Myself, I have an 18' '88 Manatee with a 115 '89 Evinrude. For it's age it is still sound and clean. I only use it for spring and fall stripers. Plus a few trips with 3yr and 6yr old grandkids for crabs. My brother just finished restoring a '69 14' Fiberglass Star Craft runabout with a 40HP Mariner.
Who All Owns A Boat? If so, pictures are needed. - Page 2
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To the OP, I notice you are in Dallas. I bought a Viper Cobra bass boat from Affordable Boats in Wylie. It is a report dealer and I got an awesome deal, and an overall great experience from them. There is also another repo dealer south of Houston, in Dickinson (my area), called American Yacht Sales. Buying new sounds goose, but I highly recommend checking out these two places to save ALOT of $$$$. For instance, I bought mine for 1/3 less than loan value, almost 1/2 market value. Feel free to PM me for more details.
I know it's two years later but I am going to take your advice and check out this place. Thanks.
I have been saving up for a boat for two years. This is the year that I finally (pun intended) jump into the deep end and buy a boat. I need some motivation.
What are the best things about having a boat? What types of things does your wife/girlfiend enjoy about having a boat? (I need some help with the wife.) What brands of boat have the fewest probelms?
MOST OF ALL - I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME PICTURES!
(Please refrain from posting negative comments about boat ownership, and especially the tired old cliches of "best two days of your life: when you buy a boat and when you sell it" and "money pit.")
Since you're still active and reading the thread, I'll throw my .02 in. My first boat was a 19' open bow runabout with a 350 motor. A few years ago we upgraded to a 25' tri-toon (pontoon boat) with a 225 hp outboard motor. It's no speed demon, it'll do 40-42 mph - but it's plenty enough to get us where we're going, pull tubes/skiers, etc.
My wife enjoys just cruising around on the lake and exploring new coves, floating and relaxing on a nice day with the music on, or going to one of the restaurants on the lake and having lunch/dinner. She even enjoys being pulled on a tube once in a while (as long as I don't go too fast or whip her around through boat wakes!). You don't get the performance/handling out of a pontoon that you do out of a v-hull boat (although there are some pretty fast pontoons out now!), but what you do get is comfort - a nice, smooth ride, plenty of room on the boat to stretch out, move around and have friends aboard, lots of storage space, etc. My wife absolutely hated the rough, bumpy ride of our old v-hull runabout, especially on choppy days. The pontoon rides like a Cadillac on all but the nastiest stuff. A very important 'wife' feature for me was shade - ours has double bimini tops, so almost the entire boat is in shade when I have them both open. It gets plenty hot here in the summer and she isn't a fan of being baked in the sun all day. She also hated having to climb over the bow to get on the boat when we were beached - she's short and had a real hard time with it.
When we had the runabout, it was a real struggle to get her to come out on the boat, for all the reasons above. Even though she likes being on the lake, she didn't enjoy our boat at all and was usually a reluctant first mate. She enjoys the pontoon much more (as do I), and we spend a lot more (and more enjoyable!) time on the water now. For us, it's the best of all worlds - we can pull skiiers/tubes, fish from it, cruise/relax on it - heck, I've even camped/slept on it for a week out on the lake!
As far as which brands are the most problem-free, most recent model boats are fairly trouble-free (the motors and outdrives are basically all the same, made by a handful of manufacturers, and all the newer motors are fuel-injected). With that said, "you get what you pay for" is more true on boats than it is on cars. Cheaper models usually won't be built as well, will use cheaper foam and upholstery in the seats, won't have through-hull bolted fittings, etc., all of which can mean it won't hold up as well over time and/or won't be as comfortable.
You won't get any negative comments from me - I've heard all those clichés too, but I love owning a boat and wouldn't give it up for anything!