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New to boating... What size engine?

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  • New to boating... What size engine?

    Brand new to boating. I'd like to by a "bass boat" or hybrid fishing boat, either new or slightly used. I'll be using it primarily for fishing, but would also like to use it for towing my two kids for tubing.

    A couple of questions:

    1. What is the minimum engine size you'd recommend?
    2. Also what size boat would you recommend?

  • #2
    Way too many variables to give a good answer.

    A "Bass Boat", IMHO, is totally unsuitable for tubing.

    My first boat was 16 footer with a 40 HP Outboard. It was an awesome fishing machine and the seats were arranged so that water skiing and tubing was doable as well.

    Your best bet would be to go to a number of local boat dealers, see what they have, see what they recommend, and then come back with some specific models to see what the bass boat / tubers here have to say.
    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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    • #3
      Buy one with an engine already on it. Tried and tested. That will do !

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      • #4
        Thanks for the reply. Specifically looking at a Pro Guide 16 foot Tracker fishing boat with 2017 Mercury 75 hp 4 stroke motor.

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        • #5
          IMHO, I think that would do nicely.
          198LE Stingray 4.3 TKS

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          • #6
            That's a nice fishing boat and ideal for calm waters. It's certainly better than I started out with.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds a nice package.

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              • #8
                Again, will primarily use for fishing, but I'd like to tow my two daughters on an inner tube from time to time. Will this Mercury, 4-stroke do? I'm not looking to do any skiing, and will manage my expectations...

                Comment


                • #9
                  That engine will be more than adequate for tubing, provided it is propped right. I don't know Tracker's philosophy on performance, but at worst a new prop would't be a deal breaker.

                  Otherwise, you'll need to be able to position a seat for a spotter, and you'll have to adapt a ladder to enable the tubers to get in and out of the boat. A center mounted Ski (tow) pylon would be nice, but using an old fashioned bridle on the transom eyes would work as well.

                  As a fishing boat, its great. The only thing better in that regard would be a center console.
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How old are the kids? If young that will be adequate and certainly but I think you may out grow the HP as they get older.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scott06 View Post
                      How old are the kids? If young that will be adequate and certainly but I think you may out grow the HP as they get older.
                      Will need to prop right that motor again from current prop to run middle to max wot rpm range fctory stated when being older. Been powering different size boats with same motor for the last 10 years with just a prop maximization for each one while running at full wot rpm range on all of them.

                      Happy Boating


                      Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers

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                      • #12
                        That's a pretty small boat. The starting price factory package is with a 25 HP motor. A 75 should be more than adequate for any activity.

                        I have only a little experience with Trackers, but if the engine / boat combination was a factory setup, and nobody molested it, the factory prop should be pre-optimized.
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The girls are 11 and 13... I appreciate the responses, so far....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You only need to be able to go 10-20 mph pulling a tube - read and adhere to the warning label. You should be more than fine. Use a bridle to connect the tube to the boat.

                            Depending if you're using a multiperson tube you might find yourself being swung around a bit with that size boat.
                            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
                            2019 Ram 1500 Classic 4x4

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                            • #15
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                              I'm going to disagree a bit with the others... while that boat might work for tubing now, while the kids are little, it will struggle more as the kids get a bit bigger. To be able to sling the tube outside the wake, which is the fun part, you usually need to be able to stay on plane at about 18-20 mph with enough extra power to give it some throttle as you weave back and forth. For older kids, especially if you have a tube capable of carrying two kids, I fear that boat will struggle. You probably have a couple years before you really have to worry about them outgrowing it, though.

                              Also, use a bridle that clips to the transom for pulling the tube. If you use a ski pylon, you're liable to rip it (and whatever it's attached to) out of the boat when the tube submarines.

                              When our kids were very little (7-9ish) I would pull them behind our 14' Sea Nymph with a 10hp tiller-steered outboard. We couldn't go very fast, but it was novel and fun for them. (In retrospect, there were less tubing than they were simply being towed around slowly on raft), but it didn't take long for them to want a bit more fun and excitement.
                              Location: West Central Illinois, USA 1997 Larson 186 SEi Bowrider I/O Mercruiser 350 #0F747565 Mag Alpha One Gen II #1A270120 Transom and Deck Restoration Project on my '97 Larson Bowrider

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