Educate me on recreational fishing boats.

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I am beginning to look at buying a 16-20' foot fishing boat. I have a budget of about 10K - for motor, boat and trailer. I want to be able to go trout fishing, bass, pan fishing and possibly do some trolling. I am not really interested in fishing Columbia river or the ocean. My only experience is with 16 foot aluminum StarCraft run about on lake Michigan. I post this knowing that there is a lot I don't know about this subject. like how big a motor. I see this as being a lake boat. Honestly I would like to find another vhull with a canvas cover StarCraft run about.- how do aluminum boats hold up. I will be pulling this boat with a 2007 F150.
 

Ramjet12

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I have a 14' Grumman aluminum 9.9 2 stroke Johnson and Minn Kota troller. It's from the mid-80's They hold up well in fresh water. It's a lightweight lake boat. It's rated for 25hp motor which you could fish the Columbia...on a nice day. I've had it in a few lakes in Washington. Never an issue. It's easy to unload/load and easy to maintain. I pulled it with an S-10 pickup. This year a V6 F-150.

Looks a lot like this one. 1990 GRUMMAN GPF 14FT DEEP/OPEN DESIGN WITH 2006 HONDA 15HP LONG SHAFT/ELECT in Anoka, MN
 
OP
J
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I have a 14' Grumman aluminum 9.9 2 stroke Johnson and Minn Kota troller. It's from the mid-80's They hold up well in fresh water. It's a lightweight lake boat. It's rated for 25hp motor which you could fish the Columbia...on a nice day. I've had it in a few lakes in Washington. Never an issue. It's easy to unload/load and easy to maintain. I pulled it with an S-10 pickup. This year a V6 F-150.

Looks a lot like this one. 1990 GRUMMAN GPF 14FT DEEP/OPEN DESIGN WITH 2006 HONDA 15HP LONG SHAFT/ELECT in Anoka, MN
Looks like a nice boat - how well do aluminum boats hold up?
 

Mikej

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Ask your self if you're going to be only a fair weather fisherman or an all weather fisherman? Are you over 45, or under? I started with something similar to Ramjet's Grumman. A 13' Smoker Craft with a Honda 15 horse for Wifey and I. It had nice high sides. We fished it pretty much everywhere from the Columbia, in our area and some up around the Mosier-John Day areas, picking weather of course. Tillamook upper bay and mountain lakes. Including 3' rollers at Siltcoos lake quite a few times. High sided and transom like ramjet's pic, are imperative.

If you're older, that windshield is Reeeeal nice on those cold mornings, or the run in from the river/lake when you finally decide you've had enough rian. After about ten years, 2001, of that boat I bought a new 17.5 Smoker Craft windshield boat. I still have that. I still turn to Wifey and say "I love my windshield" when we're running out to the other side of the lake at 7:00am in late September in a cold fog and light chop.

More powers is really important. Ba at or close to a boats rated maximum horse power. This boat has a Merc 75 2-stroke and a 55 lb thrust Minn Kota 12 volt on the bow with a quick remove bracket.

I also hang a Merc 9.9 kicker on it when it's at home. I take the kicker off when were at the lake on vaca. This has been a great 2-person boat. We have fished three at times though.

1593442504975.png
 
OP
J
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Ask your self if you're going to be only a fair weather fisherman or an all weather fisherman? Are you over 45, or under? I started with something similar to Ramjet's Grumman. A 13' Smoker Craft with a Honda 15 horse for Wifey and I. It had nice high sides. We fished it pretty much everywhere from the Columbia, in our area and some up around the Mosier-John Day areas, picking weather of course. Tillamook upper bay and mountain lakes. Including 3' rollers at Siltcoos lake quite a few times. High sided and transom like ramjet's pic, are imperative.

If you're older, that windshield is Reeeeal nice on those cold mornings, or the run in from the river/lake when you finally decide you've had enough rian. After about ten years, 2001, of that boat I bought a new 17.5 Smoker Craft windshield boat. I still have that. I still turn to Wifey and say "I love my windshield" when we're running out to the other side of the lake at 7:00am in late September in a cold fog and light chop.

More powers is really important. Ba at or close to a boats rated maximum horse power. This boat has a Merc 75 2-stroke and a 55 lb thrust Minn Kota 12 volt on the bow with a quick remove bracket.

I also hang a Merc 9.9 kicker on it when it's at home. I take the kicker off when were at the lake on vaca. This has been a great 2-person boat. We have fished three at times though.

View attachment 716083
Thank you for the information - I appreciate your experience as I am trying to approach this logically. I am 58 as of this month. So far these are some of the things I would desire in a boat.
1) Windshield
2) Canvas cover ( fold up / down) for rain/ sun
3) V hull
4) trolling motor / larger motor
5) Something that can be towed with my F150 reasonably well
6) 18-22 feet long.

I will pretty much have to accept the weather as is because once I am back to work I wont have much but the weekends to fish on.
 

jbett98

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I've owned a few boats and found that if I was in the market would buy a 15-16' aluminum hulled boat with a 40 hp Yamaha with the multi-function tiller handle, which allows for variable trolling and fishing flexibility.
I helped my neighbor rebuild a vintage 16' Starcraft boat this last winter and I couldn't believe how nice his 40 hp Yamaha ran when dialed down for trolling.
He didn't want to manage two outboards and Yamaha nailed it with these models.
 

2Wheels4Ever

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I have fished the Colombia in a little smokercraft Alaskan. It was a 14ft aluminum with a 15hp Johnson., So you don't have to have a huge boat to fish the Columbia. If I were you, I'd look for a Lowe, bluefin, smokercraft, or crestliner welded aluminum boat. They are very durable and weigh in a bit less than a glass boat or older riveted StarCraft. Stay away from omc, I've heard that parts can be a a pain to locate.
 

jbett98

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My neighbor ripped out the fixed seating in his Starcraft and went to an open floor plan with movable super comfy guide seats.
I prefer a walk through windshield, especially if you plan on anchoring in any kind of fast water.
 

Mikej

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Thank you for the information - I appreciate your experience as I am trying to approach this logically. I am 58 as of this month. So far these are some of the things I would desire in a boat.
1) Windshield
2) Canvas cover ( fold up / down) for rain/ sun
3) V hull
4) trolling motor / larger motor
5) Something that can be towed with my F150 reasonably well
6) 18-22 feet long.

I will pretty much have to accept the weather as is because once I am back to work I wont have much but the weekends to fish on.
Thinking of myself, knowing what I know. I've only had a boat since maybe...1987? First was my dads van topper with a 7.5 Eska. Not good for what we're talking about. Then came the 13' smoker, not too long after for obvious reasons. Then the windshield boat in '01 to present. Ima going to say if you want a windshield boat you might need to see if you could get a little more $$. If you can get a good old, welded, barn find in the 16'-18' range for cheap and spend the big money on a fresh motor you could end up with a boat that could take you to the water for the next 20 years. It's possible. You might have to do some traveling to find it. There's a lot of older guys that retired and bought themselves boats that spent a lot of time sitting in the garage. Now they want to sell them. Or they passed on and the wives want to sell them.

Myself? I don't think I could ever go back to an open boat. You? That @jbett98 he's an animal. He'd probably fish out of a 1/2 55 gallon drum with a 3hp merc if he had to when the salmon were running good. :D
 
Any of the old Sea-Swirl Boats from the mid 70's on up would do quite well, most were "Day Boats" that are super easy to convert to fishing! Most will have a good inboard and plenty of room for a kicker, the best being 9.9 Hp Hondas or Merc's!
 
Craigslist is always the first place I would look, you can find some pretty amazing boats for a good deal, some needing a little work, some not!
Found a 1976 Sanger V-Drive with 454 Chevy ( motor worth far more then the whole package) for $3500, and that was a steal!
 

cowboykid8

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Pull
Thank you for the information - I appreciate your experience as I am trying to approach this logically. I am 58 as of this month. So far these are some of the things I would desire in a boat.
1) Windshield
2) Canvas cover ( fold up / down) for rain/ sun
3) V hull
4) trolling motor / larger motor
5) Something that can be towed with my F150 reasonably well
6) 18-22 feet long.

I will pretty much have to accept the weather as is because once I am back to work I wont have much but the weekends to fish on.
That is a good list of requirements. I have a Starcraft that we rebuilt, I'm not sure it would be a great bass boat, but it works great in the Willamette and Columbia. Oregon is pretty wet, so floors going bad will be a concern, and the other is salt. If someone went to the bays and didn't do a thorough wash down and run fresh water through the motor, the boat is on borrowed time. Decent time to be looking for a boat as most people wont have a problem taking you out on the boat (I would highly recommend this!)

Your price point is good for a decent used boat, so I would take your time and check craigslist, ifish, and Facebook marketplace.
 
OP
J
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Craigslist is always the first place I would look, you can find some pretty amazing boats for a good deal, some needing a little work, some not!
Found a 1976 Sanger V-Drive with 454 Chevy ( motor worth far more then the whole package) for $3500, and that was a steal!
Thank you - I am beginning to look there myself. I would love to find a StarCraft Islander in good shape.
 
If your able to make a road trip across the country, you can always score a storm damaged boat in the south gulf states, I got a 23 foot MAKO Carolina boat on a nice trailer for next to nothing! Cost me more in fuel to haul it back then the boat cost! Only damage was the engine flooded with salt water!
 

EPS

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Or look on .
OFFER UP.
just get the app and you can look around all over the place it's free they have a section for boats and it is usually full of all types.
From FREE TO THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
 

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