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I am seeking suggestions/recommendations as I am strongly considering a boat purchase.

Quickly: I live in Pueblo and it's primary use would be at the reservoir. I am NOT a boat aficionado.

I have been all over craigslist (Denver, COS, here) but the thing is I'm not real sure what I should be looking for knowing it's use would be here.

As a shore angler, I recognize two things about the reservoir:
1) Fishing from the shore has it's limitations and
2) It often gets anywhere from windy to exceptionally windy

These are the two primary drivers behind what I seek and why I seek it. The right kind of boat though..? I am unsure. So I ask for suggestions.

Should I be looking for a Deep V hull for when things get choppy? What's the minimum recommended HP (based on personal experiences) for Pueblo?

I have to confess that I hastily purchased a boat off craigslist last July. It's an old 14' fiberglass boat with a fairly deep V at the bow and a 9.9HP Johnson tiller outboard. We went out on Brush Hollow at my request prior to purchase (you wouldn't buy a used car without test driving first, right?). Engine started up just fine and we puttered around (non-wake lake) for a good 25 minutes. All seemed fine.

Well, first time I had it on the water at the reservoir the engine started but the pull string wouldn't retract. Turns out the spring/coil that carries the tension had broke. This has since been replaced and fixed (to some extent, the tension isn't quite right but it will start) but now there's an issue where the only way it will start is to bypass something by unplugging a cord. So, it will start, but I'd have to use the choke to shut it off and I just feel pretty uncomfortable and unsafe in that situation with this "mystery" motor and my lack of knowledge in general regarding motors.

I ended up buying a Minn Kota 45lb thrust Endura Max trolling motor and that pushed me around the NSM pretty well (great motor). The third time I had the boat out I noticed some water at the back of the boat and it didn't get any better. I think the transom may need some work but I'm not sure.

My first boat buying experience clearly did not go well. I do NOT want to make the same mistake. That's 1K basically wasted. I thought I was doing my due diligence by taking it on the water prior to buying but it would seem some modifications were made to the boat and motor that day for my benefit.

I did at least learn one important thing the few times I was out: I very much disliked trying to control the boat while casting. Reaching back for the tiller handle half way through nearly every retrieve got very frustrating very quickly. I felt like I couldn't even really fish. Really took a lot of the joy out of it. And that was just in the NSM cove ... I can't imagine the movement out on the main lake. I would gaze upon passing boats with bow-mounted trolling motors with great envy. So I've determined I do need some kind of setup that allows me to safely and effectively navigate deeper waters when I want to.

Having said ALL that (apologies for the book here) I would reach out and ask for input/suggestions, any feedback really. My budget is NOT large but I have come to truly love fishing and would like to find a balance between those two things.
 

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look at my ad in buy and sell then call me this boat will handle anything can give it and has don that for many years. the boat you bought you paid about 500 to much for.
 

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If your budget allows, WS's boat mentioned above could be a great fit for you.

Someone as new as you seem to be at this really could use more guidance before purchase (glad you are asking now). There is just soooo much to consider.

Whatever you buy, I would keep in mind that you will likely have to do some upgrades/maintenance. And that can get expensive if you can't do it yourself.

I am sure this post will quickly be followed by those that throw out phrases like "best two days of a boaters life", or "break out another thousand", or something else that is silly. To me, that really defines the difference between boat owner and boater. I love my boats, and while what I have isn't expensive, you don't have to go that route. And once you get to know your way around, upkeep isn't too bad. Outside of upgrades, I have spent very little on maintenance or unexpected repairs of boats after I have gotten going.

Good luck.


By the way. The correct acronym for BOAT from a boater is:

Best
Of
All
Times
 

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Common sense goes a long way when fishing Pueblo. Watch the weather and if it starts to get windy make sure you are on the side of the lake where you launched-you don't want to cross open water. Been fishing Pueblo for 30+ yrs and never even had what I would call a close call, well maybe once. :)

Of course if you get a bigger boat you will have less to worry about. I always look at the forecast before getting on the lake and avoid bad weather days. And get a bow mount trolling motor-way easier to control the boat and cast.

Good luck.
 

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So you bought your first boat, learned a lot and now you are ready to move on. That's good, and I think, necessary. You can get a lot of advice but you need to learn what's right for you.

I'd say it's normal to be dealing with issues as part of your boating experience. Gas motors invariably get gunked up and need to be cleaned with seafoam. So you have to learn to deal with that. Cables need lubed, tires loose air, water pump impellers degrade, bearings need to be repacked from time to time, etc. Be ready for it and grin along with the rest of us when we shrug our shoulders and say stupid stuff like, "Break Out Another Thousand." If you don't want to pay a shop to fix stuff for you ask advice here and watch you tube.

I would recommend a boat that won't sink. Seriously. Old boats have cool styling and are cheap on Craigslist but newer boats are injected with foam and if the worst happens will still float enough for you to hang on above water. ;)

A Deep V is best to help with the wind and waves and some of the best advice I got from this forum was from the guy who said a full windshield is a must. A bigger boat is not that tough to deal with once you get used to it and gives you a margin of safety on the water. I think 17-21 feet is right. Plenty of great fishermen on here use smaller boats but it's a tougher time when the weather and big waves come up. With an i-pilot trolling motor on front with a gas kicker on back I can fish by myself easily.

Good luck with your search. If you know what you are looking for you will find it. You can sometimes find some great deals (especially in the fall from a motivated seller) but I'd say plan to spend $6500 or more for the boat and have more $ for additional expenses like new impeller, electronics, downrigger, kicker motor, etc.
 

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BTW you can spend much less but be prepared to learn and spend time working on your boat instead of fishing. You have to realistic in your expectations. My first boat was $800. I learned how to rebuild and adjust carb, change oil in lower unit, change impeller, wire in electronics and lighting, replace carpeting seat upholstery and floor, etc. With my second boat ($400 Fish/Ski) I learned how to fix pinhole leaks in the fiberglass hull, change out the gears in the lower unit, change out bunk boards on the trailer, etc. 8)
 

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In other words...check out Walleye Seeker's boat! ::) :thumb:
 

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The first thing you need to do is set your budget... Tell me your budget, and I will give you a ton of information. And yes, Byron's boat is a great way to start. that trolling motor set up will be used more than anything you can possibly imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Someone as new as you seem to be at this really could use more guidance before purchase (glad you are asking now). There is just soooo much to consider.
Yes exactly .. I appreciate being receptive to my situation. I'm not going to repeat the first mistake. Having said that (but still not knowing where to start on the path to a successful and happy boat purchase) it really seemed the best thing to do would be to reach out to the community for feedback/input.

Whatever you buy, I would keep in mind that you will likely have to do some upgrades/maintenance. And that can get expensive if you can't do it yourself.
I'd say it's normal to be dealing with issues as part of your boating experience. Gas motors invariably get gunked up and need to be cleaned with seafoam. So you have to learn to deal with that. Cables need lubed, tires loose air, water pump impellers degrade, bearings need to be repacked from time to time, etc. Be ready for it and grin along with the rest of us when we shrug our shoulders and say stupid stuff like, "Break Out Another Thousand." If you don't want to pay a shop to fix stuff for you ask advice here and watch you tube ...

...If you know what you are looking for you will find it. You can sometimes find some great deals (especially in the fall from a motivated seller) but I'd say plan to spend $6500 or more for the boat and have more $ for additional expenses like new impeller, electronics, downrigger, kicker motor, etc.
... you can spend much less but be prepared to learn and spend time working on your boat instead of fishing. You have to realistic in your expectations.
The above quotes (especially the bolded) is exactly where I'm at. Realistic expectations is a great descriptor. I think I should have been very specific when I said my budget is not large (more below).

I do feel like I can learn & perform the routine maintenance that comes with an outboard motor (and boat & trailer themselves).

My primary concern is the initial purchase. How can I properly asses both the condition and value of something that seems like a good fit? How can one know that the motor is not a dud in disguise, or will be a dud after a few times out?

In my situation, it seemed the "show me" method would be the best route (take it out on the water). Looks like this is hardly foolproof. Still can't imagine not doing so prior to purchase though.

In other words...check out Walleye Seeker's boat! ::) :thumb:
Haha, yes I certainly did get that impression :wink:

I did in fact reach out to WS per his response and at the mention of others in this thread - AND the fact it does seem to have a lot of features that could really heighten an angler's fishing experience. It does look like his nice boat is going to be above my particular budget unfortunately.

The first thing you need to do is set your budget... Tell me your budget, and I will give you a ton of information. And yes, Byron's boat is a great way to start. that trolling motor set up will be used more than anything you can possibly imagine.
2-2.5K.

We aren't looking for more debt, I'm already on fairly thin ice after last year's debacle, and I feel there has to be something out there that will suit my needs as stated.
 

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Don't buy a total project. Look for a sound hull, transom, deck and motor. Check the transom with a hammer. wrap a rag around it and tap on the transom. Listen to the sound in a solid area towards the top of the transom and check around where the motor is mounted, drain plug and all areas where holes have been drilled for accessories. It shouldn't sound hollow and when applying pressure to the outboard the transom shouldn't flex. Check inside where the motor bolts to the transom. Make sure that the bolts aren't pulling through. If it's an aluminum boat with rivets, check the transom and also make sure the rivets don't leak. Walk the deck, look for soft spots.

Outboard only...don't buy an inboard. If there is no recent paper work on service. Replace the impeller immediately, replace and inspect the lower unit oil, and inspect and repack the wheel bearings. Unless you have newer lights always unplug before backing into the lake. Make sure you're not under horse powered for the size of the boat. You want it to get up on plane easy with a load and I'm guessing you'll want twenty five to thirty miles an hour minimum top end.

You can get a decent boat in your price range. It won't have all of the goodies...electronics, the bow mount motor you'll want...etc. But you can pick up those items at reasonable prices as people upgrade over time.

Here's a few boats you could look at.


https://cosprings.craigslist.org/boa/d/17-foot-1990-spectrum-dmv-boat/6478303432.html

https://cosprings.craigslist.org/bar/d/1973-thunderbird/6514060287.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/boa/d/foot-invader-outboard-fishing/6529388039.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/boa/d/fishing-boat-lundfoot/6525070693.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/sgd/d/2006-bennington-boat-24ft/6470979635.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/boa/d/72wes-craft/6529935102.html
 

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Buy my Canoe.

I met Walleyeseeker in my canoe.
No motor woes, no registrations, no inspections and you get free exercise until your shoulder burns out.
Run into logs without worry.
 

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Yeah, but Mike's crazy. I saw him on a very cold and extremely windy day peddling his kayak through the white caps at eleven mile while me and batman were freezing our butts off in batman's boat.
 

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I met Walleyeseeker in my canoe.
No motor woes, no registrations, no inspections and you get free exercise until your shoulder burns out.
Run into logs without worry.
I would love a full picture of this rig? Interested in the rod holder set-up and the taught line on the right (has to serve a purpose - I am intrigued).

Always looking for a way to improve my canoe use.
 

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Don't buy a total project. Look for a sound hull, transom, deck and motor. Check the transom with a hammer. wrap a rag around it and tap on the transom. Listen to the sound in a solid area towards the top of the transom and check around where the motor is mounted, drain plug and all areas where holes have been drilled for accessories. It shouldn't sound hollow and when applying pressure to the outboard the transom shouldn't flex. Check inside where the motor bolts to the transom. Make sure that the bolts aren't pulling through. If it's an aluminum boat with rivets, check the transom and also make sure the rivets don't leak. Walk the deck, look for soft spots.

Outboard only...don't buy an inboard. If there is no recent paper work on service. Replace the impeller immediately, replace and inspect the lower unit oil, and inspect and repack the wheel bearings. Unless you have newer lights always unplug before backing into the lake. Make sure you're not under horse powered for the size of the boat. You want it to get up on plane easy with a load and I'm guessing you'll want twenty five to thirty miles an hour minimum top end.

You can get a decent boat in your price range. It won't have all of the goodies...electronics, the bow mount motor you'll want...etc. But you can pick up those items at reasonable prices as people upgrade over time.

Here's a few boats you could look at.


https://cosprings.craigslist.org/boa/d/17-foot-1990-spectrum-dmv-boat/6478303432.html

https://cosprings.craigslist.org/bar/d/1973-thunderbird/6514060287.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/boa/d/foot-invader-outboard-fishing/6529388039.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/boa/d/fishing-boat-lundfoot/6525070693.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/sgd/d/2006-bennington-boat-24ft/6470979635.html

https://denver.craigslist.org/boa/d/72wes-craft/6529935102.html
First boat looks nice for the price, but that Pontoon...that price doesn't seem right for something that isn't stolen. I've responded to the ad myself and I am in Arkansas!
 

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Line runs from bow to stern, so I can drop a anchor or drift sock on a line through a pulley with a short line tied to my seat, the boat will swing in the wind or current and I can still haul the lines in from the bow or stern.
 

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The pontoon is a scam. Be very careful when a boat has three or less photos. Also, if you can't see registration numbers or license plate, or the back ground doesn't fit Colorado. All are tell-tale signs.
 
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