40k rig and a $60k rig... The question will be if the differences matter to you. If you are going to keep this boat "forever" as you say and budget is not a big issue, I would look at the quality features closely as well as the total package. If afterward the Nitro fills the bill then go for it.

You say you are an entry level fisherman ... take more time in this decision and research more. Right now I am sure that everything sparkles!

Good Luck and keep it fun!

P.S. did I say to look at a phoenix........
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Old 12-30-10, 10:05 PM   #23
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There are also a lot of factors to consider that might be hard to decide if they bother you or not if you haven't fished out of several boats. For example the layout of a boat is huge, we all store things however suits our needs best. For example I keep my soft plastics in the rear compartment on the port side so I can keep my heaviest stuff in the back for speed and handling. I keep all my 3700 boxes in the dividers in one of the compartments up front. In the very front compartment I keep a few binders full of spinnerbaits and buzzbaits as well as life jackets and throwable flotation device. The next guy may hate the way I have my stuff stored but I have tried several different scenerios and this works the best for me. So what I am saying is you need to consider where you will want all of your stuff stored at and take this into consideration when checking out boats to make sure their layout will allow this. You may have to venture from your storage plans a bit but I wouldn't buy a boat that I hate the layout of because you will be spending a lot of time in the boat and it should fit your needs.

Another thing to consider is how fishable a boat is. I mean is the front deck narrow up by the trolling motor pedal? This is where you are spending the most time and you don't want to be uncomfortable or feel cramped because you are standing in a tight spot with rods laying around you. I will say this, Phoenix is a great boat and I will look hard at them when I am in the market again but they are narrow up front. My Triton has tons of room up there and I don't think I could do without that much room now. Another thing that adds to this room is that the rods straps on my Triton are so far back towards the consoles. This moves the rods back towards the consoles several inches and I honestly have to walk back towards the consoles just to pick up another rod, which I love because I never have anything under my feet. I am not trying to talk you into a Triton, there are a lot of boat companies that offer a lot of room up front (Skeeter and Nitro both come to mind) I just want to let you know how important it is to be comfortable.

Also one safety feature that I have never had to use so far but I feel good knowing is there, is the ResQ ladder on the Tritons. You never know when you might end up in the drink and in cold water (and heavy clothing) being able to easily get out of the water without wasting time or energy can be the difference between life or your family getting that horrible knock on the door.

There are so many things to take into consideration that I just hope you spend a lot of time doing your research and if possible spend some time in some other guys boats and see what short comings they have, and all boats have some. Enjoy your search and do yourself a huge favor and spend the time to do the research that this decision deserves.
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Old 12-30-10, 10:08 PM   #24
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c-rig just brought up a most interesting point. i am gonna have to re-evaluate my rigs arrangements. thanks kory!
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Old 12-30-10, 10:53 PM   #25
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I was actually looking at a dealer in SC that had all three brands- Triton, Skeeter and Nitro. The Z8 had a 200 on it for under $30K. But then I came home and went on the Nitro build your boat web site and saw all the option available.
Do I need Tilt wheel??
10 inch jack plate??
Remote Oil
Blinker trim
Keel Guard??
Oxgenerator with shut off switch
stealth battery charger system with gauages
Up graded Trolling motor to Motorguide TR82 with transducer??
Upgraded Console to HDS7
HDS5 for bow
God its so much easier buying a car. HELP!
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