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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Strange thing happened on a recent trip to the beach. The wife got the itch to try boating. I've been on her for years to look into it and now she's thinking that it would be fun to try. I guess she gets a little envious of me paddling around in my yak all the time but doesn't want to work that hard.

Other than spending most of every summer in a small jon boat with a 5 hp outboard as a kid on the Nansemond river, I don't know the best place to start. Would like to rent a boat sometime just to get her out a few times to be sure she likes it before even thinking of what the possibilities are. Would like to cruise the Potomac and out into the bay, something like a 20' sport fish or deck boat looks good. She can sip on margarita's while I strip in various clousers on my 6wt. Not a bad combo.

Anyone know of rentals around Occoquan? Any other advise will be much appreciated.
 

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I don't know about rentals, but I think I would look into the 20' sport fisher boat as opposed to the the deck boat. But there again, it all depends on what kind of boating/fishing your going to want to do. Deck boats are nice for most rivers, lakes and parts of the bay. Thery are more family oriented and relaxing for everyone and more friends can go on it at one time.
The 20' sport fisher will cover any part of the bay you want to go, and will also go on most rivers and lakes. It will also cover some offshore spots once you get used to it.

Either could be fun.

That is my thoughts, with 5.00 you might be able to take those and the 5.00 for a cup of coffee.


JoeB
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I'm leaning towards that for the reasons you mention. Maybe a walkaround or cuddy as well for overnight trips.
 

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I sell boats and I am not going to say where or what I sell so that you dont think I am being biased. I will tell you two of the biggest mistakes first time boat buyer make is buying too small and getting a cabin boat for the overnights. I have seen too many times folks start off with a 16-18 footer and come back in to let me know that they really need a bigger boat. I would go with a 20-23 ft. These can go out in the bay and offer lots of room.
As for the cabin boat, do this for me. Pick a day when it is 97 degrees and go to a boat dealership and climb in. nough said :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[Q]RLGFlagship originally wrote:
As for the cabin boat, do this for me. Pick a day when it is 97 degrees and go to a boat dealership and climb in. nough said :)
[/Q]
What, no AC??? [grin] Good advise though. I can see your point about the size, as we're surfing the online classifieds with pictures, we like the ones over 20'. There's something I really like about the design of the sportfishers I've seen.
 

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Well, sounds like your almost there. Don't forget to consider the trailering with your current vehicle if you wan't to be mobile.
 

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If I were shopping for a new boat, I'd look at something in the 23 - 25 foot range. The reason is because I'm looking for a 23 footer since for me, it's the best size for the bay and running offshore.

If you look around, you'll find boats that say they are 23 feet, but are no bigger then the next brands 21 footer and 25 footers that are really 23 feet long. It's all in how the manufacture measures them. Most measure the bow pulpit, some don't. Some have pulpits and some don't. Some of a euro transom and some don't.

Just becareful on what your buying, but I'd be looking for something that measures 23 feet without measureing the pulpit and 19 to 23 deg of deadrise.

- Dae
 

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If you'll never stay on it over night don't get a cuddy, it'll just be wasted space...but get a t-top with enclosure to get out of the weather if needed and something with at least a porti-poti to appease the wife, even if she never uses it.

A walkaround with only a bed in the cabin is really only good for maybe 1 night stays...and make sure the bed is big enough for both of you. Without a small galley and decent head you're at the mercy of the marina's bath houses for all your needs.

I have an 18' WA, we love it BUT it only seats 4 comfortably and we can only sleep 2 people for a maximum of 1 night...my wife also likes being able to take a comfortable nap while I fish. I couldn't imagine sleeping onboard in this kind of heat w/out A/C though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can definately see the difference in the 23-24+ footers and those around 18-20. Man, a foot difference didn't sound like a lot until I saw the boats. We went to basspro and looked at their boats on Sat. I like the sportfish/cc design, and luckily so did the wife and my son. Thought for sure they'd prefer the dual console so we're getting somewhere.

I'm on the fence though about a larger boat since realistically offshore boating probably won't happen a lot. Towing and fueling a larger boat is a consideration since we'll mostly be cruising the Potomac, larger lakes and sometimes the bay. The 180 Dauntless is a sweet looking boat.

Now I have to research the ongoing costs, insurance, slip, storage, fuel costs to see how much this little hobbie might cost. Unfortunately in my neighborhood, no boat parking. [sad]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[Q]erikrs301 originally wrote:
If you'll never stay on it over night don't get a cuddy, it'll just be wasted space...but get a t-top with enclosure to get out of the weather if needed and something with at least a porti-poti to appease the wife, even if she never uses it.
[/Q]
Agreed, that's exactly what we were thinking. - don
 

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We have a 21' Parker sport cabin with a very fuel efficent 150 Yamaha 4 stroke and love it. Its nice to be able to lock up all of our gear in the cabin and not have to haul it around.

There is enough room in the cabin for a nap but not for serious sleeping. We love the cabin when we go trolling for rockfish in the winter.....cold and rain don't bother us much.

We keep our boat in a slip only 3 or 4 minutes from our house. We have recently ordered a trailer for it so we can pull it out in the off-season and if a hurricane should approach.

Thinking about getting a 28' in a few years when we have more time to fish. Can't see putting out that much money right now when our time is limited.

So think about what your needs and wants are and go from there. Good luck.
 

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One thing that no one, including myself, mentioned. Get on the boat before you buy it. Have it tied up to the dock, no one else in it, then get on and walk around. I was going to buy a boat that I liked one time, and fortunitly for me it was in the water when I went back to get it. I got on it, walked around and walked away. It rolled too much just sitting there. If your happy at the dock, try the same out on the water away from the dock.. Some boat are nice ,but rock more than you might want.
 

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[Q]Joe Bowers originally wrote:
One thing that no one, including myself, mentioned. Get on the boat before you buy it. Have it tied up to the dock, no one else in it, then get on and walk around. I was going to buy a boat that I liked one time, and fortunitly for me it was in the water when I went back to get it. I got on it, walked around and walked away. It rolled too much just sitting there. If your happy at the dock, try the same out on the water away from the dock.. Some boat are nice ,but rock more than you might want.
[/Q]
Excellent advice! We once changed our minds about a boat after we took it out and crossed the wake a few times with it.....too much of a beating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
[Q]Joe Bowers originally wrote:
One thing that no one, including myself, mentioned. Get on the boat before you buy it. Have it tied up to the dock, no one else in it, then get on and walk around. [/Q]
That is good advise, the ones on the trailers felt real stable when you walked around them!

Nancy, about how many gallons an hour does your 150hp 4-stroke use, ballpark?
 

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[Q]krahlr originally wrote:
[
Nancy, about how many gallons an hour does your 150hp 4-stroke use, ballpark?
[/Q]
About 6 to 7 gallons an hour........it is a very quiet engine.
 

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krahlr -

You are getting lots of good advice here. I would like to throw in my $.02 as well.

I think the best way to get into boating is to start with a smaller, used boat. You can get a well maintained, high quality boat for a reasonable amount of money and it will serve you well as you learn boat handling skills, trailering skills, launch/recovery skills, etc. You will also be learning your way around the local waters, learning to read the weather and sea state, etc. Just soooo much to learn. Most importantly, you will learn pretty quickly whether or not you really want to be a boat owner. Oh, and even if the cabin and overnighters sound like a good idea, look forward to those feature for your next boat. I can't tell you how many time I hear of people, including freinds of mine, getting a boat to accomodate the wife of family only to find out that the wife and/or family don't want to have anything to do with the boat.

Owning a boat sounds really good on paper, but as any boat owner will tell you, there is a substantial commitment that comes with owning a boat. This is true in terms of money, but more importantly in terms of time. Both the time and money you spend on boating grow exponentially with each extra foot of boat you own.

You can purchase a good quality used boat and learn over the course of a season or so if you really want to be in the boating game. More importanty, you will learn more about how you will be using your boat, what features are going to be important to you, what size will best suit your needs, etc. You can't know these things without actually spending time on the water. My perfect boat may be your nightmare, and vice versa. It would be helpful to spend time with other experienced boaters on their boats if you can, and find out what feature they like, dislike, etc. There are many thing you could never even think of if you haven't spent much time on boats before. Seemingly simple things can make all the difference.

Most here will also tell you that your first boat will be gone in a matter of a couple seasons and you will either be out of boating for good, or you will move up to something that better suits your needs. When the time comes to sell this first boat, chances are very good that you can sell it for almost what you paid for it. Start with a new boat and you will take a soaking on depreciation.

Lastly, please consider taking a boating saftey course from the USCG Aux or Power Squadron. Common sense is one of your most important self preservation tools on the water, but inexperience can cost you bigtime. Better to learn the ins and outs in a classroom than risk learning the hard way. You will still learn all the really imporant lessons from being on the water, but at least you will have a head start on the most important ones. It's surprising how often you can read about the misfortunes of somebody who made one small mistake and paid for it dearly.

Anyway, best of luck to you. If I can be of any help, please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is all very good info, thanks a bunch to all for the replies. Since it's not something we're jumping into quickly, any more ideas are welcome, I'll be checking this thread here for a while.
 

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I have spent my whole life fishing on small-medium size boats and the best lessons are that no one boat does it all and if you make your wife or kids cry it will be a bad experience.

River and Bay fishing does not require a big boat but the bay gets choppy and if you go out first thing in the morning 10 miles and the wind picks up you will be sorry on the ride home.

What you did not mention (I do not think) is if you are going to trailer it around. That makes a difference if you are thinking of cuddy cabins especially. Launching a 23 foot Deep V alone is no fun.

My advice for a first boat is a used 19' or 21' Boston Whaler Outrage. Excellent hull, flat enough to navigate shallow river and creek water but modified-V that does not hit too hard (usually). I spent many days off shore in a 21' and only cried a few times [smile]. They are not too easy to find and are a little pricey but they really work well and hold value.

As my wife and I fight weekly about the boat we have in the garage (instead of her car) there is a reason that there are 2 sayings that everyone uses...

If it Flys, Floats or F$#@%s - rent it don't buy it. AND

The happiest 2 days of a mans life are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells his boat!

Just my $.02
 

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[Q]RLGFlagship originally wrote:
I sell boats and I am not going to say where or what I sell so that you dont think I am being biased. I will tell you two of the biggest mistakes first time boat buyer make is buying too small and getting a cabin boat for the overnights. I have seen too many times folks start off with a 16-18 footer and come back in to let me know that they really need a bigger boat. I would go with a 20-23 ft. These can go out in the bay and offer lots of room.
As for the cabin boat, do this for me. Pick a day when it is 97 degrees and go to a boat dealership and climb in. nough said :)
[/Q]
I agree, but then Momma needs a place to tend to personal needs and although hot they still like it! Plus, it's good for overnighting in the fall and spring or to catch a few ZZZZZs while on an all night fishing trip during the cooler months which we have more of than the hot months......... [grin]
 
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