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So I've never owned a boat. Never even driven a boat. However I've been avidly bank fishing here in eastern NC for a couple years now and would absolutely love to get something to scoot around Jacksonville, new bern and all the creeks and rivers in between. Buddy of mine has this PVC type boat with an old Johnson on the back, but I have no idea if it's a good deal or investment. It holds water (from the rain) and the motor fires right up. Wants about eight or nine hundred for it with the trailer. Zero knowledge of this stuff, so I need some advice. What else would I need to get done before I could go drop it in somewhere and be legal? Boat trailer Boat Watercraft Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Vehicle
 

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Red X Angler
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$1000-$1500 rig all day long if everything works. Go for it. Is that a Johnson/Evinrude or Chrysler/Sea King engine? Looks like about a 9-15hp.
 
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Perfect starter boat. Same setup I had as a kid growing up. What do you mean by "PVC type boat" ? Looks like aluminium (as the Brits say). Most old aluminum boats have riveted hulls like the one in the pic. They can often leak over time as things "stretch" a bit. How much all depends how hard of a life its seen. Even if it leaks a bit they are still safe. Leaks can also be repaired to some degree. I can't really make out the seats but if it doesn't have foam stuffed/glued up under the bench seats you should put some in so in case you ever swamp, it stays afloat. Easy to do. Make sure to get all the safety gear Neil mentioned too.
 

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So I've never owned a boat. Never even driven a boat. However I've been avidly bank fishing here in eastern NC for a couple years now and would absolutely love to get something to scoot around Jacksonville, new bern and all the creeks and rivers in between. Buddy of mine has this PVC type boat with an old Johnson on the back, but I have no idea if it's a good deal or investment. It holds water (from the rain) and the motor fires right up. Wants about eight or nine hundred for it with the trailer. Zero knowledge of this stuff, so I need some advice. What else would I need to get done before I could go drop it in somewhere and be legal? View attachment 71044
My current boat is the same 16' aluminum boat I grew up in as a kid in the 1980s. My boat is old and getting ugly, but it still catches fish as well as a $60,000 2015 Ranger, lol. It is similar to the one in your photo except it has a side console and a pedestal seat up front. No casting deck or anything like that, although in the rear with the plywood cover for the battery/gas tank area and a bench type of seat I often stand on. It has the same 9.9 hp Johnson 2 stroke from the 1980s. Its souped up to run more like a 15. The 2 strokes live forever, although there was a period where it sat a few years and the carb needed rebuilt, the fuel pump needed replaced, and the starter pull cord spring had a blow out. Also if you never dealt with boats before, taking a boaters safety course would be wise. I think it might even be the law now, depending on your age.

Being a small aluminum boat it is relatively light and super easy to deal with in trailering (both loading and unloading) once you get the hang of it. In addition to the safety equipment and etc that people already suggested, I would also suggest getting a basic electric trolling motor you could clamp on the back or on the front - for the event the old motor gives you problems but of course its also nice to have for fishing. If this boat is as you say less than a 1000 bucks, go for it with the expectation that the motor may or may not need some fixing up. Once you get comfortable with it, a boat will expand your fishing horizons. I know growing up with this little aluminum boat, I get very impatient bank fishing because I am so used to being able to move to spots, not having to deal with trees behind me, etc.

Bottom line is the best boat in the world is any boat you have and actually use. If this one is 800-900 bucks as you say, that sounds like a great deal to me.
 

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Ditto what everyone said. I went fishing this morning, had a great morning, cleared my head even though I caught squat. For that price you are buying 50k worth of psychiatric insurance.

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

I would take it for a test spin just to make sure it suits you.

Edited to add that my buddy has a similar boat we use often. It's perfect for 1-2 folks, but 3 would not work. If you have a family/ consider the size limitation. Perfect boat for a single person to handle. If you've never backed a trailer/ launched a boat, I'd advise having your buddy tag along for a few trips to show you the ropes.
 

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Edited to add that my buddy has a similar boat we use often. It's perfect for 1-2 folks, but 3 would not work. If you have a family/ consider the size limitation. Perfect boat for a single person to handle. If you've never backed a trailer/ launched a boat, I'd advise having your buddy tag along for a few trips to show you the ropes.

I will echo this about the space. My boat (and likely the one pictured) is fine with 2 people. 3 Adults would be very uncomfortable or impossible. 2.5 people with the half being a younger kid is also uncomfortable. This is one of the reasons we might be looking to get a bigger boat, but I am having difficulty deciding on an aluminum bass boat like a Bass Tracker, or something more compatible for saltwater like a Carolina Skiff. I would fish it bass style 99% of the time and would like the lower gunnel, but then based on what I've seen at the coast, the higher gunnel makes for a bit safer of an experience, even inshore/ICW with the large wakes that can happen. If I got something like the Carolina Skiff we would certainly be more motivated to do more coastal trips than I'd be if it was the bass style boat. But its a lot easier to find used bass boats at all price ranges and condition around the Piedmont area.

Also about the boat you are looking at, its tiller steering/throttle and that is actually pretty nice once you get used to it, and that doesn't take long. Mine has a steering wheel in the console, which is fine, but without the console there'd be more room in the boat.
 

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Read all the previous posts three or four times.

Dang, I wish I had this kind of advice when I bought my first boat.

Consider the trolling motor your first "must have". Boat usually quit running on the water, not in your driveway.

A boat is not and investment, a boat is a hole in the water where you throw money. You can lessen this old adage if you use your boat more that you let it sit. I used mine a lot and had very, very few maintenance issues.

Speaking of investments - use the best oil you can find. I am a big fan of Amsoil.

A good mechanic is a must.
 

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Red X Angler
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Nice thing about those older small engines is if you are even remotely mechanically inclined buy a quality service manual and you can do everything you need to do yourself.
 

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Red X Angler
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First boat is like a first car. Keeping it simple and relatively inexpensive is a good place to start. Basically, if the boat you pictured is in good shape and it runs well, then I think you've got a good deal. For bass fishing and most fishing in general, you will want a trolling motor. A simple platform can be added on the front in order to mount a foot-pedal control troller, or the simpler option obviously is the clamp-mount ("stern mount") that is typically hand-controlled. Either way, you will want one.

Go for it. As you use the boat, you will probably over time figure out what things you like and don't like, and maybe you keep it long term and modify it, or maybe you buy something else down the road. Another nice thing is that the simpler the boat, *typically* the less expensive it is to maintain / fix. :D
 
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