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What is the best aluminum fishing boat from quality/usability/value?

#1 User is offline   bzvw3l 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:57 AM

Obviously everyone will have their favorite, but I'm curious to see if anyone has information about any aluminum boat being significantly better than the others. I currently have a 98 SmokerCraft ProMag 161 (16.5ft) with 75hp. I fish primarily fish only St. Clair and northern canadian lakes. I'm looking to upgrade to a 17.5 or 18.5ft boat. I was shocked at the prices from the dealer websites. An 18.5 Lund Pro-V priced out at around $38,000. I see the similar Crestliners are around $30,000. That is quite a sticker shock considering I paid $12,000 for my current boat. Granted these boats are priced with 150hp. The Lund has the name and alot of nice features as they all do. I'm curious from all of the other fisherman's viewpoints does one brand significantly stand out from the other?

I can say my SmokerCraft has never given me any issues (knock on wood) and handled St. Clair just fine over the past 13 years.


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#2 User is online   Zib 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:17 AM

Youíre not going to find the perfect boat. Each one has its positives & negatives. Go with the one that best fits your needs. Iíve researched boats a lot the past couple of years & if I had to choose an aluminum boat it would either be an Alumacraft or Crestliner. Those are the 2 boats that I found the fewest owner complaints.


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#3 User is offline   Sensei 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:37 AM

I have a 16.6' Alumacraft that is 10 years old and it is a good boat. Lund is another good company if you are going to stick with Alum. I do have to say that if I ever upgrade it would be to a used Ranger or heavier glass boat. The ride and stability is pretty nice in glass and you can find a pretty good deal on some if you are patient. I would see if you can hitch a ride with anyone that has a boat similar to what you are looking for see you get a feel for it. Everyone is different and it depends on the species and type of fishing you enjoy. Good luck!
Dead 50" fish don't follow, dead 50" fish don't hit, dead 50" fish don't fight and escape, dead 50" fish don't give you the thrill of a lifetime and dead 50" fish don't reproduce. They just hang there: dead worthless curiosity's-Jack Burns
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#4 User is online   Calico 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:45 AM

Grumman
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#5 User is offline   snowman 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:58 AM

If you factor in the cost of the new 150 outboard at roughly $20,000, then 38 grand aint that much. Figure 18 thousand left for boat and trailer. OK knock off what, $4000 for a galvanized single axle trailer and you're left with a boat for 14 big ones. When you look at new boats make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Some trailers are painted and some are galvanized so there is a cost difference. Bunks vs. rollers, single or double axle etc...

Look at the boats. Live wells? # and size of Bilge pumps? Thickness of aluminum on hull and sides is different. You really need to look at every aspect of every feature and it is kinda overwhelming. Last I looked Lund had the thickest aluminum hull available. For me, as a duck hunter I may need to break ice on occaision so a thicker hull is good for me. It is also the only boat with a good v-hull that comes in factory camo.

I've spent 2 years comparing other aluminum boats to Lunds and for MY needs Lund came out on top. You said MOSTLY you fish. Do you NEED a boat with a windshield and 2 livewells and a built in gas tank and carpet and...? If you list out all the features you NEED vs. what you WANT you might be surprised. I have my list finally completed for a new 2012 20' Lund Alaskan and I'm at 30 grand AFTER taking off all the junk I don't really need or want.

USED boats are a whole different ball game.
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#6 User is offline   Lasec17 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:56 PM

PrinceCraft. Had one on LSC for 5 years and handled nice and no problems

View Postbzvw3l, on 13 December 2011 - 10:57 AM, said:

Obviously everyone will have their favorite, but I'm curious to see if anyone has information about any aluminum boat being significantly better than the others. I currently have a 98 SmokerCraft ProMag 161 (16.5ft) with 75hp. I fish primarily fish only St. Clair and northern canadian lakes. I'm looking to upgrade to a 17.5 or 18.5ft boat. I was shocked at the prices from the dealer websites. An 18.5 Lund Pro-V priced out at around $38,000. I see the similar Crestliners are around $30,000. That is quite a sticker shock considering I paid $12,000 for my current boat. Granted these boats are priced with 150hp. The Lund has the name and alot of nice features as they all do. I'm curious from all of the other fisherman's viewpoints does one brand significantly stand out from the other?

I can say my SmokerCraft has never given me any issues (knock on wood) and handled St. Clair just fine over the past 13 years.



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#7 User is online   Norman Bates 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:03 PM

I got a Lund Alaskan, heavy duty, very light so you can run a smaller motor and still go fast(40+mph), nothing special, just enough for what i actually need, with out the big price tag of others, you can get a new 18 footer side console for about 20k, where anything else with more bells and whistles are about 30k.


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#8 User is offline   Junior58er 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:29 PM

I just went through the same thing back in September when I purchased my new boat. I wanted the perfect boat as well and wanted to keep the price right as well. I purchased a brand new 2010 (leftover) 17.5 ft.dual console G3 Angler V175 FS with Yamaha 150TXR Two Stroke from Wonderland Marine in Howell. G3 is made by Yamaha which also makes Skeeter boats. It had everything I wanted for fishing and even the family. It was perfect for me and the price gave me way more than I could get in a Lund. It was a 30K boat plus tax as it but haggled with them and got the boat for 25K out the door and had them throw in a 70lb Minn Kota and a Lowrance fish finder as well. It has the next generation double hull, rear jump seats (important to me) high grade marine vinyl floors for easy cleaning, removal central bow section, widest gunnels on the market, deep, swim ladder, ton of storage, two live wells, folding bimini top, two trolling motor hookups, set up for kicker motor, Sony marine radio, custom trailer, ....... I mean it has everything that would cost 35-40K on other boats like Lund. It's fast as hell too .......

I tell you what .... Wonderland Marine has one 18.5 like my G3 right now, a 2010 new for $26999 with a 150 which is s steal and you could bargain for less and include extra as well. That's a 31K boat ..

http://www.g3boats.com/Angler_Series

The newest G3's are right up there with the Lunds and Alumacrafts.

Attached File(s)


This post has been edited by Junior58er: 13 December 2011 - 07:04 PM

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#9 User is online   Calico 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:28 PM

View PostCalico, on 13 December 2011 - 11:45 AM, said:

Grumman

Princecraft, made in Canada, is another. Thicker, stronger aluminum to handle boulder rocky lakes in Canada.
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#10 User is offline   Old Man of the Sea 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:11 PM

I am on my second Starcraft and have had no complaints whatsoever. My first was a 1994 that never hinted of a leak in the hull for the whole time I had it. When I sold it after 13 years of service, we pulled it up on the ramp after about an hour demonstration ride and pulled the plug and not a drop of water came out.

My new one is a 2007 Starcraft and it has done as well. Never a drop of water comes out when the hull plug is pulled. I compared it to a Lund but I felt that I had much more storage with the Starcraft than I would get with the same sized Lund. To me the Lund is the standard for aluminum boats. You just have to clearly understand what you want in a boat and then see how they all stack up to it. Price should always be a factor and usually the Lund will be more expensive for a given size boat with the same optional equipment. I would give the Starcraft a look.

This post has been edited by Old Man of the Sea: 13 December 2011 - 11:13 PM

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#11 User is offline   Czar 

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:30 AM

Attached File  CB 09.JPG (966.66K)
Number of downloads: 4Another vote for Starcraft. Next year will be the 13th season for mine and I still love it. They`ve been building them for over 100 years and their construction and durability shows it too. http://www.starcraft...37&Type=Fishing Boats

This post has been edited by Czar: 14 December 2011 - 06:34 AM

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#12 User is offline   jclark 

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:09 AM

I have been taking a look at Polar Kraft boats lately, they seem to be pretty nice boats.If your looking for a tender boat they have one that looks to stack up to the Lund , with factory camo.

I have been eyeing up the V179 SE from them for fishing boat.

http://www.nauticglo...elName=179%20SE

This post has been edited by jclark: 14 December 2011 - 07:09 AM

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#13 User is offline   Blastr 

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 12:31 PM

you have to decide what kind of fishing you do mostly and then buy a boat that will accomodate that type of fishing well. eg. if you cast alot , then get a boat with the windshield further back in the boat giving you more front casting area. if you love the great lakes then get the deepest boat you can get, and fiberglass boats give you a better/smother ride on the water, if you fish when it is cold and rainy you will need a full windshield with a canopy top. skeeter makes a great multi-species boat.

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#14 User is offline   steeveau 

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 01:53 PM

View Postjclark, on 14 December 2011 - 07:09 AM, said:

I have been taking a look at Polar Kraft boats lately, they seem to be pretty nice boats.If your looking for a tender boat they have one that looks to stack up to the Lund , with factory camo.

I have been eyeing up the V179 SE from them for fishing boat.

http://www.nauticglo...elName=179%20SE


I've only had my Polar Kraft since April. I've been impressed with the ride. It feels like a very solid boat. Then again I don't have much to compare it to.
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#15 User is offline   Spur 

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:41 PM

View PostLasec17, on 13 December 2011 - 01:56 PM, said:

PrinceCraft. Had one on LSC for 5 years and handled nice and no problems

View Postbzvw3l, on 13 December 2011 - 10:57 AM, said:

Obviously everyone will have their favorite, but I'm curious to see if anyone has information about any aluminum boat being significantly better than the others. I currently have a 98 SmokerCraft ProMag 161 (16.5ft) with 75hp. I fish primarily fish only St. Clair and northern canadian lakes. I'm looking to upgrade to a 17.5 or 18.5ft boat. I was shocked at the prices from the dealer websites. An 18.5 Lund Pro-V priced out at around $38,000. I see the similar Crestliners are around $30,000. That is quite a sticker shock considering I paid $12,000 for my current boat. Granted these boats are priced with 150hp. The Lund has the name and alot of nice features as they all do. I'm curious from all of the other fisherman's viewpoints does one brand significantly stand out from the other?

I can say my SmokerCraft has never given me any issues (knock on wood) and handled St. Clair just fine over the past 13 years.






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