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spinnerspooner

Aluminum Boats

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I'd like to begin trolling Erie and Ontario mainly for Steelhead, Chinook, Browns, Cohos and Lakers and was wondering what recommendations I could find for a good aluminum boat in the 20-22 foot range. Something conducive to trolling, big enough for the Great Lakes waters, yet reasonably lightweight for towing?

Most of the alum boat manufacturers seem to be in the Pacific Northwest.

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Hewescraft, Calumet Marine is the closest place to get them, give Frank or Derek Martin a call.

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I love my tin boats. I have owned a 19 foot fisher deep vee for over a year. But I was wanting a slightly larger boat with a cuddy for fishing Lake MI. I started seeking out crestliners. I found a very nice 22 foot Nordic Crestliner walkaround 22'with a 3.8 v-6 for 5k, The price included the boat, a 1994 evinrude 15 horse 2 stroke kicker,40 release clips, 14 dipseys, a dozen floating diver type things by Luhr Jensen, trolling drift sock and floating rig,two big orange folding planer boards,6 waleye boards, 4 electric cannon down riggers,six stainless ram type rod holders,several new rolls of 300 yard 30 pound braid,two spools of 150 lb spectra downrigger line,about 20 crankbaits,several bottom rigs for walleye,electric anchor winch with 3 different types of anchors,convertible top with side and rear curtains,mooring cover,roadable cover,electric jack on the roller trailer ,electric boat winch,2 cranking batteries,1 deep cycle,1 lawn tractor battery for the trailer,8 inflatable fenders, lowrance LCX27c gps/ff. I could go on and on. Bargains are out there to be had. You just have to look.

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If you are buying a once in a lifetime boat, make sure you check out Bow and Stern Marine in North Tonawanda, they are good on aluminum boats and their service is great.

If you are looking for a bargain there are 25,000 boats out there on the internet.

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in the 20-22 range in the past twenty years, most around here are Crestliners, Lunds, and Starcrafts. There were also Sylvans, Smokercrafts and some Sea Nymphs. And on the rare occasion, Grumman and Princecraft.

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Thanks for the better than expected response, guys. I'm taking a close look at the Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT. I like the room that it has and it appears that the towing weight would be about 3777lbs with a Standard 150 Merc OB Motor.

That makes it light enough I can tow that big hog with my little Toyota Tacoma.

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1990 22 ft Islander here too. :yes:

It trolls down to 1.6 mph, and has plently of juice to easily run at 25-30 nph.

It'll handle more rough water than I want to be in.

It unloads/loads on the trailer quickly, and tows great.

Just put it in the barn, in October, and I can't wait for the spring to come.

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I have an aluminum boat also. It's a '95 Crestliner Eagle 22 footer with cuddy and walk around. Aluminum boats are great, light,easy to tow... I like mine, but don't think for a minute, just because they're aluminum that they're trouble free. There's a lot of things to be aware of before buying one. Most have wood floors, if it's over 15 years old chances are the floor has some deterioration some where. If you have to replace the floor (like I did) it's a major job.

Welded boats sometimes develop cracks (like mine did) and leak and weld repairs aren't cheap or easy, usually. Riveted boats get stressed rivets and can leak, too. Leaky rivets/seams not an easy fix, usually.

Then there's the other Achilles heel of aluminum boats, the transom. Yep, just like the floor, most are made of wood. Many over 15 or so YO have been exposed to water damage, and wow, another expensive/ time consuming repair. Imagine that. So if your wood deteriorates, you lose structural strength and then you have a cracked transom, (like mine did?)too. Some things to look/watch for if you own one or are buying used! Good luck in your quest.

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I run a 2011 Lund Baron that stretches out to 21' 10". It's a great all purpose boat but a bit large for smaller waters. It handles ANY wave that's thrown at it and trailers like a dream. I upgraded the power plant to a 300 HP Verado (comes stock w/ a 250 HP) and put an extended shaft 9.9 kicker on it (Top speed so far = 58 MPH). I chose the Lund for a number of reasons, but primarily was their reputation and the fact that the kicker has it's own controls at the helm with electric tilt (nice feature). There aren't too many used Barons out there (that should tell you something) so I ended up going with a brand new one (best price in NY= Martins Marina - they beat the closest price quote I got in WNY by over $8K) ) and never regretted that decision so far. If you are getting something in the 20' + range, make sure it has a tandem axle trailer. They tow ALOT better. Brakes are preferred too (surge or electric). just my 2¢...

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I love the starcrafts as well. You can really find some bargain's if you look for them. I have owed a 12' , 14' , 16' , 19' , 22' , and now I'm finely in the greatest of them all the mighty 26'. They can be rebuilt, welded and so long as the hull is good completely rebuilt. They tow easy and go like stink, but they can be like riding a soda can across heavy seas. They are rugged, I have never seen one loosen up to the point it couldn't be fixed very simply, most never leak even after 30 years. Warning though stay away from OMC no matter what they are in. I like the I/O's because they give you more free board for bad weather and the big water.

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