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First off, I can hear the laughs that must be out there...:D. I always hear that having a friend with a boat is much better then having a boat. I've fished for years from the kayak (which I LOVE) and will not give it up, but I'm 38, and have a son thats 6, and my Dad that's 65, and I cant exactly see them getting into a kayak and going with me...

Anyway, I'm thinking that I can get somthing that I can fish and take the family out on the lake for $4K-$5K. Any adivce on brands or things I should pay perticular attention to? This would be my first boat. Thank you.
 

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Red X Angler
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Remeber the largest expense of purchasing a boat is the engine! You want a good quality, well maintained engine. In your price range it will probably be a 2 stroke and that's fine as it is a long proven/easy to maintain design. Opinions on which one are like anything else (everyone has their favorite and swear by it!) I know Evinrudes/Johnsons are tough! and I love them, but I have no experience to compare them with. Yamaha is suppose to be good but seem pricey to me. Others love Mercuries...
In my opinion notice what the older boats you see are running and dont be afraid to walk up and ask questions. I know FORCE, Chrysler, engines are a no-no !! And stay away from odd brands you can't easily find local dealers/parts for. Engines built before 1973 are mostly point type ignition and require special maintainence often.
Dont be afraid of older engines if they have a good reputation and a good service record.
As far as the boat itself it depends on what/where you fish and do you JUST want to fish or do you want to ski/tube?
 
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Red X Angler
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with that price point you can get a decent boat, last year about this time I picked up a 18ft proline with a 150 merc. on a good trailor for 3200. with the way the economy is heading there are a ton of used boats available and now just before christmas people are looking to get a little something to help pay for santa. depends where you are but there are some good used boat dealers out there that you can talk to and find out what is available. I can't remember the name of the post but recently we had another fellow who was looking and a few of the guys on here gave out some good reccomendations. If you are down near Wilmington talk to Scott Marles at M&M Marine used boats, he does refurbishments and then resells, he and I have been best friends for 35 yrs and he is as honest as they come. phone is 910-784-9222.
 

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First off, I can hear the laughs that must be out there...:D.
We didn't get nearly enough mileage out of that...
  • You'll be able to take more people but its going to be tough paddling a big old fiberglass hulk.
  • Good luck loading it on top of the car.
  • why would you trade down for the privilege of $3/gallon gas?
but then there's the other side of the coin too
  • You'll become a much better friend when you get the new boat!
Good luck on the search. I'll PM a little about my boat buying and selling experience in the triangle. May be something you can take from that...
 

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When looking for a used boat beware of some of the cheaper lines that cover a wood floor with carpet. Wood floors tend to rot. Beware of them. A lot of older Bayliners and Sunlines had wood floors. A well maintained 2 stroke will last a long time. I saw a great deal here:

1994 16ft Pamlico Fiberglass Skiff

It might be a little small but that a great deal for a good stable fishing boat.
 
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