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Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

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  • Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

    So this is the first and hardest thing to figure out is what Type of boat to get. I wanted to get a small (19') bowrider as a starter boat. I live in Maryland and most boating is done on the bay and I am not too sure how a small bowrider will handle the choppy waters of the bay. Infact going on a friends 21" was fun in the quiet waters of the river but was a nightmare once the water got a little choppy. I also like the center console (never been in one though) and could get a small 19' CC in my budget.Is a CC a better boat for the bay? I've NEVER fished but wouldn't mind starting, seems like a blast. Is the CC only for the ocean and not for lakes? Is it as easy to maneuver as a bowrider?


  • #2
    Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

    bowrider = bad for ruff watercenter console's were designed for it.... you can get center consoles that have all the fun and amenities that any bowrider has, but with the ruff water abilities.the higher the freebord the ruffer you can go

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    • #3
      Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

      i run a 20' cc in the bay. while rough days are still rough, it handles well.ps. may be for sale soon..
      2002 Wellcraft 290 Coastal
      Twin 2002 Yamaha F225s

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      • #4
        Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

        I like this bridge style small CC....Here is an example. http://adcache.*********************/6/1/9/73306219.htm Matt, i'd be iterested if the deal is attractive. I'll shoot you an email....

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        • #5
          Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

          Don't rule out a W/A for the Bay. A full enclosure sure is nice when things get ugly out there. CC are not much fun when it's cold and blowing out.
          Grady White 226
          200 Evinrude Ocean Pro
          Evinrude Renegade Offshore Prop

          Furuno FCV 587 Sounder
          Garmin 4208 Multifunction Display
          ICOM M504A VHF
          Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Antennas

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          • #6
            Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

            I just bought a 19'11 CC from Polar and love it. I like to fish but our boat choice also needed to be something for family enjoyment such as pulling the kids around on a tube and skis. The Polar turned out to be our choice since it is a nice boat for fishing which easily converts for family enjoyment with a deck sunpad. CC also provides adequate freeboard for safety of kids. Higher bench seating at helm provides better visibility and enables you to have a less obstructed view of portside.Take a look at polarboats.comI looked hard to find a CC in good condition but found most of the CC's offered to be beyond the condition of what I was willing to buy or were priced at a premium. Therefore, I purchased new and was able to get a modern 4 stroke motor with an 2 yr extended warranty at no charge. Kevin

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            • #7
              Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

              Sonny,The only thing we have to go on is that you want to go out on the Chesapeake Bay. The only definitive answer given so little info is...DO NOT get a bowrider. I grew up on the C&D bays, and conditions can go from nice to nasty in minutes, and you want to survive, right? A bowrider is NOT meant for the Chesapeake.We need to know more...How will you use the boat (fishing, cruising, some of each)? How many people (friends, wife, kids, etc)? What is your budget...are you looking for new or used? What seasons will you use the boat; how long per trip (if you plan to use it for anything more than 6 hours at a time in summer only, you've got to have some cover i.e., cuddy cabin)?

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              • #8
                Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

                I have run both in Biscayne Bay & in the Fla Keys. A CC wins hands down.

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                • #9
                  Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

                  ditto solittle

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

                    Thanks for the tip agrazela.SO i am typical newbie, I live in the area which has many boating oppurtunities and I think the sport suits my laid back approach. I've been renting so far and want to spend more time on the water. I mainly need a boat to cruise the waterways (potomoc or the chesapeake) with my family and friends (max 4 ppl at any given time) and I wouldn't mind something with a berth for an overnight trip. So from what I can say, I need a boat that a. Handles choppy water b. Can be trailered with my explorer (18'-21') c. Has a berth or two d. Will be used mainly for cruising and day trips. I have NEVER fished off a boat before, won't mind getting into it though. e. I am young and a little water sports would be fun (skiing, boarding etc.). I am not a speed freak though.Does this help? I appreciate the advice.....

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

                      You've pretty much painted your way into a hole with the Explorer. A W/A would have gotten you everthing on your list but your not going to be pulling one with an Explorer in this area. Pulling 4000 lbs. of boat behind an Eplorer on Rt. 95 and the Capitol Beltway ain't gonna get it.With the Explorer you're only looking at a 18' CC which would be good for the river but will limit your hours on the open Bay unless your really hardcore and like the physical abuse that comes with it.
                      Grady White 226
                      200 Evinrude Ocean Pro
                      Evinrude Renegade Offshore Prop

                      Furuno FCV 587 Sounder
                      Garmin 4208 Multifunction Display
                      ICOM M504A VHF
                      Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Antennas

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

                        Some of the W/A I've looked at are 2600lbs without the trailer. My explorer is a late model with the tow package and it should be able to handle the load (hell I just bought it anticipating a new boat purchase).

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

                          Not sure what W/A you're looking at and if you've added everything including motor, fuel, equipment, etc. The dry weight of just my hull is a little over #3000 but by the time I add a motor, equipment, fuel, and trailer to the equation it all added up to #5540 on the local truck scale. I pulled it down to the Bay with a friends V8 Explorer one time. It pulled it without incidence, but you’re on the edge with that truck. My require tow vehicle is a new Tahoe with a tow-package complete with loader levers and it does pretty good overall but it’s still no fun battling Beltway traffic.
                          Grady White 226
                          200 Evinrude Ocean Pro
                          Evinrude Renegade Offshore Prop

                          Furuno FCV 587 Sounder
                          Garmin 4208 Multifunction Display
                          ICOM M504A VHF
                          Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Antennas

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: Best starter boat for the Chesapeake?

                            Sonny,You are asking for an all-purpose boat; unfortunately, there is no such thing!That said, let's look at your priorities:a) Handles choppy water; You need a v-hull for sure, preferably a deep-v with high freeboard (in other words, such things as tri-hulls are out).b) Can be towed with your Explorer; We will get back to that...c) Seats four and can berth overnighters; this pretty much rules out center consoles. CC's are an awesome design, but only for fish-only boats, and even then mostly for milder, warm-weather climates (like Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and Southern California). You want a cuddy cabin or a walkaround. Bear in mind that in the size range we are talking about, you will be able to comfortably carry no more than four adults, but comfortably overnight no more than two adults.d) Mainly cruising, maybe some future fishing; if fishing was a higher priority, I would highly recommend a walkaround; however, you will have far more boats to choose from in a cuddy cabin configuration...especially if you are on a budget.e) Some water sports; this is not within my area of advice.Given all this, you want an 18' (or higher) cuddy cabin (or walkaround, if you can find the right price), in a deep-v hull with high freeboard. You want an outboard...no inboard/outboard in this size range if you value interior space. Such boats will typically come "standard" with 115-125 hp O/B's; because on the Chesapeake you will frequently have to outrun surprise weather, you will DEFINITELY want to opt for more hp than this, perhaps 150-175 hp.Now for the bad news...This 18' hull alone will weigh almost 3000 lbs (a dealer will tell you it weighs around 2500 lbs; he is "fudging" a bit). Add 350 lbs of motor, 300 lbs of fuel, 150 lbs of batteries, 850 lbs of trailer, 150 to 200 lbs of other gear, and you are towing almost 5000 lbs. (Hope you got a class III hitch!). Put another 800-1000 lbs of people in the cab, and you are awfully close to your Explorer's GCVWR.You say you have the Explorer with tow package; this could save you somewhat. I assume this means 3.73 limited slip gears and a transmission cooler. You would NEED these to haul your boat up slippery ramps and prevent tranny meltdown in traffic. I am assuming you have automatic tranny. It probably doesn't much matter whether you have the 4.0L v6 (~210 hp) or the 4.6L v8 (~240 hp); both are underpowered for this application, as you really want at least 275 hp for this setup...luckily, you are not in hill country. Hopefully, you have four-wheel disc brakes. You would DEFINITELY need trailer brakes.In short, I think you COULD tow the boat you really want with the tow vehicle you have, but not very safely...especially if you are not experienced, or have children you want to live to see grow up. Maybe you would be OK if you stuck to low-speed roads (i.e., no freeways) and only had to tow a few miles to launch...Bear in mind that I am a safety-oriented person and I like to ensure that I do not exceed 75% of any given capacity of my tow vehicle (i.e., build in a minimum 25% safety margin on TW, GCVWR, Rear GAWR, horsepower, etc.)Another option with your tow vehicle is to go to a smaller cuddy cabin boat, perhaps in the 16-17' range; you would be safer on towing, but you would be far more cramped with 4 adults and would have to pay far more attention to choppy weather on the Chesapeake. I personally would NOT go this route, because a cuddy cabin that small is too tiny, is not really "right" for anything, and would be difficult to resell. If you do this, you will always wish it was bigger.Finally, you could go to a v-hull open-bow or a center console design, perhaps in as long as a 19-20' size (these are lighter in weight than cuddy cabins). This would handle the chop OK; however, you would then give up alot of your weather protection and the overnight capability. On the other hand, you would then have a boat that WAS right for either day-cruising or fishing, and would be very easy to resell.I hope you find my advice useful.(Note: this post has been edited on 7/27/04 to add some advice and clarify some previous items)

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