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Well I am thinking about buying my first boat and I would really like to hear your opinions on the subject. My old man told me that a boat is a hull in the water you throw money into but I always have to learn from experience. I just want to fish the bays and maybe on a calm day the jetties. I want to be able to take my wife and maybe a couple friends, 4 people max. I would like something that is NOT brand new but yet something that I do not have to always fool with. I have yet another limitation. I drive a nissan 4X4 4-cylinder and I do not know if it will pull a boat. I do not have a whole lot of money but I would like to stay at or below $5000. Let me know if I am crazy. Thanks in advance.
Craig
 

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Husband First, Fisherman Second...
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First Boat

My advice when buying any boat is make sure the motor is the best part of the rig. My first boat was the uglyest thing, 15' bass boat, gel coat was pretty much wore off, carpet was dry rotted. But everything electronically worked, and the motor was new with less then 20 hour on it. Sometimes you can find a deal like I did. Old boat with new motor, so you basically are buying the motor and trailer from someone. I fished that boat 3-4 times a week for 2 years all over Sabine, any marsh, and pull it to Matagorda a few times. If it's a bay boat, bass boat, or whatever, if the motor work, and it doesn't take on water, you can have fun. But if you're stuck at the boat ramp jackin with the motor or stuck out on the lake...no fun.
 

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I have been looking

$5000 is tough for what you need/want. If you are not going to be towing your boat a long way very often, your truck should be able to handle an 18' boat. Any bigger than that or frequent towing you are going to screw up your truck.
 

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One question you have to ask yourself is what type of fishing am I going to be doing? Am I going to be getting out and wading or anchoring up on a reef? Where are you going to be primarily fishing out of? Galveston or Rockport or Port Mansfield. It sounds like you will have your wife with you a great deal, so her comfort level should be taken into account.

I was able to get a nice used ride for less than $5000, but I had to look around. I agree that the most important thing to look for on a used boat is a good motor. That is where a great deal of your expenses down the line will come from. Also, check the trailer over real good. A good boat and motor on bad trailer is going to cost you down the road, literally.

Good luck,
CC DUCK
 
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