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WTB a stable fishing boat


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This might be a real dumb question, but I don't want to get into another unstable boat. I was given a boat this past winter. I thought it would work out fine for what i wanted it for....so I thought.

So now I have a boat with no width, and a 7 1/2 power engine I have no use for. It would work in the inland lakes, but if you need to stand up, forget about it. I am a hardcore river guy, and would like to troll for kings when they get in close.

What I want to know is how wide does a boat need to be to be able to stand in. How tall do the sides need to be. If one does slip, or leans over to net a fish, the boat doesn't take in water. I don't have alot to spend, but I do want to get something that will work for me within my budget and not spend a ton of money on useless parts.

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I was fortunate enough to find a 16' boat 70's with a 15 HP merc from 93'. Its aluminum and not super wide but fishes the inland lakes and rivers pretty good. Use it to troll lake mich all over on nice days. Not sure of exact dimensions. Its a browning. Got pics in the show ur boat forum. Tows like a dream;)

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I fish out of a MirroCraft 15' aluminum and on calm days I go out with the big boys, but for early spring coho and browns, and fall combat fishing it is a great boat. It works well on the river for steelhead and also for walleye anywhere. I have 2 Penn Long arm downriggers on the boat and a total of 8 rod holders can fish 2 riggers 4 to 6 planerboards with leadcore or copper and 2 dipsy rods. It is a 2 man rig only but we catch fish. Will post pics of the boat in the Gallery. As a note I use a GPS for trolling speed, I have a handheld Marine radio and a good quality LCD Graph. The Boat is a console steer and has a 30hp Johnson motor. I can run out to 100' troll for 6 hours and only use about 5 gallons of gas.

lil_tramp_001.jpg

Edited by SUPERTRAMP
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The super tramp outfished the 2UNREEL this spring. I think sometimes the smaller boats can give you the stealth approach sometimes and just outright fun during a firedrill. Before my current boat, I had a 17ft Sylvan Fiberglass ski boat. I converted it to slam salmon on the weekend and tubing on the inland lakes during the week. That was a stable boat that you could stand on the gun wals or take 2ft waves no problem. The gas tank was in the center of the boat below deck and the sides were up just past the knees when standing in the boat. The hull design was very good for stability. I would suggest test driving any boat before you buy it. Some are potential death traps for the great lakes.

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Looks like i'll need to get a little bit bigger boat then what I was hoping. I was hoping to get something between 12 and 14 foot but that doesn't seem possible.

Maybe I won't be getting a boat this summer:( Always next winter though:rolleyes:

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For a solid budget boat a older Starcraft Holiday or islander is hard to beat and there are lots of them to be found. When buying a low budget boat get someone who knows what they are looking at to inspect it before you buy it. My old boat sat in my front yard all last year ready to fish with most of the gear still on it no one wanted it till after I traded it to my brother. Old boats are pretty much free you pay for the motor and the trailer. I have no idea what your budget is but there are lots of boats for sale. The one thing you mentioned was fishing in the river and the big lake those two don't mix well for a lot of boats because to be able to handle big water the formula is differant than in a river or inland lake. The big lake wants high sides low center of gravity and a large percentage of boat under the water. You can fish the big lake in a canoe on a calm day but the first time the waves kick up you will wish you had more boat. I have spent hundreds of hours out in a 14 ft open boat with a 10hp Merc was only scared a few times now I wonder if we were crazy to ever go out in a boat that small. My brother in law still fishs in a 14ft open boat with a small motor but the days he can fish are limited. It sux to plan a day of fishing only to get blown off the lake fishing out of Muskegon is a advantage cause if you can't get out you can always stay in and fish for something. Be realistic in what you expect a boat to do and be honest in how well you can handle the weather and you will be fine.

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For a solid budget boat a older Starcraft Holiday or islander is hard to beat and there are lots of them to be found. When buying a low budget boat get someone who knows what they are looking at to inspect it before you buy it. My old boat sat in my front yard all last year ready to fish with most of the gear still on it no one wanted it till after I traded it to my brother. Old boats are pretty much free you pay for the motor and the trailer. I have no idea what your budget is but there are lots of boats for sale. The one thing you mentioned was fishing in the river and the big lake those two don't mix well for a lot of boats because to be able to handle big water the formula is differant than in a river or inland lake. The big lake wants high sides low center of gravity and a large percentage of boat under the water. You can fish the big lake in a canoe on a calm day but the first time the waves kick up you will wish you had more boat. I have spent hundreds of hours out in a 14 ft open boat with a 10hp Merc was only scared a few times now I wonder if we were crazy to ever go out in a boat that small. My brother in law still fishs in a 14ft open boat with a small motor but the days he can fish are limited. It sux to plan a day of fishing only to get blown off the lake fishing out of Muskegon is a advantage cause if you can't get out you can always stay in and fish for something. Be realistic in what you expect a boat to do and be honest in how well you can handle the weather and you will be fine.

I have been fishing the Great Lakes out of other peoples boat since I was born. I wish I could go out and get two boats but just getting out of college and not knowing where a job might take me is a little tough. I am well aware of the dangers the lakes have. That's why I am not looking to go out deep. I want something that would not limit me to the pier heads all the time:no: and will allow me to go within a couple hundred feet from the piers/shore.

I also fish the rivers a ton when the fish come in so I need something for that.

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Just like 1Maniac said, a fourteen footer will get it done. A couple of rod holders and some manual riggers and you are good to go. Just use your head when it comes to weather and you'll be fine. I see fourteen footers all the time around Manistee, especially in between the piers. Good luck Dan.

Chris

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Thanks guys for the advice! I was thinking about buying a bigger rig(16 ft with more Hp) but another purchase I am going to make is going to cost more then what I wanted.

So as soon as I get this other purchase i'll be looking for a 14 footer.

Thanks again!

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If you are going to go with a 14 try and get a 20in transom model will give you a little more gunnel height also consider a bow cover and making a self bailer for the rear. Getting your tail or nose caught in a wave sucks so even a partial bow cover will help and can give you some needed storage space the same for the stearn in a small boat it is hard to use that space anyhow so closing it off and making it self bailing is a good idea also can use part of the self bailer area for down rigger mounts if done right. Another idea to consider is putting in a floor and foaming below it this adds weight below the water line and makes moving around while fishing much nicer.

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