First Boat Guidelines

Sep 16, 2018
206
26
31
San Diego - Alpine
Name
Michael
Boat
Moooooo
Newer to fishing and I don’t really care to target specific species. I just love being out there. Looking to get something in the next year or so. I don’t have any experience navigating, so I would strictly stick to San Diego bay, La Jolla, etc. Something lightweight (less than 4,000lbs with trailer) but very stable.

Like I said....no boat ownership or experience prior but pretty mechanically inclined. Just trying to get information and ideas. Budget would probably be under $6,500
 
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Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
Jun 22, 2014
1,407
1,745
No Grave But the Sea
Name
Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
Boat
Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
Exactly what Dave said. I would be looking at some 17-22' aluminum center console preferably with a 4 stroke motor.

Anything bigger than that which falls into that price range is going to be a project/headache. (not to say you may find some that aren't, or that one on the smaller side wont be, just a general guideline)

Since you are new to boating it will really turn you off to the whole idea if every time you go out and something breaks or needs to be repaired. You will just continue to throw money at it.

Keep your eye on the BD classified section here. Something will pop up. I much rather buy something from someone on this board than a classified site. Reason being is this is like a big community and if you are a regular type member on this site you probably take care of your stuff because you look at fishing/boating as more than just a side hobby. Who knows about the person you are potentially buying from on craigslist.

Good luck!!
 

yrd

BS on no pics ..!.,
Jun 14, 2009
436
113
Flux
Name
Ted
Boat
anything w/ HOOK-UP!!!
Do not go past GO (the dock or even into the bay), get to the library or borrow from a friend and read while you are doing your business. You will get a lot of knowledge in the next year and will know the rules of the road...

Amazon product
ps. there is a lot of information, it's not just a pamphlet and sign up of a seamanship class. My $0.37...
 
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Sep 16, 2018
206
26
31
San Diego - Alpine
Name
Michael
Boat
Moooooo
Go as small as you can go (taking into account how many folks you will be taking out) with the newest best engine you can get.
Too many people are blinded by the largest boat they can get but has motors that will need to be replaced within a year.
Definitely looking at something something in the 14-17’ range. Probably fiberglass. Something small because I have limited towing capacity.
 
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Sep 16, 2018
206
26
31
San Diego - Alpine
Name
Michael
Boat
Moooooo
Exactly what Dave said. I would be looking at some 17-22' aluminum center console preferably with a 4 stroke motor.

Anything bigger than that which falls into that price range is going to be a project/headache. (not to say you may find some that aren't, or that one on the smaller side wont be, just a general guideline)

Since you are new to boating it will really turn you off to the whole idea if every time you go out and something breaks or needs to be repaired. You will just continue to throw money at it.

Keep your eye on the BD classified section here. Something will pop up. I much rather buy something from someone on this board than a classified site. Reason being is this is like a big community and if you are a regular type member on this site you probably take care of your stuff because you look at fishing/boating as more than just a side hobby. Who knows about the person you are potentially buying from on craigslist.

Good luck!!
You would suggest aluminum over fiberglass? I definitely want center console type of skiff. It’s small and light.

BD has been pretty reputable for every other type of transaction. Craigslist can be kind of iffy.
 
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Sep 16, 2018
206
26
31
San Diego - Alpine
Name
Michael
Boat
Moooooo
Do not go past GO (the dock or even into the bay), get to the library or borrow from a friend and read while you are doing your business. You will get a lot of knowledge in the next year and will know the rules of the road...

Amazon product
ps. there is a lot of information, it's not just a pamphlet and sign up of a seamanship class. My $0.37...
ordering now:Beat_Them
 

crawdadguy

team greybeard
Feb 21, 2006
562
152
NO. County S.D.
Name
crawdad guy
Boat
21 seaswirl DC
Here's a few tips...
*Take your time and look around a lot. The economic conditions are ripening for some good deals. Rushing causes buyer's remorse. Good deals are out there all the time be patient.
*Sea trial /mechanic checks save a lot of heartbreak.
*Don't buy a boat you cant afford to take out when you want or need many people to go with you to make it feasible
* The bigger the boat you get the bigger tow vehicle you will need $$$$
* for what you described 17-21 ft 4 stroke outboard.
* go on boats if you can to see what you like...or at least watch the ramps and look and ask guys ???
* consider storage...Mine stores in driveway others pay $$ to store
* get a boat you will use a lot or it is not worth the $$
 

Capt.C.Delany

The only fishing I do is trolling the Internet
Jun 22, 2014
1,407
1,745
No Grave But the Sea
Name
Hugh Jassole / The Porcelain Punisher
Boat
Paddy Wagon 24' Skippy
You would suggest aluminum over fiberglass? I definitely want center console type of skiff. It’s small and light.
For your first skiff, stored on a trailer with the guideline of being lightweight I would go aluminum any day. You won't need to worry about additional time/money on waxing the oxidation, chipping the gel coat, scratching the paint etc. Cleaning an aluminum skiff is just a scrub brush/pressure washer. You may also save on fuel. Simplicity. You can look into like a Bayrunner. I had a 17' Gregor for a while, loved it. It was a little center console that fished 2 guys perfectly with a little bait tank on the stern.
 
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kevina

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 10, 2006
2,370
1,792
93
redondo beach
Name
kev
Boat
25' aqua sport
Do not go past GO (the dock or even into the bay), get to the library or borrow from a friend and read while you are doing your business. You will get a lot of knowledge in the next year and will know the rules of the road...

Amazon product
ps. there is a lot of information, it's not just a pamphlet and sign up of a seamanship class. My $0.37...
Depending on your age, Their is a course (boaters safety course) to operate on the water. Look it up on the internet, Boaters safety card.
 
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dcarlisle

Captain
Jun 25, 2008
668
459
The Island
Name
Dave
Boat
Boatless
I had a 17’ seafox center console and it was a wonderful all around boat. Small and easy to tow, but big enough and safe enough to take 4 guys offshore for tuna (once you know how to handle small boats offshore).
 
Sep 16, 2018
206
26
31
San Diego - Alpine
Name
Michael
Boat
Moooooo
Go as small as you can go (taking into account how many folks you will be taking out) with the newest best engine you can get.
Too many people are blinded by the largest boat they can get but has motors that will need to be replaced within a year.
What would you recommend for two adults and eventually an adult and child? 14-15‘? Something with somewhat higher sides would probably be better for kids starting out.
 

Long Beach Bob

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 13, 2004
454
532
74
Long Beach and points due west
Name
Bob Ballew
Boat
2520 Parker with twin 200 Yamahas
If you go alum, find one with welded seams....hundreds of grommets can lead to lots of corrosion and lots of pinhole leaks in used saltwater boats...me, I would find a used hull at auction/online and finance a new outboard motor to ensure lots of fun and lots less work...inhull engines and outdrives are twice the maintainance cost...wear out an outboard and you just clamp on a new one and off you go...17' minimum for ocean use, based on my 50 years on the ocean...
 

tunakillerjoe1

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 24, 2017
673
467
63
San Diego, Calif
Name
Joseph Gratteau
Boat
Valco Westcoaster
I decided to finally get my own boat. Storage is a major consideration. Towing and how far you wish to safely go are next. Get ready for added expences. I ended up with a 15' valco westcoaster, which is perfect for me. Sure, I wish I could go further, more bait, more people, but also much more bs. Keep it light, simple, 4 stroke, and use it often! Enjoy!
 

dcarlisle

Captain
Jun 25, 2008
668
459
The Island
Name
Dave
Boat
Boatless
What would you recommend for two adults and eventually an adult and child? 14-15‘? Something with somewhat higher sides would probably be better for kids starting out.
I’m hesitant to go down that rabbit hole as everyone has different needs.
I would recommend making a list of the top 5 things you would like to do with the boat.
Then continue that list to ten items.
Anyone who has owned many boats knows there is no perfect boat and every boat on earth is a compromise. Finding the least compromises to get your top 5 are the key.
An example of items may be:
1. Carry 4 adults safely offshore
2. Have a 250 mi range
3. Have a 4 stroke outboard
4.Have a bait tank that will hold 1 scoop sardines
5. Sleep two adults Inside
6. Have a head
7. Tow a skiier
8. Have a bitchen stereo
9. Fit in my garage on a trailer
10. Have a radar

These are just examples and there are probably over a million variables. Talk to your family and get their wishes. You want your family to be excited to go out. This is why countless men have upgraded to boats with toilets to make their wife and kids comfortable (and many purposefully haven’t so they stay at the dock).
Most boat savvy people could look at the list above and get a somewhat clear picture of the general location you need to head in, and know your priorities.
This is the part that is going to sting. You need to make this list, then find all the boats that meet your priorities, then get an average price range.
Throw out all the lowest priced boats (unless you have an expert find you the “deal of a century”) and throw out the highest priced because they are probably new and you don’t need that. That average should be your ballpark budget.
As mentioned above, if you let the budget solely dictate your purchase, you may make the mistake many many beginners make and it could be your last boat and not to mention a strain on your relationship.
Remember, when you envision yourself in a boat, you don’t dream of what the boat cost, rather what you can accomplish with it. The freedom it brings you and your loved ones and the memories and experiences.
If you buy a lemon or a fixer upper (without the knowledge of what it takes), it will become a driveway queen that drains your wallet, gives you a bad taste for boating, and makes you the butt of all the family boating jokes.
I know this doesn’t answer your question of “what you should buy”, but let’s start with the basics of what you “have to have” based on what you want to do with it.
If you can’t afford the boat you really need to accomplish the mission, waiting until you can will make it that much more rewarding. The ocean and the fish aren’t going anywhere.
 

kevina

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 10, 2006
2,370
1,792
93
redondo beach
Name
kev
Boat
25' aqua sport
If you go alum, find one with welded seams....hundreds of grommets can lead to lots of corrosion and lots of pinhole leaks in used saltwater boats...me, I would find a used hull at auction/online and finance a new outboard motor to ensure lots of fun and lots less work...inhull engines and outdrives are twice the maintainance cost...wear out an outboard and you just clamp on a new one and off you go...17' minimum for ocean use, based on my 50 years on the ocean...
And don't get a flat bottom, The deeper the "V" the Better.
 

lntruong

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 26, 2005
170
8
61
escondido,ca.
Name
long
Boat
14 zodiac
This is a perfect for you thinking to sell this boat because the wife not allow me to have 2 You can tow tis boat with the small 4cylinder car u can go 80 on freeway ,Also you can fit inside your garage it’s very stable set than aluminum boat it’s handled much better than aluminum boat a 14 foot zodiac 420dl 50 hp four stroke You can spend the whole day at Coronado Island for 8 gallon fuel Or trolling whole day for 10 gallon you can go for 425 or 302 or 371 for 13 gallons
When you fight with the fish the boat come to the fish not fish come to the boat
47A6F6BF-BB33-4B58-AC47-911F5C2BA6F0.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Sep 16, 2018
206
26
31
San Diego - Alpine
Name
Michael
Boat
Moooooo
For your first skiff, stored on a trailer with the guideline of being lightweight I would go aluminum any day. You won't need to worry about additional time/money on waxing the oxidation, chipping the gel coat, scratching the paint etc. Cleaning an aluminum skiff is just a scrub brush/pressure washer. You may also save on fuel. Simplicity. You can look into like a Bayrunner. I had a 17' Gregor for a while, loved it. It was a little center console that fished 2 guys perfectly with a little bait tank on the stern.
I think this would be the way to go. Less to go wrong. It seems like the only way a boat like this would incur extra expenses would be issues with the motor. Other than that, it doesn’t seem like much could go wrong??