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Well I’m not actually the new owner. My son (20 yo) is buying his first. He’ll be buying one of the Tracker boats from Cabelas. The Pro 170 with a 50hp Mercury. Definitely not the top of the line in boats but when you’re his age you buy what you can afford. He’ll be using this primarily in lakes around central NC. Falls, Jordan etc.
I’ll also be using this boat but would really like to fish down east. I prefer catching founder drum trout etc. My question is could this boat be used in places like Pungo River, Pamlico River or in the sound? My experience in coastal fishing is surf fishing mostly. Would love to get out on a boat but not sure if this one will work. Any tips/advice would be appreciated. One day I hope to get myself a boat made more for saltwater but that’s for a later time. Thanks
 

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You have to pick and choose your days as the wind can really get up in places where the rivers are wide. ALSO- be sure to flush your motor with freshwater when you get back.
 

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I'd be concerned about how much salinity was in the waters you want to fish. Salt water will be tough on the trailer. Even if you wash trailer thoroughly afterwards, salt will be hiding somewhere.

Being young and owning his first boat, I'm sure it will be his pride and joy. I'd hate to see it damaged for a few salt water trips.
 

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What the others said above. If its not too late, see if your son can upgrade to at least a galvanized trailer (and aluminum would be better). It will be worth the extra $ and reduce the heartburn of watching a painted trailer fall apart. Weather and water conditions can change in an instant, but there are plenty of protected creeks around the Bath, Belhaven, and Oriental area.
 
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Appreciate the feedback. The trailer is galvanized. The service tech and a few friends have pretty much given the same advice here. Sounds like it would be ok for a few trips over time but nothing I’d carry down there multiple times a year. Which wasn’t the plan to start with. Wind it seems would be the biggest factor.
 

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Well I’m not actually the new owner. My son (20 yo) is buying his first. He’ll be buying one of the Tracker boats from Cabelas. The Pro 170 with a 50hp Mercury. Definitely not the top of the line in boats but when you’re his age you buy what you can afford. He’ll be using this primarily in lakes around central NC. Falls, Jordan etc.
I’ll also be using this boat but would really like to fish down east. I prefer catching founder drum trout etc. My question is could this boat be used in places like Pungo River, Pamlico River or in the sound? My experience in coastal fishing is surf fishing mostly. Would love to get out on a boat but not sure if this one will work. Any tips/advice would be appreciated. One day I hope to get myself a boat made more for saltwater but that’s for a later time. Thanks
 

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Dear GUP, I live on Oak Island and am fortunate to have several boats. The one I use the most is a 16’ Alumacraft that I bought in 1986 (it was repowered in 2005). It is a riveted boat and has spent a lot of time in saltwater. I had a bit of rust on the original Mercury 35 which I replaced with a Yahama 25 a few years ago to get a motor with tilt & trim and the original steel trailer fell apart soon after I replaced it with an aluminum trailer. The boat has a flat bottom so we get wet when in choppy water. But it will float in 4” of water with 3 large people in it. It is a wonderful flats skiffs. The good thing about aluminum boats is that there is no gel coat to scar when you run up on oyster beds Get a pole for poling and head to the marsh for your reds. Wash it down after every use and your grandkids will use it when they are 20, as well. It will become a member of the family. My brothers have an 18’ Jon they purchased in 1969. It has been used more in fresh water but has been used in salt with some regularity. The world would end if they ever got rid of that boat. So you and your son may have stumbled into a real treasure. Enjoy.
 

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Well I’m not actually the new owner. My son (20 yo) is buying his first. He’ll be buying one of the Tracker boats from Cabelas. The Pro 170 with a 50hp Mercury. Definitely not the top of the line in boats but when you’re his age you buy what you can afford. He’ll be using this primarily in lakes around central NC. Falls, Jordan etc.
I’ll also be using this boat but would really like to fish down east. I prefer catching founder drum trout etc. My question is could this boat be used in places like Pungo River, Pamlico River or in the sound? My experience in coastal fishing is surf fishing mostly. Would love to get out on a boat but not sure if this one will work. Any tips/advice would be appreciated. One day I hope to get myself a boat made more for saltwater but that’s for a later time. Thanks
Well I’m not actually the new owner. My son (20 yo) is buying his first. He’ll be buying one of the Tracker boats from Cabelas. The Pro 170 with a 50hp Mercury. Definitely not the top of the line in boats but when you’re his age you buy what you can afford. He’ll be using this primarily in lakes around central NC. Falls, Jordan etc.
I’ll also be using this boat but would really like to fish down east. I prefer catching founder drum trout etc. My question is could this boat be used in places like Pungo River, Pamlico River or in the sound? My experience in coastal fishing is surf fishing mostly. Would love to get out on a boat but not sure if this one will work. Any tips/advice would be appreciated. One day I hope to get myself a boat made more for saltwater but that’s for a later time. Thanks
GUP, I have had a 17 and 1/2-foot G3, which is the spittin' image of the Tracker. Think your son will love the Tracker as I love the G3; it is easy to tow at any speed, loads and launches easily, darn near bulletproof, and has enough room for a bunch of gear and two fisherpersons. Fishing three in a boat that short is dangerous due to the backcast of one hitting the other. I'll show you my scars.. All of your other replies warn about salt water damage which you should consider gospel. You have a galvanized trailer, so that is a lesser problem; just hose it off at home or at a car wash and it will last a long time. Don't forget the inside of the frame tubes. Me, also being with a first-time boat and trailer years ago, I had steel trailer rust out from me even though I washed it every time. The salt water got inside the structure of the frame and ate it from the inside. My first clue was when I tried to launch one day and the trailer wouldn't let go of the boat. It folded inward, with the vertical frame parts grasping the gunwales of the boat. The only things I could save were the axle, wheels/tires, and the crank and strap. When we finally got the boat launched, my son went fishing while I drove 40 miles to the boat store, picked up a new galvanized trailer, and drove back to the launch site. We left the carcass of the old trailer at the launch to be picked up later. One of my neighbors made a nice stakebed trailer out of it. I do want to caution you about the 60-hp motor: if is not specifically designed for salt water, you will ruin it in a short time, even if you run it in fresh water after the trip to the salt. Over the years (14) of owning my G3, my 50-hp four-stroke has been babied as though it was of my own spawn, and I probably overdo the washout when I do go saltwater (most of that is inshore, but there's still a lot of salt in there). I first had a Motor Guide 40-pound transom-mount freshwater trolling motor, but quickly converted that to a bow-mount so I wasn't chasing the bow in circles in a crosswind. Pulling the boat is much better than pushing it. Anyway, at first opportunity, I swapped that out for a 50-pound thrust MinnKota Riptide saltwater unit, which I had until last week when some rotten SOB stole it off the boat inside the storage area with security lights brightly shining on it at 7:30 at night. No it was not covered by my "boat insurance"; you need a rider for that (hint, hint), and I thought I was covered when I was not. The loss of the trolling motor and nine rod/reels and other goodies totaled around $2500. Yes, my Homeowner's Insurance would cover it, but the deductible for that is also $2500. My son and I fish Jordan, Falls , Shearon-Harris and the Cape Fear river frequently in the G3, but trailer to the big water/inshore a couple of times a year for reds, trout, flounder, stripers, and so on. If you go offshore, be careful. I've done it a few times, and never relaxed a second: probably won't ever do that again... Gotta go now: my local boat guy is mounting the new Minn Kota today.......see you on the lakes....best wishes to you and your son.
 

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Appreciate all the advice/tips. Very helpful.
As stated before not planning on using this boat in saltwater very much. I’d say 90% of its usage will be lakes and rivers. Could take down east a couple of times a year. Sounds like with some tender loving care it should be fine. Eventually I plan to get myself a boat that will be a little more saltwater friendly. Thanks and good luck to everyone.
 
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