boat recomendations

Discussion in 'Boating & Boat Maintenance' started by saltysocal, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Erik L

    Erik L Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2016
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    The extra three feet makes all the difference in the world.
    This was my first boat (saw it recently at the launch ramp and took this picture). It's a 17-foot Key West dual console flats boat that I bought for $3000. It was great for fishing the harbor and the break wall, which at the time was all I wanted it for.
    The boat absolutely sucked outside the harbor because it was pretty flat on the bottom, so once I decided to fish tournaments I upgraded to an 18 foot Blazer Bay. With a 90 HP motor, the boat was economical to run and had massive range since it had a 50 gallon fuel tank. I regularly took this boat to San Clemente Island and had the confidence to make long offshore runs as well. I even ran from Oceanside to Long Beach and back during a bass tournament (that was a lot of miles).
    While the boat fished well, it was small and would beat us up bad enough when it was rough that I decided an upgrade was in order and sold the boat for $9500. You'd be hard pressed to find a comparable boat in that price range right now but you might get lucky. My latest upgrade was to a Robalo 226 Cayman and I won't ever be going bigger as there's nothing this boat can't do that I have any interest in doing.
    Saw you mention a Carolina skiff and I'd recommend against that or any flat bottom boat as it will beat the crap out of you outside the harbor. Also, I'd advise really thinking about saving up some more money as you can get a much better boat in the $15K price range than you can under $10K. Also, try and find a boat that already has good electronics and a trolling motor.
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  2. agrazela

    agrazela Unstable Subgenius
    SDFish VIP

    Jun 4, 2008
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    San Carlos 'hood
    SeaHunt172CC Opti125
    Nice progression there Erik!

    I'm about 1.5 steps behind that. My first boat I picked up for peanuts some 15 years ago, an old 1970's 15' trihull:

    Pounded the crap out of you in anything more than calm Bay conditions...but it did put us on fish over the years:
    PLKAJG.jpg Maggie_Halibut_2_crop.jpg
    Mag Sand Bass crop.jpg

    I learned a lot regarding maintenance and skippering on that boat. Recently sold it for $300, and in far better condition than I bought it!

    (EDIT: minor brag: that little girl graduates from UCB in May and is going to med school...and still loves to fish!)

    Inherited my Mom's boat (2000 Sea Hunt Triton 172 with 2014 Mercury Optimax 125hp) almost 2 years ago:

    After I finish my mods, this is IMO a perfect example of an easy-to-run, reasonable-operating-cost, solo to 2-man vessel for nearshore San Diego. To give some idea of pictured, that would retail in SoCal for about $12k...after upgraded electronics (done!) and a spot-lock trolling motor (in progress!), probably $15k. (Granted, 2/3 of that value is in that new-ish motor!)

    I'd love to step up to a 21 fiberglass CC some day...but the fact is, if I hadn't inherited this boat, I'd likely have been looking for a more budget-friendly Gregor or Baja Runner myself. Too damn many kids in college!
    #22 agrazela, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  3. Fins in the Bin

    SDFish VIP

    Apr 26, 2018
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    A lot of great advise here. I have always owned some kind of boat, and even 2 more after I claimed "whatever I do in life i'm not ever going to buy another boat"! You have plenty of budget to get something nice, the next thing I would tell you is to really think about how long you want to make your fishing trips. If you plan on fishing all day long on a few Saturdays then get something big enough to get to the islands or at least outside the kelp. That is probably 18' and up. I'm not saying it cant be done on a 12' somedays, but for constantly fishing outside thats a good size. The biggest thing I notice about aluminum and fiberglass is that with aluminum you are riding on top of the water more and fiberglass sits deeper so you cut into it more. better fuel economy with aluminum, but not as comfortable.
  4. Mhcato

    Mhcato Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2008
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    I have a Mako 17 pro skiff and love it for bay fishing. Stable dry and inexpensive to operate. Comfortable with three adults. I often fish 2 adults and 2 kids. I have never taken it outside of the bay and would only even consider local kelp on calm days, definitely not the islands or patty hopping. Stock it only has a 6-gal fuel tank with ~ 30-mile range.
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