That New Boat
With Sports and Boats Shows going on, many are out looking for a good deal on a new boat as this is a great opportunity to see different types of fishing boats and compare models. We know how difficult it can be to make the correct choice when purchasing a new boat. As many, we started out with an older small jon boat until we were sure fishing together was something we wanted to spend more time doing (well you know how that turned out). As we advanced in our level and spent more time fishing, we also advanced into different boats. During this time span we once traveled a few hundred miles to purchase what we felt was the right boat for the best price at the time. Later we found this boat was not best suited for the new waters we were fishing, did not work for taking family members out with us nor did it fit our tournament fishing needs. I admit we did save some money but service became an issue when we needed it and we did not want to make the 6-hour drive to where we got it.
By now we decided to do more research, compare different models, check our options and consult with knowledgeable people for which we found the right boat with the proper equipment for our multi-species fishing and can take family members out with us.
We wish to share some tips or factors to consider for helping you make the right choice so you do not jump in over your head:
-How much will you use a boat? This helps to decide how much to invest as you want to get the most boat for what you can afford and not need a part time job to pay for it because then you will have no time to fish. You may find that perhaps a newer used boat will be the best fit for your needs.
-How many will be fishing or boating with you and how much gear is needed to be on the boat.
-What type of fishing or recreation will this boat be used for? This will help determine best type of boat and the size of motor needed.
-How much traveling will you do with this boat? Single axle trailers are fine, but tandem axles may handle those long hauls better.
-What size lakes or rivers will you fish the most? For starters a 14 foot jon boat will work for the small lakes or strip mines, a 16-17 foot boat is good for most lakes but for larger lakes or when you have more experience, an 18-20 foot will ride better and handle rougher waters much better and safer. There are good Aluminum boats that are real durable and the Fiberglass models ride great, handle big waters and bigger motors. However, bigger boats cost more; require bigger motors, use more fuel and upkeep & insurance will cost more.
As for motors, the improved 2-cycle motors are more fuel efficient but cost more and are very complex. The newer 4-cycle motors are quieter, ecologically better and save fuel but again are costly. Do Not make the mistake of under powering your boat with too little power where it will not plane up under a full load or in rougher water, you will not be comfortable or feel safe with it.
Examine the boat (Do a Good Look over of used boats), look at construction, materials used and look over the trailer. Since the transom is the pivot point and important, it needs looked at and maybe even consider a Keel guard for protecting a fiberglass boat hull. Check for accessories, electronics and all other components for size, fit, water tightness, quality (such as carpet) and safety features. Get a test ride if you can, but remember it is not like test driving a car. Look for a company that has been around, with known quality, good warranty, a large support network of dealers for best service and parts.
Check the manufacturers rating for maximum horsepower and see that you get enough motor to handle the load but do not under-power your boat. An underpowered boat will struggle to get on plane and may need high throttle levels to stay up on water which results in overworking the engine meaning poor fuel economy. While on this subject, consult the dealer to see you get the right prop for you engine depending on how you will use it.
For us in Central Illinois, we find ourselves limited on Fishing Boat Dealers under an hour drive from Peoria/East Peoria. We feel this dealer must have a good wide selection of boats & motors and a Very Good reputation for Excellent Service. Since our past two boats had to be ordered, this time in late winter of 2016 we tried to find just what we wanted, and after traveling, visiting 4 dealers, we found our boat at Hennepin Marine.
This Lund Rebel XS has fit our needs and plan for downsizing some as well as the Mercury motors have performed well & efficiently.
This was not only a Good purchase decision, but going to Hennepin Marine was truly the Best decision.
We cannot say enough about how they do so much for you to get you into the boat you want and is best suited for you. Their service staff is one of the Best as they worked with us to make changes and obtain our special request. After a couple weeks, we wanted some accessories and they had all the parts in stock.
With this, we highly recommend you at least check them out and tell Rich or Nic we sent you.. And be sure to check out the Hennepin Marine Open House on 1st weekend in March, a great time to Stop by and see their Hugh selection and maybe take advantage of any LUND or Mercury promotions and/or savings !
Buying a boat can be exciting and enjoyable, just take a realistic look and if you have done your homework well, with some comparisons, you can get into the best boat for your fishing needs and enjoy years of fun!
For Fishing Reports, Tips, Events and more check with us at www.larrysfishinghole.com
Till Next Time, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING.!