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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new here, so go easy on me. I'd love some thoughts on what I'm currently considering, and welcome insight into things I may not have listed below.

We've been here in Rockport for 2 years now, and I'm really getting the itch to have my own bay boat. I love going out in my kayak, but I'd love to be able to take my family or friends along and get a bit farther out, especially when the wind is up. I've gathered some insight, and would like to get more, to help me in my search.

I've always been around boats, and have several buddies that I go out with pretty regularly down here, so I'm familiar with all the pieces and parts - I've just never owned my own boat. I have contacts that own a shop here in town, and based on some conversations with them, here's what I (think I) am considering:

Budget - ±$20-25k

Length - ±20-22'

Age - less than 10 years would be ideal, or at least a good hull with a newer/low-hour motor (I've seen some nice re-powered Pathfinders that seem reasonable)

Preferred features
  • Jack plate
  • PowerPole or similar
  • Shade - T-top or bimini (wife is fair-skinned)
  • trolling motor
  • navigation/GPS system
  • gear storage
  • somewhat comfortable/dry in chop
  • 12" or less draft (not looking for a super-skinny skiff, but I'd like to drift the flats without dragging)

Things to avoid
  • E-Tec or Optimax engines (apparently hard to get parts for, per the shop)
  • underpowered vessels (I'd like something that can get out of its own way)
  • damaged or fixer-upper situations

I'm not in a hurry - just want to buy once. Used boat prices have been downright silly the past few years, but I have a feeling they'll start dropping with all the volatility and inflation we're seeing, and I hope this opens up more options within my budget. I will have to pay to store it, as I have no room at my house, so I'll be considering that expense as well.

Anyway, I'd love any thoughts or insights from y'all. I'm not in a hurry, and want to find what will be best for me and my family in the long run. If there are brands I should target, or avoid, please let me know.
 

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Welcome!

Here's the reality- you're going to have a really hard time finding a boat that fits everything you listed above in your price range. Keep in mind if you come across a boat that doesn't have all you're looking for you can always add some of those things later. Also you may need to look at 18 footers too. 20 foot plus bay boats are hard to find at 20k.

Here's something that fits in your budget and meets some of what you listed.

If you can expand your budget some you can get something like this that checks all of your boxes.
 

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I have owned 3 kenners. I am not familiar with rockport area but if it is similar to the galveston bay complex I would recommend and you can get something relatively close to your budget. Might be a little more than 10 years old. I found this yellow 2005 21ft kenner last year. It had been sitting a year but I redid/added some things, cleaned it up really good and had a mechanic go through the motor. As it was I paid $9k for it. Threw in another $4-$5k tune up, safe floor and new electronics etc and it was a really great boat.
Sky Boat Watercraft Vehicle Naval architecture
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's the reality- you're going to have a really hard time finding a boat that fits everything you listed above in your price range. Keep in mind if you come across a boat that doesn't have all you're looking for you can always add some of those things later. Also you may need to look at 18 footers too. 20 foot plus bay boats are hard to find at 20k.
Thanks ! I am pretty flexible in my list, though I'd obviously love to find something that ticks all or most of the boxes. I know I can add on certain items later, so the more permanent features would be more of a priority.

As far as length, I'm open to considering shorter boats, but I already have buddies with shorter/shallower boats that I can go out on, so it would have to be otherwise perfect for me to consider. 18 would be absolute bare minimum, and 19 would probably be ok depending on the layout. I want a comfortable boat for my wife and daughter that has the ability to fish most of the various inshore areas around Rockport.

As far as budget, I'll be taking my time to look for a deal. I wouldn't want to go a whole lot higher, but I am realistic that quality commands a higher price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have owned 3 kenners. I am not familiar with rockport area but if it is similar to the galveston bay complex I would recommend and you can get something relatively close to your budget. Might be a little more than 10 years old. I found this yellow 2005 21ft kenner last year. It had been sitting a year but I redid/added some things, cleaned it up really good and had a mechanic go through the motor. As it was I paid $9k for it. Threw in another $4-$5k tune up, safe floor and new electronics etc and it was a really great boat.
That's a good looking boat! Definitely something to consider.
 

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Two of things you listed (handles chop well and drifts in 12") are also going to be a hard combo in that budget. The Kenner mentioned above is a solid boat and I've heard they ride well in the chop but it won't float in a foot. You may consider expanding that 12" float depth some. You can still cover a lot of the flats around Rockport/AP with 18" of water and that draft depth greatly expands your boat options. It takes about 18" to run most bow mount trolling motors. Yeah 12" of draft would be better but it's hard to find a boat that handles chop well, has a 12" draft or less, at least 18' long and under 25k.
 

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I have a 2004 Blazer Bay 2220 with a 200 Yamaha Vmax (Ox66 version) that meets most of your criteria except maybe the 12" draft. I have considered selling because I'm not using it enough, and I think it could go at the top of your price range. I concur with the comment above for a boat 10 years old or newer at least based on my recent market scans.

-Mike
 

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This one is pretty enthusiastic on price but will meet all of your needs. It’s literally a Bigfoot with the transom squared off, instead of key slot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I dont want to burst your bubble but you wont find the boat you described at that price in this market. You are looking at 35k plus for that rig
I put in my original post that used boat prices have been just downright silly the past few years. I do realize it's a tall order, and I may not get everything I want for what I want to pay. Right now I'm information-gathering, and we'll see where prices and inventory are later in the summer. I'm not in a hurry to buy.

I have a 2004 Blazer Bay 2220 with a 200 Yamaha Vmax (Ox66 version) that meets most of your criteria except maybe the 12" draft. I have considered selling because I'm not using it enough, and I think it could go at the top of your price range. I concur with the comment above for a boat 10 years old or newer at least based on my recent market scans.
How are you liking that Blazer Bay? I like the idea that they're all composite, but I've never been around one. The specs I found show it drafts right at 12" - what is your experience when you're loaded down?


This one is pretty enthusiastic on price but will meet all of your needs. It’s literally a Bigfoot with the transom squared off, instead of key slot.
I like the Haynie's - I've been on a few and they're awesome all around. Good deals on them are few and far between!
 

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You have a good list of requirements and you accept that you may compromise on some of them. My input is to continue to save money while you’re looking, effectively increasing your budget, so that you can immediately buy the boat you’ve been waiting for as soon as you find it. At some point, the increasing budget, your list of requirements, and the right boat will intersect. Be prepared to act immediately. Buy quality and you’ll less likely regret it. You’ll notice this as an owner and when you sell it.

If you come to enjoy it as much as most of us do and have the means, the first boat is a learner and not your last boat purchase.
 

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Saved by the Grace of God
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I have owned 3 kenners. I am not familiar with rockport area but if it is similar to the galveston bay complex I would recommend and you can get something relatively close to your budget. Might be a little more than 10 years old. I found this yellow 2005 21ft kenner last year. It had been sitting a year but I redid/added some things, cleaned it up really good and had a mechanic go through the motor. As it was I paid $9k for it. Threw in another $4-$5k tune up, safe floor and new electronics etc and it was a really great boat. View attachment 4613449
That is one fantastic boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm more officially on the hunt now. Based on some feedback from here, and my looking around, I've made some tweaks to my original parameters:

Budget - Up to 35k

Length - 20-22'

Age - less than 10 years, or at least a good hull with a newer/low-hour motor

Preferred brands
  • Pathfinder
  • Majek
  • Haynie
  • Tran
  • Dargel

Preferred features
  • Jack plate
  • PowerPole or similar
  • Shade - T-top or bimini (wife is fair-skinned)
  • trolling motor
  • navigation/GPS system
  • gear storage
  • somewhat comfortable/dry in chop
  • 12" or less draft (not looking for a super-skinny skiff, but I'd like to drift the flats without dragging)

Things to avoid
  • E-Tec or Optimax engines (apparently hard to get parts for, per the shop)
  • underpowered vessels (I'd like something that can get out of its own way)
  • damaged or fixer-upper situations

Feel free to send over any links or leads you may have. Thanks for the help!
 

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I have owned 3 kenners. I am not familiar with rockport area but if it is similar to the galveston bay complex I would recommend and you can get something relatively close to your budget. Might be a little more than 10 years old. I found this yellow 2005 21ft kenner last year. It had been sitting a year but I redid/added some things, cleaned it up really good and had a mechanic go through the motor. As it was I paid $9k for it. Threw in another $4-$5k tune up, safe floor and new electronics etc and it was a really great boat. View attachment 4613449
I've owned 2 Kenners and I can say they set the standard with this hull design many years ago with this hull design. Excellent riding boats and cuts the waves extremely well. Plus they don't draft that much.
 

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Is there a certain year/era of Pathfinders that are more prone to demyelinate? Or is that hull contact with bottom structure??

I like the Kenner (late 90s/early 00's) Pathfinder/blazer bay setup for my young family with the bow cushions

Haynie when they're older.
 

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I've owned 2 Kenners and I can say they set the standard with this hull design many years ago with this hull design. Excellent riding boats and cuts the waves extremely well. Plus they don't draft that much.
Here is the latest one I have. Just got done with it. But yes they are great bay boats for this area.

Wheel Watercraft Boat trailer Sky Boat
 

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Come and Take it
Majek Xtreme 22’ w/225 SHO
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I was in the market a couple years ago before prices on everything began to climb. I was lucky enough to find basically what you’re looking for and it ran me $35k. This is my rig, it’s a 2013 Majek 22’ Xtreme, 225 SHO with 110 hrs when I bought it. With that being said, I have to agree with most of the guys here and say that what you’re looking for may be a little higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, folks, I found my boat. Not exactly the direction I thought I'd go, but these weren't on my radar until I saw this one. I feel really good about the deal I made on it, and it leaves plenty in the budget for add-ons and maintenance.





2006 Mosca 22' Bay Raider
2011 Suzuki DF250SS with ~400 hours

This thing rides well, and the raised console is nice! Plenty of motor for the boat, and it pops up on plane very quickly. Lots of storage, too.

My first additions will be a Power Pole, and I'll look into some sort of shade for it - probably a removable bimini.

Thanks to y'all for the input!
 

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Well, folks, I found my boat. Not exactly the direction I thought I'd go, but these weren't on my radar until I saw this one. I feel really good about the deal I made on it, and it leaves plenty in the budget for add-ons and maintenance.





2006 Mosca 22' Bay Raider
2011 Suzuki DF250SS with ~400 hours

This thing rides well, and the raised console is nice! Plenty of motor for the boat, and it pops up on plane very quickly. Lots of storage, too.

My first additions will be a Power Pole, and I'll look into some sort of shade for it - probably a removable bimini.

Thanks to y'all for the input!
Congrats on your new boat! You'll get a lot of advice on what's next. My advice is to look into tow boat insurance. I called the one in Rockport and got an annual policy for about 120 bucks. You're looking at a minimum of $1500 if they pull you out or come get you without their tow insurance. That boat will run pretty skinny and it's easy to get 50 feet off track and get stuck. Plus your motor has some age. It's cheap piece of mind.
 
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