Buying a Boat 101
Looking for any and all advice on buying a boat for Alaska. After spending a coupla days in PWS last year with a buddy of mine, I fell in love with spending a couple weekends in the Sound. I will be in the market for a boat later this summer/ or possibly next summer. I've spent my youth growing up on Lake Erie. Quite a bit of experience driving the family boat(s). I've decided against a river boat for Alaska (lots of friends have boats). My purpose would be to spend a dozen weekends or so out and about in PWS hunting blackies, fishing, shrimping, sightseeing with family, etc... I know that Lake Erie experience is hard to translate into ocean experience. SO, the questions are... what kind of boat should i be looking at? What size boat? what HP motors for the sound? any makes/models superior to others for that kind of use? I probably won't buy new...not in the budget, but i'm figuring I'd spend 20K-30K on a good used boat. Anybody here regret owning a boat (money pit)? Just looking for advice on this new found passion of mine...
One more thing...gotta be able to pull it with my F150 ! I don't want to upgrade to a F250 or F350...
Grew up around Lake Michigan myself! Wish I were in your shoes!
20-30k will possibly get you a Bayliner or similar glass boat in the 24' range, although personally I'd stay away from them and focus on a used Olympic (some have been on craigslist in the past w/outboards). Stay away from I/O power; expensive to fix. Get something with back-up power (kicker most probable for that money range).
Aluminum seems to rule in Alaska, but I'm not sure 20-30k will get you a 22' Hewes or larger (you mentioned spending weekends/overnight, you're gonna want something bigger than 22' I would imagine if there's more than 2 of you). If wife/kids involved, I'd go for a glass boat 24' or so cause they're most likely to have more of a "cruiser" type personality with potty, heat, etc. As much as I frown upon Bayliners, I think the older Explorer (?) models with a Alaska bulkhead are decent (the older ones seem to have a heavier fiberglass layup) but that I/O would be out and a outboard on a bracket would be "in".
Must have a legitimate hardtop/enclosed cab/bulkhead/heat. Good luck and cruise craigslist and the other Alaska sites for stuff (big boy toys?)
Ocean boat and 1/2 ton truck usually doesn't equate well. Check out C-Dory's they fit the truck, but not your dollar amount of 20-30k.
I had this same decision three years ago. I live in Oregon and wanted to get a boat that was ocean safe, over night capable, fishable, towable between ports (Seward, Whittier, and Homer), towable with a 1/2 ton suburban, and in the 20-25K price range. My requirements funneled me into a 2452 Bayliner. You never know when you make your purchase if you made the correct choice. For me the decision was perfect. It is a real comfortable overnight cruiser for two people and will accomodate three with a little patience. It is the same for fishing, real comfortable for three rods and can accomodate four. All in all a great affordable boat to cruise, fish and explore the Kenai ports.
I towed the boat from Oregon with a 1/2 ton suburban and put it in winter storage in Soldotna. It has an 8' beam and is towable without over size permits.
As a boat owner I always am looking at other options. It seams to always come back to versitility. Spend four or five days in PWS or just a day halibut trip out of Homer, it just works.
I often dream of a nice 28-30' aluminum but just can't afford the price tag.
I agree about the Bayliner 2450, my dad had one back in WA and it worked great for what you are looking at doing and you can find them in your price range. It seems to me that you get a lot more of a boat for the price when go with a glass compared to aluminum. As for outboard versus inboard/outboard debate there is tons of opinions, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Good luck boat shopping, you might be able to get some good deals right now.
I can't comment on buying a used boat, as I built a boat to have a boat the size I wanted that I could afford. But I have looked at used boats as an option. I personally would want a minimum 22' cabin cruiser. Anything smaller and there just isn't room to store the necessary gear. Bigger is better if you can afford it, but the purchase price isn't the only expense.
As far as how much hp, it depends on the weight of the boat and how much gear you carry. I firmly believe that more hp is better than less, because you'd be suprised how much weight gets added with fuel, gear, ice, etc etc. In the size you are looking at, 115-150 hp on the low end, on up depending on the hull.
The #1 thing to remember about used boats is people sell their boats because they can't afford to keep them. Why they can't afford to keep them comes down to, they cost too much to opperate, or, they are in need of repairs that cost to much compared to the value of the boat. Keep this firmly in mind when buying. There is the occasional deal out there, a buddy just got a 26' hewescraft with twin 115's for $40k.
Pro's/Con's of various styles of boats.
The generic older fiberglass boat, "Man that seems like alot of boat for the $." says the prospective buyer. Yes, but, they tend to be heavy, they tend to use gas guzzling i/o's that are in need of a rebuild, and you likely won't be able to pull it with your 1/2 ton. There are some that would be a suitable candidate to pull the i/o, patch the transom, mount an o/b on a bracket and turn the old engine compartment into a fish hold. A fair bit of work, but you can get a good boat for the $ if you know what you are doing and what to look for.
The generic aluminum o/b boat. These boats keep their resale fairly well and might be out of your price range. The up side is, they'll suck less gas and you should be able to find one your rig can pull.
The c-dory 22 is a good choice in what you are looking for, and you should be able to find an older one in your price range. The down side is they are a flat bottom hull, and pound in a chop. You can be assured to have a chop most times in the sound.
Whatever you budget for purchasing a boat, make sure you set aside a chunk for safety gear, fishing gear, and maintenance/upgrades. It'll be easy to drop $5k on that stuff, which includes some electronic upgrades. Also factor in opperating costs. You can figure on $200-500 per trip, so say $5k for a years operating expenses, this includes insurance and minor maintenance. Not cheap, but I'd rather spend a dozen weekends in the sound vs. 1 week out of state.
Any regrets? I regret I can't afford a 28' aluminum boat with twin 225's. I don't like to slow down in a chop, and my boat is too small for a family of 5 and related stuff to sleep on the boat.
What you need to do
What you need to do is get about $20,000 all in twenties in a nice suitcase, get on the Seward Highway, drive really, really fast, past all the fat, minivan moms with a cell phone glued to their ears, past all the 1980's Ford 150's with Moses at the wheel, past all the dip#%^&s that drive with their headlights off while it's snowing, drive as fast as you can go, then start tossing those twenties right out the window until they are all gone, then stop at the Girdwood Tesoro, politely ask a big burly fellow to kick you in the nuts.
You will roughly get the same experience.
Now that was funny, Hey, i will have you know, that Ford truck is 1992
Buy a CD 22 with trim tabs, twin 40s, 45s, or 50s, and perma twins. You will not pound in the chop and you will love the boat.... If you hate pounding just slow down some. I'll take you out if want to see what one does.....
You forgot the part about asking him to throw a bucket of seawater on you before the kick in the nuts.
Originally Posted by theilercabin