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Boat size recommendations


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Hey guys,

 

After 3 seasons on Ontario with our 17 foot Sea Ray that was bought with the intentions of playing around in the upper river with the family has turned into a run-about turned troller boat.  Well it's time for me to upgrade, but the dilemma I face is how big to go and still be able to trailer with my 2014 Silverado and launch with my 12 year old son.  I launch quite a bit out of the Fort and Wilson and I see some pretty sizable boats and think "well that guy can do it". Took the family out the other day to some marinas and looked at some boats I saw on-line and to be honest they looked WAY bigger in person.  I love the idea of a 25' cabin cruiser, but not sure how something like that is going to trailer and launch.  The length doesn't bother me half as much as the seemingly 3 story height and what does that translate into weight?  Looking for something around 24-25' and cuddy is a must with more of a cruiser feel to it then fishing boat to keep the wife happy.  She likes the idea of being able to entertain and have some seats toward the back so I'm looking at turning something like a Sea Ray Sundancer into a trolling boat.  Any thoughts on what can easily be handled size wise for trailering and launching would be appreciated. 

 

Thanks,

Tony

 

 

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The Silverado can tow a 24-25, problem you may have is if your twelve year old is up to it with the launching and loading at age 12.  There is a 22 Sundancer, there are also some 23 Regals or 23 Carvers if you like that style of boat that still have a lot of room.  If you just need a cuddy, the 22 aluminum such as the StarCraft Islander is an option, lighter and it is less intimidating.  Had a 22 Sylvan aluminum for 8 years, which can be loaded and launched by one person, did that many times.      

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Silverado 1500 or 2500. A fiberglass boat will weigh more and have a better ride than a aluminum boat. Not a fan of turning a day cruiser into a fishing boat. Most of the time you end up with a higher freeboard which translates into being a pain in the ass to land fish. Also with a higher center of gravity it will rock n roll a lot more. I would be more inclined to be looking for a dedicated fishing boat ,with a cabin and plenty of fiberglas [washdowns are a must],not carpeted deck space that you can put deck chairs on when the Mrs. is along. Your fishing season is a lot longer than the wifes suntanning  season.  Your choice should reflect that. What kind of budget do you have ,that is the number one thing that will come into play when looking for a boat. Launching will be easy after a few times with your 12 year old, just takes a bit of practice with a bigger boat,guides are nice for the trailer.

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Check out some of the dual consoles. Great boat for family and fishing. Robalo 247. the new century resorter 24. Not a cuddy but my wife prefers the open bow and it works great for family time and fishing time. Pursuit, sea hunt, striper, Grady, Boston whaler,scout etc... they are all making them now.

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I'm running a Sea Ray 215 express cruiser. Great for fishing and enjoying the days tied up at the beach or skiing and tubing. Has a decent cuddly with porta potty. Easy to tow although I keep it in a slip. Great for overnight sleeping on those early fishing days. Fuel economy is great. Can fish comfortably with 4 people on board.

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My brother in law bought his first boat years ago similar to the sea Ray . It was 28' , paid huge money and said look at my new " fishing boat " . I shook my head and said what were you thinking .

It was a beautiful boat but a horrible fishing boat as he realized later. There is no walk around room and very little fishing in the aft . Lots of wasted cabin space that you only use to sleep .

After a few years he sold it and bought a brand new 18' center console again for big bucks and said " now I have a fishing boat " . Again I shook my head and said your nuts , you just bought a fair weather bay boat .

Again after a few years understainding that it stinks to be out there wet and cold he started looking at 24' brand new trophies for huge money .

I said at least your now on the right track .

I found someone here selling a very new 24' hard top trophy completely set up for fishing and cruising .

It had a 225 hp 4 stroke outboard which is a super bonus . Outboard allows lots of extra room in the back .

He and his girl love this boat and I'm happy he finally found a comfortable fishing boat that will allow protection from the weather and comfortable to relax in the cabin . While it's a big boat by sight , he can easily tow with a 1/2 ton pick up and launch, dock and load it by himself .

Given that said , as with my 221 islander , it is not a walk around hang out inside cabin .

In a few years I will be looking for a larger , wider , walk in cabin and a fly bridge . Obviously not towing .

I like the looks of some Parker boats as well .

Good luck and hope you find the boat that fits well for you

Rich

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I love my 221 islander. Pull with my 2010 Silverado no problems. If I didn't trailer 3 hours plus to get to lake o I would go with a fiberglass but love my aluminum islander

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Thanks as always for all the replies. I know Bayliner got a bad wrap back in the day and they are still the lower end boats these days but I hear they have improved dramatically and have gone with merc now as opposed to the old volvo. Any thoughts on a 2004 Bayliner?

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Thanks as always for all the replies. I know Bayliner got a bad wrap back in the day and they are still the lower end boats these days but I hear they have improved dramatically and have gone with merc now as opposed to the old volvo. Any thoughts on a 2004 Bayliner?

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I love my 1987 Bayliner 2160 with a 5L OMC Cobra I/O. It has the fully enclosed cabin because my family enjoys camping on it. It handles fishing duties on Lake O very well, but it's also easy enough to launch at other lakes like Cranberry. We trailer it with my Toyota Tundra half ton crew max.

I can't imagine that you would be disappointed with a 2004 Bayliner. As long as it is well maintained by previous owners it should give you many years of reliable service.

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Heart breaking night for me. Had the finances all set and ready to go just one last step to have my mechanic check it out. Almost instantly he noticed the block was cracked in 3 places. Deal breaker for sure. Back on line now looking for the next one.

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I think it's going to be difficult to find a boat that size with good fishing accommodations and a "cruiser" feel. We have a 88 S24 Sea Ray that has removable riggers and rod holders. It's a nice boat overall for fishing or general boating but it's doesn't have the room to make it a great fishing boat. If you're looking for a fishing boat with outboards in that size I may look into a mid 90s Sea Ray Laguna 24 flush deck cuddy. Nice v berth, a lot of fishing room and you can find them for around 15k with updated 4 stroke outboards.abef341b5d24a1b9fb7587c03928adc8.jpg

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