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  • Help for a newby

    After boating the last 6 years with my ex, it's my turn to take over. Any suggestion for a first boat purchase, used, under 20k for boating lakes in WI?
    thanks all!

  • #2
    Welcome aboard.

    Before we can throw out any advice - What are you planning on using the boat for? Cruising, fishing, water sports, kids or all adults or just soaking up the sun?
    BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
    Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
    That is what the forums are for.
    Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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    • #3
      Welcome aboard

      first and foremost, please define which one of the 15,000 lakes in Wisconsin you want to boat in. some lakes are under 100 acres, lake Winnebago is over 137,700 acres and then there is lake michigan.

      each of them requires a different boat

      then there is the desired use like GA mentioned

      as a Cheesehead by birth, I can tell you from experience, look outside of Wisconsin for a boat. you will save 25% by driving do places like the Quad Cities, etc. and driving back. My SeaRay 190 was purchased at a Marine Max in St Louis because it was $5k less than the same boat in WI or MN
      Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

      Past Boats
      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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      • #4
        Although born and raised in Wisconsin, I've lived in Minnesota for many decades (5-1/2 of them to be exact) and I agree that boats can be found cheaper out-state or out-of state. I've landed some good deals over the years but timing, paying attention to inventory and otherwise doing due diligence is key to buying anything. The main thing is to not do a "shotgun" thing where you set out to buy something not being certain what you want and need for however it is you intend to use the thing. For example some boats are great for cruising but lousy for fishing and vice versa. Water sports require "power". An underpowered boat will drive you nuts. Figure out what you want, then narrow choices to about three manufacturers and models. Failure to do this will ensure you end up with something you don't like because it doesn't fit your needs.

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        • #5
          I really appreciate this feedback, so awesome! My brother has a place on Lake Wisonsin in Merrimac. I also like Lake Delavan and Pewaukee. We cruise and fish with some tubing. I tried to be a true boating partner the last 6 years and absorb as much info as possible, so this forum is great!
          I looked at a Bayliner 175BR but was told by a family friend, Bayliner aren't made like they used to be. Thanks again friends!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LilHonu View Post
            I really appreciate this feedback, so awesome! My brother has a place on Lake Wisonsin in Merrimac. I also like Lake Delavan and Pewaukee. We cruise and fish with some tubing. I tried to be a true boating partner the last 6 years and absorb as much info as possible, so this forum is great!
            I looked at a Bayliner 175BR but was told by a family friend, Bayliner aren't made like they used to be. Thanks again friends!
            That's actually the good thing about Bayliner. Their quality has improved, greatly. If you haven't looked at a new one you really should. Gone are the days where they are entry level boats - some will argue this with me but they HAVE changed.


            Anything at a big box sporting goods store, you know the stores with a big old Bass on the logo, is what I would consider entry level these days. Their quality has gone downhill.

            In regards to that specific Bayliner - it'll be on the small side depending on how many people you plan to have aboard. IF you are truly looking at fishing as well you *might* be better served looking at a Ski & Fish model that has the trolling motor and livewell built in.
            2017 Chaparral 19 H2O Ski & Fish w./4.3L 180HP Merc Alpha
            2005 Four Winns 200Le x/5.0L Volvo SX-M (270HP - FI) - ordered new, traded in on Chaparral
            1999 Bayliner Capri 1800LS w/2000 Honda 115HP - ordered new, traded in on Four Winns
            1956 MFG 15' w/matching Evinrude Big Twin 30HP - presumed to be a sandbox somewhere


            Tow Vehicle:
            2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4x4

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            • #7
              Good to know Brian! The boat I was looking at was a 2011, new would be beyond my budget. Is Boat Trader a good souce?

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              • #8
                Click on the Boats For Sale link on top of this or any forum page. You will find a lot of options to narrow your search.
                BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
                Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
                That is what the forums are for.
                Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Look at a lot of boats from a lot of sources. Decide what layout you want, what you can afford, do you get a loan, etc. You'll see what's available compared to what you want, and what's available in your price range. Then keep looking. I found one of our boats by chance, but by that point had done my homework, so I knew it was the one I wanted when I happened upon it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LilHonu View Post
                    Good to know Brian! The boat I was looking at was a 2011, new would be beyond my budget. Is Boat Trader a good souce?
                    It's one of many places. You may also want to check out your local marinas. Often they have model year left overs at discounts, sometimes substantial discounts, that *might* put new back into your search. They also get trades this time of year from people who suffer from 2-ft-itis and you might find one a couple years old that was traded in. Less risky, albeit more expensive, buying used from a marina. At least they have to stand behind it, an individual sale you're left up to the honesty of the seller.

                    As the weather warms up, the prices will go up, nature of the beast. Its also when others like yourself start contemplating a boat with their tax returns. Not the most ideal time to buy. Usually fall when everyone suddenly has the revelation of "where am I storing this?" decides to offload theirs at sometimes substantial discounts. Then you might happen upon a gem.

                    Good luck!

                    If there's something you want a set of eyeballs on, post the link and you'll get some very candid responses.
                    2017 Chaparral 19 H2O Ski & Fish w./4.3L 180HP Merc Alpha
                    2005 Four Winns 200Le x/5.0L Volvo SX-M (270HP - FI) - ordered new, traded in on Chaparral
                    1999 Bayliner Capri 1800LS w/2000 Honda 115HP - ordered new, traded in on Four Winns
                    1956 MFG 15' w/matching Evinrude Big Twin 30HP - presumed to be a sandbox somewhere


                    Tow Vehicle:
                    2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4x4

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You are asking the age old question that everybody struggles with.

                      I have been a boatman since I was about 4 years old. It took me 15 years to find out what I wanted, another 20 years to find out what I really needed, and another 20 years to be able to afford it.

                      Buy what looks good to you. Make sure it was well maintained and is in good shape. Keep it in pristeen condition and in a few years trade it in for what looks good to you at the time.

                      I am an anomaly, so don't take my advice. My oldest boat is now 67 years old, and the boat we sold last year we owned for 35 years. Most people tire of things in a hurry and thus waste a lot of money.

                      Good luck in your search.
                      2019 SeaRay SPX 190 OB & Mercury 150 4-Stroke & Merc 5.0 Kicker
                      2017 Boston Whaler 150 Montauk & Mercury 60 ELPT Command Thrust & Merc 3.5 Kicker
                      2015 Yamaha FX Cruiser HO
                      1964 Sea Nymph 14R & 1970 Evinrude Sportwin 9.5
                      1960 Mulray 100 Dinghy, equipped with Beaver Oars
                      1952 Lyman 15' Mid Steer & Evinrude Big Twin 25
                      69 Outboards: 1919-2019, representing 11 manufacturers
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Member ACBS, LBOA, AOMCI

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                      • #12
                        I love your response! I've tried to walk away from boating but after growing up with it as well, I figured out, it really makes me happy. I wish I knew more about mechanics, that being the priority in my search. I've tried to learn hands on and read as my as possible. I am patient, and per the advise here, probably will look to purchase towards the fall, but who knows.. maybe it'll be love at first site!
                        Thanks again, Theresa

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't wait till fall, as the number of boats on the market will drop considerably.

                          Being in WI, the best time to buy may be in mid to late July through late August.

                          By September 10th, many people are done for the year and preparing for winter storage.

                          I would look for an outboard powered boat as opposed to an i/o, as maintenance is less daunting, and the risk of major damage or repairs is less in my opinion.

                          Boat trader is a source for browsing, but like most places, the asking prices are usually a few thousand too high.
                          Look for something in the 15k range, and haggle down to 11 or 12.

                          A majority of boats available will be listed on craigslist, once you narrow down your search, check the listings within 100 miles, DAILY.

                          A major factor in what boat you buy, is what you have for a tow vehicle.
                          Late model mid-sized suv's have very little towing capacity.

                          Outboard powered boats will weigh less, and aluminum boats even less.

                          As for Pewaukee, too crowded for me. Can't do any real fishing there, and watersports on the weekend is downright dangerous with all the crazies flying around.
                          Medford, WI


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                          • #14
                            Thanks Roscoe! What lakes do you suggest? Also any used make I should be eyeballing?

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                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              So, guessing you are in south or southeast WI.
                              Lived in tosa, Milw, Brookfield, for 35 years, now I'm further north.

                              Just driving an hour or more away from the huddled masses came make your day on the water so much more relaxing.

                              Koshkonong, Lake Mills, Beaver Dam, Fox Lake, then a bit further up the Wisconsin River is Castle Rock Lake, and Petenwell Flowage. And as you know, lots of good water in the WI River.

                              Makes and models? way too many to consider.

                              Your price range should put you in a fairly new boat, but don't be afraid to look at a boat that is 14-20 years old.
                              Condition is more important than age.
                              Get it inspected by a mechanic before buying it.
                              And get an on water test drive with the seller if possible.

                              Make sure you get current registration and title for the boat.
                              And current registration for the trailer.
                              Make sure they are all in the sellers name.


                              If you go with an i/o, then only Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
                              For outboards, Mercury, Yamaha, Honda, Evinrude E-tec

                              What to avoid?
                              NO OMC, Force, Ford, or Ficht.


                              How many people will be in the boat?
                              Last edited by roscoe; March 17th, 2019, 04:28 PM.
                              Medford, WI


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