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Thread: What kind of boat to buy?

  1. #1
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    Default What kind of boat to buy?

    Hey there everyone!
    I'm new to the forum and have been reading a lot of the posts...very informative. I have been looking to buy a boat and was wondering if I could get some feedback. I want a 22' - 26' aluminum hard top with an outboard. I have been looking at boulton, hewescraft, northriver, and a few others. Does anyone have any information that could help me decide on which would be best? I will be launching out of Seldovia, which is where I live, and probably making a lot of commuter trips between there and Homer in addition to fishing the area. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks alot everyone! Happy boating

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    What a neat place to live, we ran our Tolman over there two years and had a great trip!

    Anyhow, not to be blunt what is your budget? You're looking at a spread of say $60-150+k so it's pretty hard to nail down what is best in that range.

    How many people will you typically have on board? Will it be used strictly for day trips, or overnighters? Do you ever want to head out "around the corner" and fish in the Gulf?

    For day trips for a couple of people a 22' hewscraft with a 150 horse would serve you well. It'll comfortably fish 4 people and handle any conditions you want to be out in with a small craft. Whereas if you're looking at longer trips, and want to turn the corner I'd look at a 26' glacier craft and twin 250's, or something of that ilk.

    The upside of the small boats are smaller investment and lower operating costs. The downside is it doesn't take much of a chop before you have to slow way down. The upside of the bigger boats is you can have a couple feet of chop and keep motoring along, and you can carry more people and gear.

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    Well, that's a good question. I would like to buy something used since I do have champagne taste but unfortunately only a beer budget and I figured I could get a little more boat. I'm thinking 35,000 to 55,000 if the bank will let me.
    I have looked at 22' hewescraft with a 200 yamaha and a little kicker (less than 150 hrs.), which looks nice and simple. I haven't ever owned my own boat so keeping extras to a minimum seems like a wise choice.
    I was thinking if I did want to do any overnight trips I could just beach it and stay on land in a tent and go exploring. Although I can easily see myself wanting to take longer trips "around the corner," and it would be nice to have the comforts of home, so to speak. But bigger boats, more amenities, means more money.
    The hewescraft boats seem like they are a little easier to afford which definitely makes them more appealing but is there a reason for that? Is the quality not very good? I really appreciate you giving me your opinion. I have heard quite a few different ones but not from people who own anything close to what I am looking to buy.

    Thanks again!

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    Default a few more comments...

    I own a 20' Hewescraft Sea runner soft top... 115hp main w/ 8hp kicker... It trailers easy, is very economical and for the most part gets me out there when I want to go...

    There are others with more expertise & opinion than I - However, I think Hewescraft is the pickup truck of the boating industry. It's functional and well built. There are nicer/fancy options out there but a Hewescraft is a good option.

    My boat gets me out there and I have seldom felt "under gunned" but I try to be cautious when making decisions about weather...

    a few options I "want" for my next boat... Extended "sea" transom, hard top, sleeper seats and with those options I would opt for more HP...

    A 22ft hard top w/ a 150 would be a nice boat... A 26-28ft w/ duals motor would be awesome but not in my budget...

    I have a little more than $20k in my boat and I fish, hunt, and sight see with the best of them... You just have to pick and choose when to go...

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Lots of good incite in the previous posts. I owned a 24 hewescraft alaskan and ran it for six seasons. It was a great boat for the money. The post about hewes being the pickup of the boating industry is spot on. They get the job done safely and efficiently. Personally I would go no smaller than the 22' ocean pro. You will want the 8.5' beam for both the room and stability. If you are patient, 26 footers pop up in your price range. I would also look closely at the weldcrafts. The builder used to work for hewes, but branched off on his own. Have fun shopping.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    I own a 22 ft sea runner ET/HT. At the time if I had the extra money I would've bought a Ocean Pro or 24' Alaskan. But for the price I paid it is an awesome boat for what I use it for. I have a 150 on it and it is the bare minimum I think for that size boat. I've had it in some nasty weather and never felt in danger. And in my opinion hard top is the way to go.

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    Member knudsemr's Avatar
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    The hewes craft line is awesome!!!! oh by the way I have one for sale....22' ocean pro. it even has an outboard. We use it out of Homer alot, but looking to upgrade as my family is growing. But Seriously the Hewes people have it down. Great use of space, and just an all around get looking boat in my opinion. And most importantly handles well in the water.

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    Default http://www.bayweldboats.com/index.html

    If I were shopping....I would talk with Allen and Eric. Hewes is a great starter boat but when its time to step up, design it the way you want it. I would love to have that walk through beach landing bow thing they do!!
    http://www.bayweldboats.com/index.html

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    Something that few people might understand or appreciate - In my opinion, on a boat, the fewer frills the better. Particularly if you're trying to pinch pennies. By frills I mean heaters, fans, cupholders, washdown, stereo, and anything else that does not affect the function and locomotion of the boat.

    Hewescraft embodies this mindset somewhat. They keep a simple layout without a lot of frills. They do save some money on some things - their electrical panel on the dash is pretty crappy, their wiper motors aren't premium, They make extensive use of untinned non-marine wire, and they use the very cheapest of the cheap terminal blocks for their trim tab wiring. That's a bit disappointing. But, the dealer rigging of the Honda outboard in my case is sound, with a good racor fuel filter and well laid out controls and wiring. This all pertains to my 2002-vintage 26'. From what I've seen of the Boultons/Weldcrafts/Raiders, these same comments apply.

    Because of their simplicity, problems are easy to troubleshoot and fix on the fly. The hewes are well made and sturdy enough to take way more of a pounding than you can.

    Other boats offer similar simplicity with some improvement in critical componentry and layout - the north rivers that I have seen have welded aluminum self-bailing decks and extensive use of BlueSeaSystems wiring/panel components. Same for the premium alaska builders and the guys down on Vancouver Island. That's a significant step up, but it comes at a price.

    If you accept the fact that you might have to fix a few issues as they arise and troubleshoot some simple wiring systems and things, then there is nothing wrong with a Hewescraft. If you don't know your way around mechanical/electrical things and don't ever want to learn, you'll want to spend more money up front and get a North River/SilverStreak(of Sooke, BC, not anchorage)/glaciercraft/bayweld/Almar/eaglecraft/lifetimer/wolfboats/seawolf/etc.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    .spend more money up front and get a North River/SilverStreak(of Sooke, BC, not anchorage)/glaciercraft/bayweld/Almar/eaglecraft/lifetimer/wolfboats/seawolf/etc.
    I am enjoying this thread as am getting interested in a sea worthy boat this size, but Just curious, you specifically eliminated SS in Anchorage?

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Obviously, my signature line shows my preference. When I was looking at buying a bigger boat in '07 (I was upsizing from a 20' Bayliner Trophy), I looked at three boats - the Hewes, Boulton Explorer, and the Harbercraft Kingfisher. I was looking for a 26-28' aluminum boat with outboards that does what I wanted to do 90% of the time, which is day fishing trips. Overnighting accounts for about 10% of my time on the boat, and it sleeps 4 large guys quite nicely, with one under the canvas cover on the aft deck.

    By the time I was done speccing out the Kingfisher, I was up close to $150K. Because I don't make money with my boat (just the opposite!), I couldn't justify in my mind spending that kind of money. I stopped looking at the Boulton due to my experiences with the local dealer at that time. Which left the Hewes - which IMHO is possibly the best "value" out there, in terms of $ spent versus utility of the boat.

    Cheers,

    SH

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