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hookedupf7

New tracker boat opinions

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New tracker boat opinions

Looking for some opinions. I am thinking about buying a new boat in the spring. I just looked at a tracker targa 18 ft. What are your guys opinions on the new trackers?

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They have a decent layout but there are better quality boats available.   What are you looking for in a boat?    Stability? good in rough water?   Most room?   Bass fishing, trolling?, etc

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I do a lot of trolling. I fish smaller lakes a lot but want to have something that will handle ontario on good days. I know some of the older trackers have had some issues. The one I'm looking at is a 2016 targa 18 fter. 

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I am running a 16 ft smoker craft angler now. I am looking for more room and ability to handle some rougher water. We fished ontario in the spring for browns in the angler and I would like a little bigger boat for next spring

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I would be looking in the 20-22' range if moving up from  16'.... Handles O a lot better, ton more of room and will take care of the 2 footisis for awhile. Just as easy to move around and will hold resale value [ new or used ] down the line. If I couldn't afford  a new one in that size I would spend whatever I had budgeted for the new 18 .

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I have 18' Tracker Tracker same as what you are looking at.

I will give you the good and bad.

 

First the good.

8'6" Beam

20° Dead rise

Deep sides

More sea worthy than one would expect.

Versatile for multi species

Lots of storage

Many standard features that cost additional on other manufactures.

The newer Trackers are a much better boat than most give it credit for. 

When you compare actual size & construction the 18 Targa is tough to beat for the $

 

The Bad

Black boat. Top of gunwales are black too....hot hot hot on a sunny day.

Seat stitching/upholstery is fair at best.

If the trailer is a single axle it needs a double axle. Tracker now sells this boat package with a double axle but for years it was a single.

For trolling in Lake O the back platform makes it a bit tougher when using down riggers. The top access rod lockers eat up space for mounting riggers and you are forced to mount them past where you can reach them without having to kneel on the back platform.... a challenge in rough water.

I'l attach a pic below so you see what I am saying.

Accessing the bilge & live well pumps is a little tough.

When I ran wires for MFDs & Fish hawk I unscrewed the entire rear platform and removed it....made the work much easier.

 

Overall a very good boat for the $.

I have a 150 on mine and wouldn't want anything less.

I put a 9.9 pro kicker with a troll master for throttle control.......sweet set up.

 

I am also shopping for a new boat. I just purchased a home on the lake so I will be fishing on Lake O more. Keeping the Tracker for now for the smaller lakes.

 If you are mainly using this for spring browns in close to shore it will do the trick just fine. If you want to go offshore you will need to pick your days carefully. I got caught in 4-5 footers one day (not forecasted) boat handled it as well as I could have expected. It was a long slow run back to the dock but I never had any doubt.

 

I am sure I will think of something else worth mentioning  but for now the should give you some good info to consider.

 

Good Luck

 

 

 

IMG_0795.JPG

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19 minutes ago, hookedupf7 said:

Ha ya the 2 footsies weren't to fun in the 16 footer this spring. 

I think Bozeman Bob is referring to 2 footitis. Every 2 years we want a 2' bigger boat :)

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Tracker builds the cheapest aluminum hull on the market. You get what you pay for.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Rookie fisherman thanks for your input. I would probably only ontario in spring and fall when fish are in close. The rest of the time would be on smaller lakes in central NY. The boat I am looking at is red so that not as bad. It does have two axles on trailer. I see what you are saying about the platform on the back.

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45 minutes ago, rookie fisherman said:

I think Bozeman Bob is referring to 2 footitis. Every 2 years we want a 2' bigger boat :)

Correct sir. And if what Bosun Cowboy wrote is true I would be looking at a used quality boat in the length I mentioned. You wont regret skipping the 18 and just getting a 20-22 footer and being completely happy with it along with the ability of taking 3-4 guys/family  out and having some elbow room.

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Bozeman Bon that is what I'm trying to do. My two sons go with me all the time. My wife said if I bought a bigger boat she would go more. On the other hand my local lake is fairly shallow and my boys like going out bass fishing occasionally. I guess I got time to think until spring. Thanks for all the opinions guys!!!

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31 minutes ago, hookedupf7 said:

Rookie fisherman thanks for your input. I would probably only ontario in spring and fall when fish are in close. The rest of the time would be on smaller lakes in central NY. The boat I am looking at is red so that not as bad. It does have two axles on trailer. I see what you are saying about the platform on the back.

The Red Targa is the "Combo" Targa I believe. Jump seats in the rear?

Its a little different platform set up.

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39 minutes ago, Bosun Cowboy said:

Tracker builds the cheapest aluminum hull on the market. You get what you pay for.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

20 years ago I would have agreed. These boats have come along way. The Targa he is considering (which is their top model) is the widest & deepest 18' Aluminum hull on the market. The only 20° Deadrise at stern and the widest hull bottom. Also has a .100 bottom. Thicker than most in its class. Actually I think only Lund in this size has a .125 thickness when comparing to national boat companies. They do still have their draw backs but have come along way.

Tracker is part of the White River Marine group now. (While still owned by BPS) Tracker, Mako, Ranger, Stratos, Triton and others are all part of this group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On September 29, 2017 at 8:47 PM, Bozeman Bob said:

Correct sir. And if what Bosun Cowboy wrote is true I would be looking at a used quality boat in the length I mentioned. You wont regret skipping the 18 and just getting a 20-22 footer and being completely happy with it along with the ability of taking 3-4 guys/family  out and having some elbow room.

Totally agree....if you can swing it to a 20' plus you will be happier. Especially if you plan to fish 3-4 people.

Edited by rookie fisherman

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42 minutes ago, hookedupf7 said:

Bozeman Bon that is what I'm trying to do. My two sons go with me all the time. My wife said if I bought a bigger boat she would go more. On the other hand my local lake is fairly shallow and my boys like going out bass fishing occasionally. I guess I got time to think until spring. Thanks for all the opinions guys!!!

A bigger boat like I mentioned is not going to draw anymore water than a 18 ' . Going to have more beam which allows it to float higher or the same as a 18' . There all designed to have a 20" motor which requires the vent plate to be even with the bottom of the hull,therefore the same water draw or at the very least within a inch or so. If Momma is happy ,everybody is happy !

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I see a older but decent looking 22 ' just listed here in the classifieds.[ listed as a Starcraft 220, so I assume its 22' long, no actual dimensions given ]   Center console vs dual but roomy looking.

Edited by Bozeman Bob

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I would not go with the tracker if your intent is to primarily  troll Lake Ontario except for during calmer conditions. Had a 18 foot targa 8 years back. Thought it was great til the hull cracked- and it wasn’t from the pounding waves unless you consider 2 footers bad. Not sure how they are now but many people had the same issue I had. Just giving you a heads up. 

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I have a "junky" 2014 Targa V-18 (19'1") Combo (Red) and I tell guys often, this is NOT a big water boat. I Walleye/Perch fish Erie 25-30 trips a year,  however I inland fish 2-3 times a week. For me, this is a great all around versitile boat. I pick days that are 1-3's or less, then the next day I Crappie fish creeks and get up into 18" of water. It is EXTREMELY stable and the back jump seats are fantastic. I remove the rear pedestal seats, flip up the jump seats (on piano hinge) that are HUGE and now there is more room than a 621 with a horseshoe. I fish 4 guys every trip to Erie. One pedestal seat goes up in the nose and I turn the front seats around. The Smooth Moves bases are a nice addition. The nose is very small (short) and this would be my biggest criticism of the boat. I only jig one guy out of the nose anyway, so for me it wasn't a big deal. If you want to spider rig two guys out of the nose you would be uncomfortable at the least. The ride is not super dry in chop, but its far from the worst. My uncle ordered/bought a Lund Pro V 1875, and the ride is not much different. The Lund is better, just not WAY better. I have $8k less in the same boat and have better electronics. The fit and finish of the Lund is MUCH better...not $8k better, but his resale will be much better. Downriggers can be mounted in the track system (with additional support underneath) and go in front of the jump seats. I run Cisco Trees to get 4 rods vertical. This makes things nice and compact. I opted for Motorguide Xi5 because it linked with Lowrance and the spotlock was WAY better than Minn Kotas (at the time)...I upgraded and bought the boat with Minn Kota Terrova, so I speak from experience. The new Minn Kotas are extremely accurate on spot lock and are better made than the Motorguide. I have 9.9 kicker with an iTroll which is fantastic especially with hunt mode enabled. I fish all year long out of this boat on MANY different bodies of water and while a 25' Carolina Classic would be nice on big water, I just don't fish that style enough to justify. I live 2 hours from Erie and 5 from Ontario and 5.5 from Michigan.

 

I like the versatility of my boat. One boat will not meet all of your needs, so make the decision based on what 80% of its useful life will be and simply decide on a budget. If you think you will not have the boat a LONG time, consider resale value. As for being cheaper built, sure anything mass produced is cheaper built...that's not a bad thing just ask the A$$holes at Walmart. This is my third Tracker and second Targa (last was a 2001) Loved all of them. You want a big water aluminum boat, best riding one I've ever been in was a new Starcraft STX 2050 just this year. I preferred it over my buddies 2017 621 Ranger with a 350 Verado on it. I've speared more waves in a Ranger than any aluminum boat, yet they are all the rave. (This won't be a popular statement, buts it's my honest opinion and experience). To me there is no boat worth that kind of money...to someone else they are. Also consider Alumacraft. Hull is .125 and rides very nice on big water. It is built like a tank! Arguably, for big water aluminum boat I would rank 1. Starcraft,  2.Lund/Crestliner, 3. Alumacraft then Tracker. Although, if your going for big water, go glass! No replacement for displacement:lol:

 

Hope this helps. It's just my experience over the 30 years on the water.

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Great post BrahmaBull 71 ! [ reflects the value of this site ] . Bottom line as you post $ 8K ! Is the LUND worth the difference? Resale value ??

Not sure what you mean by " big water boat " ? I have been on Lake O. Lake Erie & Niagara river since 1984 in a 16 ft. StarCraft ; I have to pick my days .

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Downriggers mounted close to the stern are dangerous. Move them forward to where you can easily clip your line to the ball. Foul weather can flood your transom with big butt guys hanging back there. The wider 8 foot 6 inch boats are built for the heavy four stroke engines sold today. The extra six inches give you another 6  foot of floatation for safety in heavy seas.

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