Prime time to buy a new or used boat

Prime time to buy a new or used boat

Having your own boat and being able to go fishing when and where you like on any given day is the only way to fly. The only glitch is knowing what kind of boat you need. Obviously, if you are into bass fishing you’ll want to get a bass fishing boat. But if you like to fish on the inland lakes and along the coast you’ll definitely do best with a center console. This type of boat is pretty much the best one to use in Southeast Texas. Having a boat that can be used for both bass fishing and going after trout and reds on the coast gives you a lot of options.

But before you buy there are a few things to keep in mind. One is your budget. How much do you want to spend? Boats can get to be expensive in a hurry. Some of the high-end center console rigs and bass boats can easily jump over the $50,000 mark in the blink of an eye. Some will even hit the $70,000 to $90,000 range.

Usually the first price you see on a boat is without all the bells and whistles. But when you start looking at a bigger outboard, jack plate and trim tabs are how the price of a boat really begins to skyrocket. But keep in mind that you get what you pay for. At the end of the day, it’s all about owning a boat that functions the way you want it to. 

But you don’t always have to hock the homestead to get into a good fishing boat. Aluminum boats are very popular. This type of boat, with a small outboard and trailer is not all bad. And it can be used anywhere you find water – like lakes, rivers, creeks, bays and bayous. I’ve owned a bunch of boats. But one of my all-time favorites was a 17-foot aluminum boat with a tunnel, 25 horse power motor and trailer. I got into the whole rig for about $7,000. It would go anywhere. I mostly used that boat for running trotlines on the Neches River and fishing for reds on Keith Lake. It was also one heck of a boat for crabbing.

The crazy thing about a boat is that you’ll always want to get one bigger and faster than the last one. Over the years I gradually moved up from the aluminum boat to a 23-foot Haynie Big Foot. Just recently I sold that one and now I’m down to a kayak, but in the hunt for a flats skiff to be used for fly fishing the flats for tailing reds.

One of the best things you can do, prior to buying a boat, is to take it for a test run. Never, ever buy a new or used boat without running it first. If you’re looking to buy a used boat the number one thing you want to do is get a compression check on the motor. After that ,take it for a short run. Then make the decision on whether or not to head to the bank.

It’s been said that the best thing about a boat is the day you buy it and the day you sell it. That is pretty much true. But beware, boats are definitely addictive. They not only provide escape from the real world, but can lead you to on-the-water adventure on our many rivers, lakes and coastal bays.