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Buying a new boat. Need some advice from the veterans.


Bassin1973
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I am in the martket for a new boat this year and im doing some shopping around.  I am retiring from the military and plan on being around a lot more so Ive decided that I want to get into tournament bass fishing.  I have a boat but its a 17 footer with a 75 mercury just built to get me out there. Nothing special.  Ive shopped all the major makes that i can find in my immediate area, Ranger, Triton and Nitro.  I am interestedin a boat around 21feet with the 250 xp pro. i plan on putting an HDS 8 in console and on bow.  I know theres some minor differences between makes in accessories etc...Getting to the point,  Ive noticed quite a difference in pricing between makes.  On the outside, the Nitros (z-9) seem to have all i would need and for a modest price.  So what gives?  I know ranger boats are built very well but they are fifteen to twenty thousand more.  I was also informed by the Triton dealer that they would be jacking up their prices to be comparable to the Ranger prices.  The Ranger dealer basically told me the Nitros are cheap and for beginners.  Is this true or just salesmanship fast talk?  If im going to spend upwards of $65,000 i want it to be right and not just hype.  I would love to get some feedback from you fellas that do this all the time before i jump in.

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I rode in a very nice phoenix this weekend and was very impressed with it . That being said I am a Ranger owner and have a 2007 519 vx and i'm very happy with it . I have not looked at Nitro in a long while ( may be a great boat ) but years ago I feel for the cost trap . When I went to upgrade the trolling motor and electronics and motor on a nitro the price was around what I could get a Ranger for . This is for you to decide but I would take a look at what Pheonix has to offer .

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Thanks for the input fellas.  i guess ill be looking into phoenix. 

Don't get me wrong I love my Ranger and will have it for a long time even if the motor goes out I will probably repower but man those phoenix boats are ahead of the game when it comes to the fisherman . Check out all the options they have .

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I know its a long ways from Clarksville, but Id be happy to meet you somewhere and ride you around in my 721 Phoenix....although there is probably a dealer closer to you that could give more options. Also, Jeff & Gary at the factory in Winchester will give you a heckuva tour if you call and let them know when you want to come by.

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My advice wld be to look into buying a used one first. I knw u say u have one now, but do u really fish that much with it. I'm on my 4th boat now and I'm still afraid of spending 60,000 for something I'm going to scratch up, and trust me if u fish u will scratch it up. And u will only spend half that much money for the same boat, and still have warranty left. As far as what brand to buy. All those brands u list will get the job done, it really comes down to if u have a need for speed, and how many toys do u want on it. I still say u shld go with a newer used boat first till u get use to a tournament boat, and usually it's already set up and ready to fish. When u buy new u have to get it set up, and that can be a nightmare if it's not done right.

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Great advice Tobybol.  You're absolutely right about damage.  I fish as much as possible or whenever momma will let me out of the house and over the years i have put more than a few war wounds on my boat.  The dealer does actually have a few used boats that are in great condition and have some great options on them.  One is a loaded out Triton that i kind of have my eye on.  Its only a year old so its not out of the question.  Thanks for all the advice.  I was hoping to get some good feedback.  ill let you guys know what i get in the end.

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If I were spending in the $65k range I would buy a Basscat, but also consider Legend and Phoenix. You can't go wrong with a Ranger and the Stratos Elite series are very nice boats too. We bought a new Nitro this past May and I will never own another one. Our Z7 is well below your price point but the overall experience guarantees that Nitro will never get another dollar from us.

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Sorry to hear about the Nitro JoeP.  I guess I've heard enough bad news about them.  Lets put it this way, i haven't heard enough good news at this point to invest in nitro.  That's the kind of advice i was hoping for.  I think at this point i might just narrow it down to the used Triton if its not gone by the time I get the funding around.  The Triton was used for a year by a tournament guy and he's wanting to trade it in already.  I guess he's got it like that.  Anyways, it has an HDS 10 in console and a HDS 8 on the bow with structure scan and a bunch of other upgrades.  The boat and motor are still under warranty with the option of extending the warranty on the motor.  They want around 50K out the door for it because the guy just wants something else.  I might jump on it.  Either way I'll probably end up with a Ranger or Triton but I'm not ignoring the phoenix yet.  As a matter of fact, the manufacturer just got back to me in just a matter of hours and is getting me in contact with a local rep. so who knows.  So many choices :scratch: Great feedback.

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If you don't have to have a Mercury, check out the Skeeter boats. They sell 3 models. The ZX... Kinda a sports model. The FX... Designed for the SHO 4 stroke that's kinda a mix of sports and luxury. The I Class... The luxury model built for the best ride.

All of them will put you above 70 with the 250. Most will be around 73-75. They are not as fast as the Triton boats or some of the other lighter boats from what I hear.

Its the most stable boat I've ever rode in and fished in. I have not been in a Phoenix boat but I've been in the 20 and 21 foot Rangers and Tritons and I would choose my boat over either of them all day. The SHO is really strong out the hole. It makes my 2 Stroke 225 look bad. With the 225 on a 20 foot boat I get 70 by myself loaded and 68 with 2 people.

I like the boat enough that if I was given a choice of any boat for free, it would be the Skeeter 20 foot with the Yamaha SHO 250. I drove one of the pro's from the FLW around on the lake here prior to the BASS Open. He had the FX 20 with the 250 SHO and it was a great ride in really rough water. There was 25 MPH winds that days and rain and sleet. I was amazed... Since I wouldn't be out there in my boat in that weather. I put it up on pad at 45-50 MPH and let it roll.

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We bought a new Nitro this past May and I will never own another one. Our Z7 is well below your price point but the overall experience guarantees that Nitro will never get another dollar from us.

I think a few of us tried to warn you away from that nitro in the first place. Sorry man, had to say it. Now I'll go home and something else will be screwed up on my skeeter.

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just throwing my 2 cents in and a little biased opinion but check out the 21ft line of Bullets.. 21' 10" (except the SS which is 21 even) and very comfortable and prced competitively built the way you want from color to accessories!! i got to demo the XRS this past May and was very impressed and they are built exceptionally well!!  my dad, who is a stratos man and likes the heavier boats, was also impressed with it!! again just my biased 2 cents opinion!!

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I would like a little more speed than I have now but as far as fishing, comfort, speed and just all around boat I really like my Triton. I am on my 3rd Triton and have never had a problem. I have a 21HP Pro Elite and several of the guys on here have fished out of it. I think they will agree that it is a pretty good all around boat. Like others said Bullet, Pheonix, BassCat, and Ranger all make quality boats. It is really just a personal opinion as to which is better. 

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I would like a little more speed than I have now but as far as fishing, comfort, speed and just all around boat I really like my Triton. I am on my 3rd Triton and have never had a problem. I have

a 21HP Pro Elite and several of the guys on

here have fished out of it. I think they will agree

that it is a pretty good all around boat. Like

others said Bullet, Pheonix, BassCat, and

Ranger all make quality boats. It is really just a

personal opinion as to which is better.

Shannon! More speed- I mean really? U are the only human I knw to go under poor valley bridge cross ways at 80mph They better not let u I'n a faster boat. U may have to have wings on it.

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