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Thread: Looking for Ocean Boat, Please Educate Me!

  1. #1

    Default Looking for Ocean Boat, Please Educate Me!

    I've only been on the water a few times, I'm a prairie person. I normally fish the rivers, but when going out onto the ocean and seeing what can be done, kinda hard fishing onshore without even a jet boat. So I'm considering buying a boat and learning the ropes, and am a good study.

    I need help here, don't have the biggest budget by no means, don't even know what kind of boats to get into. Was hoping for a comfortable boat with some comfort options, quarters, enclosed head, but of course primary purpose to fish out of. So a good fishing rig but not necessarily a total fishing platform like the walkarounds, but if need be?

    Figure to start to not venture out too far, but as I learn to get out further on good weather days, never pushing my luck but with a favourable forecast be nice to venture 25 miles for good bottomfish fishing?

    So currently I have been looking at the 1988-1989 to early 1990's 24 foot Trophy Bayliners, hoping they have an enclosed head. Are they seaworthy on the bigger water? I like the moderate size cab, not necessarily the enclosed cab, Im worrried they will put a crimp on the fishing functionality, but perhaps the same cab with open back that has the vinyl.

    Do you have better suggestions in that approximate size? I can't break the bank, if I'm lucky I will get on the ocean 2 weeks per year. I will be shopping out of Canada and the lower 48, so that should get me good bang for my buck.

    Please give me the inns and outs of such a boat, also better suggestions ?

  2. #2
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    North Pole


    if you are around Fairbanks shoot me a PM.

    due to the last couple strokes... I have to get rid of my big boat.

    willing to part fair price, jest so I don't feel giving it away.


  3. #3


    As you have figured out, everything is a compromise. If you plan on day trips and need a fishing machine, that is one thing. If you plan to go out for multi-day trips, then a boat with creature comforts (including a good heater, enclosed cab and comfortable sleeping quarters) will be worth your while. Our boat has a 5 gallon bucket for a head and that works fine for our family and the extra room in the cab is more than worth that compromise for us. Seaworthy is good - particularly if you head out of Seward or if you are compelled to to out towards Montague. We tend to wait for good forecasts and have not had many gnarly water days out of Whittier, but they surely happen and Port Wells can be intimidating with big "confused" waves. On the other hand, if you are conservative and prepared to hunker down then getting the ultimate seaworthy boat is not necessary as long as it is decent. For our family the joy of PWS is to hang out and explore and fish occasionally, which you can do off of most boats. So, perhaps once you clarify the type of boat you want it will be easier. We have friends that take out their family of four on a 22 foot semi-cab skiff; they use a 2 gallon bucket, reconfigure the whole boat to sleep and are incredibly crammed together - and they love it. We have an aluminum boat, which is great, but the Bayliners seem like the bargain boat if glass is an option for you.

  4. #4
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    If it were me i'd go rent a boat for a couple of days and spend some time out there before buying. If your only going to have limited time to use a boat of your own just think of the costs of owning the boat, it ain't cheap !! I'd bet you would come out even or maybe money ahead by just renting for the times you would use it. Good luck on the boat search and come see me for some shrimp pots if you do buy your own rig. Oh one other thing STAY AWAY from outdrives !!!

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    907 775 1692

  5. #5
    Member breausaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    First off I would steer clear of inboard/outboard boats, often referred to inboards with outdrives. They might appear to be a bargain but often end up costing you more with associated repair and maintenance costs.

    I spend a lot of 3 day weekends out on the sound and its rare to not hear a distress call from a broke down inboard boat of the type your considering. There are some nice boats out there with outdrives, often tied to diesel inboards.

    Save your money, secure financing, get your ducks in order and get a reliable newer boat (say less than 12 years old) with outboards and youíll be way happier in the long run.

    I would try and find a boat thatís never been moored, a boat thatís been stored on a trail is more likely to have less electrical associated problems plus the hull and deck fittings will be in way better shape. Once a boat has had bottom paint applied your stuck with it, especially on fiberglass, and the hull will always be ugly below the water line unless you re-paint which is a waste of time unless keep in a slip; I know because my current boat was moored and Iíve had to deal re-bedding most of the deck fittings and replacing the power trim at $$$$$.

    Bought my last two boats in Washington, drove out and hauled back for about $1500 in fuel. Slept in the truck on the way down and in the boat on return.

    Good luck in your search, boating can be a wonderful rewarding pastime.
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser

  6. #6


    I would start my learning curve on some big lakes way inland, learn the machine without the tides, swells, etc Meanwhile, I'll be putting in a couple more charters next year, then hope to accompany a friend once I have a boat and fish with him x2 boats.

    Ive heard of the hesitation to these inboard outdrive boats. What kind of money to put in/rebuild a new motor and outdrive? Meanwhile, I will keep my eyes open for a boat with double outboard engines. Perhaps I just need to get me a walkaround? Seems to me I seen plenty of those with the outboard engines.

    what are some good boats to be looking at? I want a decent fishing platform, private head, ideally potential to stay overnight on the ocean, but not a primary feature. The only boats I know to look for are the trophy bayliners and walkaround Grady, Pursuit, Trophy, Seaswirl.

    im not finding much for aluminum boats out there, especially not with an affordable price. If I was to look for an aluminum boat, what models should I be searching for?

  7. #7
    Member Rob B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Eagle River, Alaska,


    Check these out then. Sounds like a great boat for you.

    26' Tolman Skiff Super Jumbo $54900

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    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
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    MMSI# 338232859

  8. #8
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Sterling, Alaska, United States


    Not sure why some don't like the outdrive. As far as cost goes it's not really any more expensive to replace a lower unit on an outdrive than it is to replace a lower unit on an outboard. Some may disagree with me but I like my inboard/outboard. I ran outboards for years and now have an inboard, I prefer the inboard because if I blow pistons out both sides of the block I am out about 2800 for a new long block. However if I blow a power head on an outboard I'm out about 7 to 10 grand or more depending on the size of the motor.
    If you are looking for a good entry level boat that won't break the bank I wouldn't hesitate to go with a Bayliner. I have a Bayliner and I have been running it for 6 years now and I love it. I use it several weeks per year and rarely do one day trips, we use it as our motor home on the water. I have an enclosed head, stove, fridge, hot water heater and I can comfortably sleep 4 people and still have room for gear the deck is also big enough to comfortably fish 5 peiple, I have the Bayliner 2556 and I have had it in rougher water the I wanted to and it handled it really well. I spent many years running aluminum boats and for a personal boat I prefer a glass boat. The biggest reason is they are warmer, they also usually ride better.
    Bayliner are good budget boats, they don't have the finish or bells and whistles of more expensive boats but will treat you just as good on the water for a fraction of the price. No matter what you buy have a good mechanic that you trust go through it with a fine tooth comb. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions.

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