dmac95

Beginner boat buyer - need advice

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My last boat had an 1988 Suzuki 2-stroke with 85-90psi on all 3 cylinders and that thing still screamed wide-open.  Before that I had a early 80's johnson 25hp what ran fine with even lower compression.  A lot of older 2-strokes (both american and japanese) don't have really high compression.  As long as one cylinder isn't way out of whack compared to the rest they'll run.  

 

I moved from a 17' CC to a 22' walkaround last year.  The WA is a much more pleasant ride in cold or windy conditions, but I'd run another 17' CC in a heartbeat (especially compared to no boat).   Before that I fished out of a 15' old town canoe that I rigged a trolling motor on, and a 12' walmart kayak.  If you love being on the water, any boat is going to be better than no boat.  Even moreso if you're somewhat handy and can fix/maintain things yourself.   If you're hesitant about being on the water, and need to pay someone else every time something minor comes up, you might find yourself in the "boat = break out another thousand" or "2nd best day of a boaters life is when he sells his boat" club.    If that's the case, a friend with a boat is the way to go.  

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I love my tin boat.....   Pull the motor, put it in the shed, flip the boat......  winterized.......

 

A carolina skiff and a 25-40hp outboard would be tons of fun........

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5 hours ago, CWitek said:

A glass 15-footer was a lot more capable than the wooden rowboats my father's generation used, and they fished mid-Sound with them all of the time; my father regularly rowed two or three miles to get to his favored spots.  It's all about weather.  You don't go out when you know that it's bad, and you don't go out when a cold front is going to pass through later on, perhaps igniting  a thunder storm with severe winds.  But during stable summer weather systems, there's no reason not to, particularly in the morning when things are calm; absent a front moving through, the wind usually comes up after 2:00 p.m..  Rudy's Boat Rental used to operate on the Byram River, and rented out inboard skiffs in the 15 or 16 foot range; we'd regularly see them chugging along down the middle of the Sound, with four people dragging wire for bluefish,  Never heard of one getting into serious trouble, even though the people who rented them were hardly mariners.

 

The sea sickness can be a problem; it hits some people hard.  No guarantees, but try to get a good sleep the night before, and keep a lot of sugar--soda, candy, whatever--on the boat; it seems that raising blood sugar levels helps keep it away.  Some people who did long-range cod trips used to take along a bottle of Karo corn syrup that they'd chug when they started feeling queasy.  Supposedly, it worked.  Ginger is also supposedly somewhat effective.  As an aside, seasickness is a good argument against a cabin.  I fish offshore, and find that if I'm ever going to feel queasy, it's when I go into a cabin, and my eyes and my inner ears start arguing about what's really going on.  Open boats allow you to avoid that issue.  I've run center consoles since '82, everyone from inshore to the canyons, and never regretted my choice.

a 12 pack of bonine works wonders if taken before the trip begins. 

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13 mins ago, dmac95 said:

a 12 pack of bonine works wonders if taken before the trip begins. 

If it doesn't put you to sleep.  When I first started fishing offshore, I'd take Bonine as a precaution, and the stuff made me feel worse than the ocean did.

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Scope patch is what you want.  In 8 or so years working deck, I don't think I ever saw anyone wearing a scopalamine patch get sick.

 

Plus, you're a cheap date with one on.  Couple beers and you are at altitude

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7 hours ago, drumsfield said:

Here are my thoughts based on my experience on owning a boat for the first time.

 

- Go as small as you're willing to go and own it for a while before going bigger. This will help with the ins and outs of owning a boat, maintenance, driving, and launching, trailering etc... and if you screw something up it might not cost you as much to get it fixed

- Go as new as you can go. Boats break no way to avoid it. The older the boat the more crap needs to get fixed. Depending on how much of it you're willing or capable of doing it yourself will determine how old you should go. My first boat was a 2015 when I bought it in 2018 and I needed to fix a bunch of stuff not even a week after I got it home. The previous owner decided to mount the Bimini top himself without a backing plate for the hardware (along with a bunch of other modifications I didn't know about until much later).. ended up having to re-install everything he did. 

- Make sure you have a tow vehicle that can handle the load. Long story short, I ended up burning the transmission of my first tow vehicle and having to buy a brand new vehicle for the boat a few months after buying it.

- Don't neglect the trailer.... The tires blew out on the boat trailer only a few months after buying my first boat because I wasn't paying attention to the condition of the tires. My fault, but I should have known better. 

 

is 18-21 ft consider small for LIS? I think over 21ft is too big as you say for a first time boater. I'd like a tandem; then I'll replace the tires. Hope that mitigates the risk of boat laying sideways on the highway.

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15 hours ago, dmac95 said:

is 18-21 ft consider small for LIS? I think over 21ft is too big as you say for a first time boater. I'd like a tandem; then I'll replace the tires. Hope that mitigates the risk of boat laying sideways on the highway.

No, it's pretty typical.

 

It's interesting to note how boats have grown over the years.

 

When I was young, my family had an 18-foot Lymann, and it was the largest boat allowed to be tied up at the town dock.  Anything larger had to out-moor.  The typical boat was either a 14-foot wooden rowboat or a 14- or 15-foot MFG or similar fibergalss outboard.  

 

In the '70s, Makos and Aquasports in the 17-19 foot range started to show up, and the town looked the other way when the 19s were moored at the dock, so long as their broader beams fit in a particular slip.  In the '80s, a lot more 20-foot stuff showed up, along with 24 Gradys, etc.

 

But throughout that time, fishermen ran their boats all over the Sound.  The diehards ran 14- and 15-footers from Greenwich to Smithtown Bay when the bluefish started shjowing up in the early '60s.  And those boats were very underpowered by today's standards; a 33 or 40 hp was kind of the upper bound for a "fishing motor" because they didn't always slow down enough to troll sandworms for stripers without stalling out.

 

So no, and 18-21 foot boat is not considered small for the Sound.  I think my old 20-foot Sea Ox was arguably the perfect Sound boat, drawing little enough water, and still being paddleable, that I could fish it around the shallow stones and push off easily when I bumped up against one, yet solid enough that I was comfortable fishing in typical fall weather.  You start to lose the shallow water access if you get much bigger, unless you buy a purpose-built bay boat with a shallow draft, and shallow water is often where the action is, particularly at night,

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Regarding sea sickness, once you start going out enough you may get over it. Up until my mid teens I got seasick very easily. But then I started to go out more and more, and now it takes either conditions I probably shouldn't be out in, or a huge greasy breakfast to make me ill. Even then, ginger pills usually work.

Edited by C.Robin

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Posted (edited) · Report post

16 hours ago, dmac95 said:

is 18-21 ft consider small for LIS? I think over 21ft is too big as you say for a first time boater. I'd like a tandem; then I'll replace the tires. Hope that mitigates the risk of boat laying sideways on the highway.

When I was in high school, among others we had a 17' Mako.

 

If my father knew how many times I had that boat 15 miles or better off the beach, I'm not sure if he'd yell at me, smile, or yell at me with a smile.  That boat ran Manasquan Inlet too many times to count on an outgoing with the swell jacking up to head high or so.

 

Point is, any given boat can take much much more than you are willing to take.  Size is mainly about level of comfort, not seaworthiness.  In the right hands, that is.

Edited by makorider

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16 hours ago, dmac95 said:

is 18-21 ft consider small for LIS? I think over 21ft is too big as you say for a first time boater. I'd like a tandem; then I'll replace the tires. Hope that mitigates the risk of boat laying sideways on the highway.

It depends on where you'll be taking it out. I own a 19.6 which is the perfect length for the Chesapeake Bay IMO. I probably wouldn't want to go smaller in my case. I also pick my days. No bigger than 1-2 ft waves. I check the weather and swells before ever trip and plan accordingly. Doing so will let you get away with a smaller boat and mitigate any sea sickness you might encounter.

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6 hours ago, CWitek said:

No, it's pretty typical.

 

It's interesting to note how boats have grown over the years.

 

When I was young, my family had an 18-foot Lymann, and it was the largest boat allowed to be tied up at the town dock.  Anything larger had to out-moor.  The typical boat was either a 14-foot wooden rowboat or a 14- or 15-foot MFG or similar fibergalss outboard.  

 

In the '70s, Makos and Aquasports in the 17-19 foot range started to show up, and the town looked the other way when the 19s were moored at the dock, so long as their broader beams fit in a particular slip.  In the '80s, a lot more 20-foot stuff showed up, along with 24 Gradys, etc.

 

But throughout that time, fishermen ran their boats all over the Sound.  The diehards ran 14- and 15-footers from Greenwich to Smithtown Bay when the bluefish started shjowing up in the early '60s.  And those boats were very underpowered by today's standards; a 33 or 40 hp was kind of the upper bound for a "fishing motor" because they didn't always slow down enough to troll sandworms for stripers without stalling out.

 

So no, and 18-21 foot boat is not considered small for the Sound.  I think my old 20-foot Sea Ox was arguably the perfect Sound boat, drawing little enough water, and still being paddleable, that I could fish it around the shallow stones and push off easily when I bumped up against one, yet solid enough that I was comfortable fishing in typical fall weather.  You start to lose the shallow water access if you get much bigger, unless you buy a purpose-built bay boat with a shallow draft, and shallow water is often where the action is, particularly at night,

FWIW, my 23 foot sea ox drew six inches of water with both engines up. 18 inches with the 9.9 HP engine down.

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7 mins ago, MakoMike said:

FWIW, my 23 foot sea ox drew six inches of water with both engines up. 18 inches with the 9.9 HP engine down.

I used to be able to stand at the very edge of the deck of my 20 (with the engine up), so it would heel over and present a flat bottom rather than the keel, and then pole it over the flats with an 8-foot oar.  Not sure how shallow I got, but probably a bit less than that.  Worked out well when I first moved onto the South Shore, and ended up missing the Babylon Cut in the fog.

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On 5/7/2020 at 10:47 AM, C.Robin said:

Regarding sea sickness, once you start going out enough you may get over it. Up until my mid teens I got seasick very easily. But then I started to go out more and more, and now it takes either conditions I probably shouldn't be out in, or a huge greasy breakfast to make me ill. Even then, ginger pills usually work.

I have sea sickness due to ear balance issues. I remember going out boating multiple times when I was younger- as soon as the boat left the bay through the jetty, I'd tell my father that I'm about to fall backwards. I thought that after the 10th time I would get "used" to it, but no, same results every time except what was worse was knowing that it won't get better. Took dramamine and some other medicine prescribed by a doctor. Nothing worked. 

 

Then once in cape cod, I got lucky. Before going on whale watch, I just took some bonine and realized that it helped a bit. So... I took the whole pack. The boat was rocking but I felt great, though maybe I was seeing extra* things on the horizon, I certainly was not feeling unwell. Ever since, i take a 12 pack of bonine. The 16 hour nap afterwards doesn't bother me.

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