hurricane1091

First boat! Aluminum??

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Hey all,

 

Looking to buy my first boat this winter (probably early March) but started the search already. First off, I'll be fishing the Delaware River & Bay, and Great Bay + Barnegat Light. I'd like to be able to go out front a mile or so if possible but not a deal breaker. My budget is $5000 and more reliable > more features for me. I've always wanted a 19' center console or so but I have a strict budget and this is my first boat, so it doesn't have to be my last. Types of fishing include striper bait and wait in the river in the spring, fluking in the summer, and some fall stripers as well (probably do other things too but these are the most frequent trips I would do).

 

Something interesting I keep seeing are some deep V aluminum boats that are in my price range. Side console trackers really. I can deal with a side console for now, as a center console really mostly benefits my guests really. How would a 16' 50 HP aluminum V hull work out here? Can that go nearshore or a bad idea? I'm worried about the light weight and it being a rough ride & fast drift. I've done a lot of research and I know guys take the toppers out back without issue, so I'm not worried about it being too inconvenient I guess, but if someone has experience it would be great to hear. If an aluminum is a bad option, definitely tell me as well!

Edited by hurricane1091

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I've had aluminum boats 14 ft Starcraft 20 hp 16 ft Starcraft 40 hp and a 17 ft Starcraft center console with a 60 hp. I've fished the canal,Buzzards bay,Merrimack river, MV, Rhode Island, Thames river. You pick your days and be careful no issues. My buddy still owns the Starcraft center console if you don't mind a project boat it's in Massachusetts. 

Edited by littletunnie

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I stay in the bay and stop at the inlet mouth with my Deep V 16' with a 20hp outboard.

 

Not all inlets are the same.  I have fished that inlet once, so hard to say about that one.

 

There are some shoals going out of the Delaware that are killer bass spots, but can eat boats much larger than most of what guys on here drive.  Make sure you know about those spots on the map.  But, you might be able to fish the outflow side of a tide carefully with a good anchor.

 

Also, don't under estimate your little boat.  Wait in bait in tidal rivers needs a good anchor with a longer rope!  About 5 to 1 depth.  Fish 50ft in a rough tidal spot, you may need 250ft to get it to hold well.  I fish a lot of 10-20ft depth spots in the Hudson.  I have (2) 100ft sections I join if needed.  One sandy spot I need it.

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Thanks for the replies fellas! What's your thoughts on the boat supposedly being a rough ride and a fast drifter? I'm not opposed to socking it up or power drifting but if that is required all the time, it would probably get annoying.

 

I'm not really familiar with a shoal, but I think one almost killed me once. I was in a 50 hp 19' carolina skiff rental and over by a specific spot across from the fish factory in Great Bay, some crazy waves just take place. It's around a corner if anyone is familiar with what I am speaking of (although ya'll are in other states, maybe someone else will see this). It happened so fast, there was so many boats, and it got REAL SKETCHY.

 

I guess the recommendation here too is to stay inside, which is totally fine as I should definitely get my experience up first anyway. As mentioned, I'm probably looking around February/March time frame and who knows what will be on the market then, but if my options are a early/mid 2000s side console aluminum or a mid 90s CC, I'm just looking to understand which might be a better fit for me. 

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I fish that area in Great Bay with my 16' Lund and have no issues. You are right that it can get choppy there but you just need to keep a watch. I've been out to both inlets on calm days. Like everyone else said you just need to pick your days.

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Many years ago I had a starcraft center console, 18 footer.  A good boat but since it was so light, it bounces a lot and was a very wet ride when it got choppy.  Never felt unsafe but often felt wet!!!!

 

 

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I don't know that area, but I see a lot of 16' tin boats in LIS.

Yes, you have to pick your days of course.

But they are simple, easy to trail, reliable, fuel efficient - and they are inexpensive.

Good choice for a first boat IMO.

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I am not familiar with your waters, but wind and tide conditions can make inlets very variable.  I.e. calm when wind and tide are going the same way, then hell once the tide shifts around.  A 16' boat does not give you much room to make a mistake, you will have to pick your days carefully and watch the weather.

 

For example, this summer I was out on a bay and had tucked up into a cove on its north side to get out of the wind.  I did not initially see a bad front moving in due to trees blocking much of the northern view.  I checked the weather, realized I was about to be in a very bad situation, and pulled anchor to make the +/- 4 mile trip home.  Halfway there, I was met with 50-60mph wind, torrential rain, and 3-4' tight wind chop that only subsided when I again tucked up against the shore.  If I was in a 16' boat, I am certain I would have been swamped.

 

Personally, I would not run an inlet in a 16' boat and even if you did, you would be limited to glassy ocean conditions.  I suggest getting whatever makes sense for you, then staying inshore for a while to get comfortable, gain some experience.and perhaps move up to a larger boat before going into the ocean.

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On 11/11/2019 at 3:17 PM, iLoco said:

I am not familiar with your waters, but wind and tide conditions can make inlets very variable.  I.e. calm when wind and tide are going the same way, then hell once the tide shifts around.  A 16' boat does not give you much room to make a mistake, you will have to pick your days carefully and watch the weather.

 

For example, this summer I was out on a bay and had tucked up into a cove on its north side to get out of the wind.  I did not initially see a bad front moving in due to trees blocking much of the northern view.  I checked the weather, realized I was about to be in a very bad situation, and pulled anchor to make the +/- 4 mile trip home.  Halfway there, I was met with 50-60mph wind, torrential rain, and 3-4' tight wind chop that only subsided when I again tucked up against the shore.  If I was in a 16' boat, I am certain I would have been swamped.

 

Personally, I would not run an inlet in a 16' boat and even if you did, you would be limited to glassy ocean conditions.  I suggest getting whatever makes sense for you, then staying inshore for a while to get comfortable, gain some experience.and perhaps move up to a larger boat before going into the ocean.

Thanks for your advice. I've since decided on 19' deep V or bigger if I can afford it. I know there's days where it would be done in a smaller boat since kayak guys can do it but I want to maximize my safety and windows of opportunity

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On 10/30/2019 at 9:28 PM, hurricane1091 said:

Hey all,

 

Looking to buy my first boat this winter (probably early March) but started the search already. First off, I'll be fishing the Delaware River & Bay, and Great Bay + Barnegat Light. I'd like to be able to go out front a mile or so if possible but not a deal breaker. My budget is $5000 and more reliable > more features for me. I've always wanted a 19' center console or so but I have a strict budget and this is my first boat, so it doesn't have to be my last. Types of fishing include striper bait and wait in the river in the spring, fluking in the summer, and some fall stripers as well (probably do other things too but these are the most frequent trips I would do).

 

Something interesting I keep seeing are some deep V aluminum boats that are in my price range. Side console trackers really. I can deal with a side console for now, as a center console really mostly benefits my guests really. How would a 16' 50 HP aluminum V hull work out here? Can that go nearshore or a bad idea? I'm worried about the light weight and it being a rough ride & fast drift. I've done a lot of research and I know guys take the toppers out back without issue, so I'm not worried about it being too inconvenient I guess, but if someone has experience it would be great to hear. If an aluminum is a bad option, definitely tell me as well!

I had a Mirror Craft 18 ft. center console with a 70 Hp. Yamaha . I kept it on a trailer. Also had a 9.9 kicker on a homemade bracket with a E.Z. steer connection bar . I trailered that boat . all over .From Virginia beach to lake Ontario and all places between. Ran through Manasquan inlet and even ran off shore to the Arunda and other. We caught and landed a 6 ft. 10 in. Mako tail tied and dragged it in.  fished it in Raritan Bay and along the beach for Fluke and bass mostly. It could get wet . I always say how that was the best boat I ever had .It seems that it has more fishing room then my 25 ft. walk around. The drift was a bit different then some other boats I guess because of the weight and that I had a T-top installed. Easy on Gas a full day of Fluking burned about 7-8 gallons of gas. 

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On 11/11/2019 at 3:17 PM, iLoco said:

 

 

For example, this summer I was out on a bay and had tucked up into a cove on its north side to get out of the wind.  I did not initially see a bad front moving in due to trees blocking much of the northern view.  I checked the weather, realized I was about to be in a very bad situation, and pulled anchor to make the +/- 4 mile trip home.  Halfway there, I was met with 50-60mph wind, torrential rain, and 3-4' tight wind chop that only subsided when I again tucked up against the shore.  If I was in a 16' boat, I am certain I would have been swamped.

 

 

Had the same thing happen to me n' a buddy in his boat,3-4's on the way in till we hit a rogue 6'er that stood the boat literally vertical on it's stern.Never went out on that boat again and it was a 19' aluminum.

If you like or have aluminum expect to get beat and mother nature to get the best of you.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I run a 16' Mirrocraft Outfitter with a 30hp tiller Nissan 4 stroke. I set it up specificaly for fly fishing and it works great for my needs. It tows easily, can be launched /hauled (by myself) easily, goes in anything from super skinny estuaries to inshore saltwater. I will run it a mile or so off the beach in open water but need to watch the weather. 

I  feel as comfortable/ capable in this boat as I did in my older 18' glass boat with 70hp.

Aluminum boats are lighter than glass boats so they tend to bounce around when it gets rough. ( The upside is that I can fish it a 4-6 hrs on a gallon and a half of fuel and it costs less to buy/power.) Truth be told, the days I find it uncomfortable to fish it out in open water, I would find it not much better in a 19' CC.  It's not a safety thing, it's a comfort thing for me.

Edited by WeeHooker
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I have owned several alum boats

Last boat was a 2002 20 ft Alaskan center console with a Yamaha 115 4 stroke

Used it in Sandy Hook bay and out front up to 4-5 miles off

Had for 14 years - great boat. It took a beating

Think they stopped making center console and now primarily are side console or no console for tiller

highly recommend Lunds

If I were to buy another I might also look at a Black Lab - much more expensive aluminum boat I believe

Good Luck

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