New Boat, No Name Yet

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
So, I've been waiting patiently for my next boat, which is driving me up the wall.

I decided I'm going to cope with this by starting my own boat thread.

This is my third boat in seven years, and it's amazing how one "grows out" of the existing boat. I started with an aluminum Tracker that I used mostly on lakes and occasionally in the ocean. My second boat was a Robalo center console that only saw saltwater and was rigged to the hilt for inshore and some offshore fishing.

Build threads are only better with pictures, so I'll include as much as I can.

Here is my second boat. She sold within 12 hours of posting.
13694438_1156782911011374_46544028_n.jpg


The first try:
I was scouring the whole country for my next boat, and I found my perfect boat.

It was a leftover 2017 Robalo R200 located in Texas. This was a brand new boat that simply didn't sell. It also had a 200 horsepower Yamaha that would have taken me to Catalina in 45 minutes under the right conditions. It also had a powder coated t-top and leaning post. The hull was Seafoam Green.

The boat I tried to buy:
22274.png


The dealership was desperate to sell the boat and took $10,000 off the original MSRP.

I told him that I would buy it and needed to discuss details with my bank. I offered him an earnest deposit and he said "This boat has been here for 2 years. It's not gonna sell. Don't worry about it."

My mistake.

I arranged financing with an East Coast bank and told the guy there would be a little delay because there was the time zone difference, the geographic distance (I had to FedEx original paperwork), and I had to get the papers notarized. I even told him I'd put down a 100% sales price deposit as long as we wrote down it was all refundable pending my financing. He refused and said it was fine.

To show my due diligence, I had the assistant take more pictures of the boat. Furthermore, I did something creative: I wanted an extra set of unbiased eyes so I posted on a few Facebook boat groups that I needed help from Texas. No one responded.

So, I used Google Maps to locate the dealership, then I scrolled up and down the streets and found a local surf shop. I called the surf shop and a young-ish guy answered.

I told him that this is a completely random call, but that I would pay him money to visit the dealership (about 200 feet away from the store), take a few pics and look at a few things that concerned me. Lo and behold, he agreed and he did exactly that. Karma points to him. The dealership was welcoming of the kid and knew why I was doing that. I didn't bother with a professional pre-purchase inspection as the boat is brand new.

I mention all this to show that the dealership knew how serious I was.

On the day of closing, I receive a phone call from the dealer. He was irate and shouting. He asked me why the deal hadn't closed yet, and I told him that we were well within the "3 - 5 business days" I told him it would take the bank to close paperwork. He kept shouting and I quickly figured out why he was doing so.

The dealer told me a random person had just walked into his dealership and wanted to buy the boat locally. He said he didn't have to worry about prepping the boat for towing and this was a far better deal for him. I told him I'd already sent him proof of notarization of the paperwork and I'd already paid for the uShip towing.

But what I didn't have was a deposit or a contract.

So he shouts that he's selling the boat to this guy because he doesn't have to include things like a spare tire (which he generously offered to give for free when he was trying to close the deal with me).

I couldn't do anything and I couldn't believe what was happening. So he sold the boat from underneath me. Lessons learned; yes, I'm sure some of you will call me an idiot.

On to the next
Frustrated, I decided to search locally instead of dealing with a-hole dealers who probably hated Yankee, hippie California dudes.

I debated thousands of things (I'm a research guy), but fell in love with this boat. Honestly, I had no idea I'd like it, but let me outline the reasons it convinced me.

23464~2.png


Here are my most compelling reasons for buying this boat (NauticStar 20xs). Yes, some of these things are "small", but isn't that usually what gets us to lean one way or the other?
  • The deck had diamond pattern non-skid, just like the Robalo did. Every other boat I looked at (even higher price points) had orange peel. This is a very small difference, but to me it adds an upscale feel to the boat.
  • The 150 Yamaha sits "just right" in terms of horsepower. This boat can take up to 200hp but the 150 is mid level.
  • The stern bench seat folds down into the transom, creating the largest space I've seen on a 20 foot center console. This basically solves the dilemma I was working with in getting a fiberglass bait tank installed just under the leaning post. The Robalo I was going to buy also had a leaning post with less than 18" of allowable height. I needed seat modifications for the Robalo but the NauticStar does not.
  • It just felt right. Out of all the boats I'd looked at locally, this one gave me that feeling. I can't explain it; it was just right.
So she's the one. As of today, I don't have a name yet, though the first one to come to mind was "Mint Rhino" (a play on a certain venue in a certain city named Vegas). I don't think it'll stick.

Electronics
I looked at the existing console and didn't like nor understand why the factory installed the Yamaha digital gauge and the Simrad GO7XSE like this:
NauticStar Console Stock.png


I'm a bit OCD so this was totally killing me. I took measurements and it looked something like this:
Picture4.png


I was torn between staying with a Simrad based system (I've never used Simrad before) or replacing it all with Garmin. I used Lowrance then Garmin on my previous boat, and I was very happy with the Garmin.

Size would be my biggest enemy (isn't that true for most guys?). If I kept the existing Simrad GO7xse, I had only 11" of width to play with. That severely limited my choices, and most of them were "off size", meaning the new unit would be markedly smaller compared to the Simrad.

Furthermore, the stock Simrad unit wasn't as powerful a unit as I'd like. It also wouldn't interface with another unit.

(I realize I could start from scratch and redo the whole console, but I wanted a clean look without adding starboard or fake carbon fiber panels, etc). I found it a nice mental challenge to decide how I wanted the console to look.

I considered 10 and 12 inch screens but I didn't have enough real estate to make them work, so here's what I decided:

Two Garmin 942xs units side by side. The 942xs is big enough to "overlap" the existing hole from the Simrad, and the dimensions are just small enough to work nicely with the existing space. I also had a 942xs on my previous boat, and I really liked the unit overall.

Picture5.png


For the radio, I'm sticking to a Standard Horizon gx1700, which served me well on the previous boat.
 

Kman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 7, 2003
1,695
1,801
So Cal
Name
Kurt
Boat
Robalo R180 Trailer Trash
Nice! Highly suggest you get a radio with AIS and network it to your plotter. You will love seeing the big ships and working boats show up, along with their paths. Adds greatly to your situational awareness. To save helm space, I mounted my radio (ICOM M506-AIS) in the console and only have a Command Mic showing on the helm.
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
Nice! Highly suggest you get a radio with AIS and network it to your plotter. You will love seeing the big ships and working boats show up, along with their paths. Adds greatly to your situational awareness. To save helm space, I mounted my radio (ICOM M506-AIS) in the console and only have a Command Mic showing on the helm.
Dammit Kurt! I already bought the gx1700 but of course I can return it and get the one with AIS.

But if I'm getting radar, I don't REALLY need a radio with AIS do I...?

Also, did you get my text asking what you did about the bottom hatch under your bait tank? Is it just there and used for the piping?
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
So I'm kinda weird in that I can spend money on big ticket items but I will desperately hunt to save a few hundred bucks on smaller things.

To that end, I bought the first Garmin 942xs through eBay.

I scoured the internet for the lowest possible price for something that is MSRP'd at $1299.

I found a seller who listed a brand new unit for $1199 or best offer. I offered $1099 but he countered with something like $1169 (I'm estimating as I forgot the actual numbers).

I didn't bite and sat looking for comparable units throughout the country.

About a week later, I got a notice from eBay that the same seller lowered the price to $1099.

I snatched it up within minutes of that notification. I don't know if the seller was happy or mad that it was me who bought it (with the higher counter-offer sitting in both our notifications).

Here's the unit, completely brand new.
IMG_20190626_222622.jpg


After I decided I would be installing two Garmins, I immediately went back on the hunt.

Prices held steady at $1299 MSRP throughout the country (even Hodges Marine) so I stalled.

On a whim, I clicked on "New Posts" here on BD, and wouldn't you know it, but up pops a for sale thread for a new Garmin 942xs for only $900! (thanks again Robert)

User said it's a brand new unit with everything included, except the original box (which he threw away as he expected to install the unit, then decided to go bigger when he saw it against the console).

However, I was second in line as someone else had contacted him.

We stayed in touch over the next 24 hours and Robert told me the first guy no-showed him (that's just disrespectful guys).

I wasted no time and we met up that same night.

Here is the other new unit, with a $400 savings!
IMG_20190626_222728.jpg


Gil/SemperFi has been a great resource for years, and he guided me in what I need to network both MFDs. If you know anything about NMEA 2000 and networking, you know it's really not that big a deal. I just like researching every little thing and learning during the process.

I'm really looking forward to one screen showing my navigation and the other screen showing my sonar. No more split screens for the most part!
 

Kman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 7, 2003
1,695
1,801
So Cal
Name
Kurt
Boat
Robalo R180 Trailer Trash
But if I'm getting radar, I don't REALLY need a radio with AIS do I...?
I’ve had radar and AIS. They compliment each other. Radar takes interpretation, AIS does not.

I was fishing the other day off Long Beach. Looked over at my plotter and there was a big dashed line going through the boat. Zoomed out and sure enough, there was the Catalina Express about .5 mi away, heading right for us. Sooooooo nice to see these guys and not have to interpret blobs.

Triangles are ships/boats. No dashed lines means they are not under way.

88E06DE1-5D40-4B9F-BD8A-8BB55BF122F2.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
Woohoo! I got confirmation from uShip that my towing payment has been refunded. I saw that my account had already been credited.

Uship Cancellation.jpg


I've never actually used uShip before, but I found the entire experience pleasant and professional.

It was great to see competing bids, along with user reviews and driver/company profiles. It gave me confidence to go with someone who had at least several reviews (positive of course) and also included lots of pictures of his rig and all vehicles towed.

I initially wanted to use Cory, a guy who had a great rep on this forum. However, the latest reports from BD is that he stopped towing (and possibly took people's money?).

Anyways, I'm just glad I got my money back.
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
I’ve had radar and AIS. They compliment each other. Radar takes interpretation, AIS does not.

I was fishing the other day off Long Beach. Looked over at my plotter and there was a big dashed line going through the boat. Zoomed out and sure enough, there was the Catalina Express about .5 mi away. Sooooooo nice to see these guys and not have to interpret blobs.

Triangles are ships/boats. No dashed lines means they are not under way.

View attachment 1041138
Thanks Kurt!

Dammit, I'm returning the Standard Horizon VHF and buying a Garmin VHF radio with AIS. I just want to make sure I pick one that syncs perfectly with my existing 942xs units.
 
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Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
Amazon came today!

I included my dock lines in the sale of the last boat, so I needed new ones.

I normally boat alone, so I need dock lines that are longer than usual to tie against the trailer tongue while the boat slips off into the water. 3/8 inch seemed like a great width to handle a 20 foot boat.

These got great reviews on Amazon so I decided to give them a try.
IMG_20190627_164459.jpg


Included in the same package is the Marine Networking Cable I will need for the two Garmins to communicate with each other. Apparently, the ethernet connection is how they truly talk but I still need the NMEA 2000 parts to complete the network.
IMG_20190627_164702.jpg


I've got other parts coming, and I've already started the return process for the Standard Horizon GX1700 and currently deciding which Garmin VHF radio with AIS capability to use. I like the idea that all my stuff will be Garmin with matching covers on the console.
 
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Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
Woohoo!

Based on Kurt's recommendation, I am returning the Standard Horizon GX1700 and getting an AIS equipped marine VHF radio.

I looked at the Garmin units, but honestly couldn't bring myself to pay almost $500 "just" for a radio. So even though the idea of matching all my equipment makes me feel giddy, I didn't feel like spending that money.

On the hunt for a better deal for an AIS equipped radio, I searched again. Lowrance and Simrad both have this capability, but their radios are also around the $400 mark. I kept thinking of how often do I really NEED AIS especially since I am almost always in open water.

Then I saw this gem online.

A $400 unit listed brand new for $170? Yes please! I ordered it tonight and it will arrive in a few days.

Screenshot_20190628-005716.png


The next closest vendor in price was an eBay seller who listed the same radio for $300. I think I really got a steal on this one! I also love that it's NMEA 2000 compatible as I've read that some radios only have NMEA 0183, which is a bigger pain to pair with some MFDs.
 
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rmn6

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 10, 2004
112
24
S.F.
Name
Ray
Boat
22 Farallon
I picked up that Simrad and have it hooked up to my Garmin Echomap. I think you're going to like it. I turned off the audible alarm on the AIS because it was going off constantly, but targets are on the screen.
 
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Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
My plan is to fish both inshore and offshore, and in order to do offshore properly, I'm going to need a proper bait tank.

My last boat had a 32 Gallon Kodiak installed by Advanced Marine. It worked very well, but didn't have the "stock" look of a fiberglass unit.

I considered all popular options, including the ubiquitous Pacific Edge and Bluewater. Randy was excellent in his answers to me. PE had a 6 week timeline.

In the end, I chose to go with a new guy on the block: West Coast Bait Tanks.

I ran across the idea of West Coast Bait Tanks via this forum. I looked up their website and saw their Facebook page as well. The tanks looked nice and more than comparable to the "big boys" in Socal.

As a coincidence, I was talking to Advanced Marine and they brought up Craig from WCBT as well. They'd purchased a tank from him and we're extremely pleased with the product.

I called Craig and confirmed that he's a recent startup in a competitive, but not overly crowded market (there's like 3 guys people talk to for custom tanks in Socal).

I liked what he had to say, and I really liked the idea of hiring someone who is grinding to make a name for himself.

Craig was patient with all my questions and even went a step further: he drove to see the boat at the dealership and took his own measurements.

I want to maximize the legroom behind the captain's chair and the bait tank, so we are either installing just behind the hatch (without disturbing it) OR installing over the hatch.

What I REALLY love about the NauticStar is how much room there is in the stern. The kids will love all the space and I'm thinking of even bringing some marine bean bags for the family days.

If we can get the bait tank underneath the leaning post, I'll be a happy camper. There's enough room to install it behind the hatch (and still have legroom with the seat down), but I'd really love it if we can get the tank underneath.

Here is a picture of the style of tank:
23744.jpeg


I like the flat back that will go towards the bow, which maximizes the space.

Here is a pic of Craig (his shoes, not mine) doing the measurements. His suggestion was to install the flat back UP TO the hatch and the red arrow shows where the tank ends. The bench seat is down right now, so you can tell that there will still be plenty of legroom (the bench seat will usually be up anyway).

However, I am still exploring the possibility of installing the bait tank more forward and underneath the leaning post to give me even more space in the stern.

Inked23750_LI.jpg
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
I used my anchor maybe 5 times on my previous boat, and I definitely stopped using it once I got the Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor installed.

Because I don't know if I'll be installing a trolling motor on this boat AND I'll probably be anchoring more when visiting Catalina.

I got 300 feet of rope--it's always good to have more, obviously, but I'm not sure my anchor locker can fit more than that. I went with this one from Amazon. It has great reviews and looks sturdy enough when it arrived.
91FbVO6AtDL._SL1500_.jpg


Personally, I hate anchoring especially if I'm alone. I always have a healthy paranoia that a rogue wave might toss me over while I'm struggling with the anchor or that the anchor will set too hard and I can't get it out.

Obviously I can always cut through the rope, but again, who wants that hassle?

Regardless, I'm gonna keep this on board (and connected to the anchor and rode of course).
 

Kwohlers8

Anchor Point
Dec 1, 2012
334
218
Fortuna CA
Name
Kris
Boat
25' Skipjack Fisherman "Anchor Point"
I run the Lowrance version of that radio. Great radio with a mediocre speaker. I installed a bendix king external speaker and can clearly hear at cruising speed. You’re going to have an awesome boat my friend
 
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Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
I run the Lowrance version of that radio. Great radio with a mediocre speaker. I installed a bendix king external speaker and can clearly hear at cruising speed. You’re going to have an awesome boat my friend
Thanks! Working on it!
 

Day0ne

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 24, 2004
987
399
73
Texas
Name
David
Boat
233 Formula Shadowdancer
Regardless, I'm gonna keep this on board (and connected to the anchor and rode of course).
FYI, the line IS the rode. i.e., The rode (also known as anchor cable) is what connects your anchor to the boat.
 
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Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
I went to the dealership today and closed the deal. She needs hull identification numbers as well as the overall detail from the dealership before I pick her up (they will buff and polish her hull).

I'm hoping I can pick her up before 4th of July so I can drop her off for rigging ASAP.

Here's a shot of her at the lot. She was cleaner today because she got a quick wash down the other day.
IMG_20190629_140447.jpg


It's possible that my maiden voyage with her will actually be with my best friend and his family (including my goddaughter), which will be interesting because I'd be learning her dimensions with a lot of company.

To that end, I wanted additional shade for the kiddos, and my wife who notoriously doesn't want to get more tan.

I did some quick research and found that T-Top Covers also sells boat shade kits. So I immediately placed an order for one and the website states it will ship in 5 - 15 business days.

bsk-gallery-21.jpg
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
So I was cruising the forums (as I almost always do) and was reminded of the Side Vu and Clear Vu (aka Down Vu) technology that can be used on the water.

I'm so amped about the B75M transducer but I also didn't want to ignore my inshore fishing. This stuff is mostly "play" (I mean, what isn't in this hobby of fishing and boating?), but I figured if I'm going all in, then I might as well go all in.

These pictures of the Side Vu and Clear Vu really sold me.
150818_0835_00.jpg


image.jpeg


So I contacted Gil (Semper Fi) and ordered the Garmin GCV 20 Black Box and GT34UHD transom mount transducers.

The Black Box is necessary because my 942xs units will not fire side scan. All the components can also be connected easily so they all talk to each other.

Now I can hunt for structure/calico bass inshore with the Ultra High Definition transducer and the fast moving tuna and yellowtail with the B75M transducer.

GAR010-02055-00-2.jpg
 
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Kman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 7, 2003
1,695
1,801
So Cal
Name
Kurt
Boat
Robalo R180 Trailer Trash
We fished again today and I can’t emphasize enough how nice it is to have AIS. We used it over and over today. You made a good call to get it.
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
We fished again today and I can’t emphasize enough how nice it is to have AIS. We used it over and over today. You made a good call to get it.
No sir, YOU made a good call suggesting I get it.

Thanks!
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,035
2,109
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
Another piece of equipment I sold along with my previous boat is the bait net. It was nothing special; just a random one I bought from the local tackle store.

This time, I want a custom bait net to match my existing Morita gaff.

IMG_20180729_183240_478.jpg

IMG_20180729_183240_432.jpg


My confession: this gaff has never tasted blood! I got it immediately after my Billy K expedition. I didn't do as much offshore after that trip, and the few that we caught, we didn't want to keep (so no gaffing).

Damn thing is mad at me LOL.

But I can't order a custom Morita bait net without a boat name since I haven't named her yet. I'm working through some possibilities but haven't decided on one.
 
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Croaker.Stroker

Old White Guy
Nov 28, 2015
1,346
1,078
Tustin
Name
Croaker
Boat
Arima Sea Pacer
Nice! Highly suggest you get a radio with AIS and network it to your plotter. You will love seeing the big ships and working boats show up, along with their paths. Adds greatly to your situational awareness. To save helm space, I mounted my radio (ICOM M506-AIS) in the console and only have a Command Mic showing on the helm.
+1