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Old 07-11-2019, 08:02 PM
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Looking for some options and opinions on a first boat.

As a guy that is fresh out of college here are some things about me to help:
  • Would be boating on the Mississippi near Dubuque Ia.
  • Most of the use would be on the weekends.
  • Would like to be able to pull with my current truck can tow up to 6500lbs.
  • Would like to spend less than 40k.
  • Not really sure what my main use for the boat would be, definitely do not need to go 80+ mph, but want to go more than 50.
  • Would to fit 5 people comfortably.
I have looked at 20 - 26 Baja Outlaws, 21 - 26' Baja Islanders, Crownline open bows, Sea Doo, Scarab and Yamaha jet boats as well.

I am partial to the Bajas because my parents had 3 of them and really liked their 33 Outlaw. Also like the old styling and colors.

Anyways enough of my rambling.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:21 PM
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Is there a length requirement? Do you plan to spend the night or go for day trips?
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 1MOSES1 View Post
Is there a length requirement? Do you plan to spend the night or go for day trips?
Would prefer under 26' as I would think something longer may be overwhelming. Also something shorter than 20' may not meet my requirements.

I would be doing mainly day trips, but not sure if I would only be doing day trips.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:15 AM
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25 Outlaw
26-28 Powerquest
26 Sonic
288 Sunsation
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:30 AM
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we went with powerquest over baja because it has more cockpit room. more space between back seat and front seats. all in whats important to youl
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:45 AM
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First boat and you're still young so if you enjoy it, there'll be many more.....

If you buy a modified setup with big power and lots of work done, it's gonna cost you more on time and maintenance. That's the nature of the beast. All boats cost you money but the hotter ones cost you more. Twin engines are great but once again, more money on maintenance and a touch more on fuel. Don't get burnt buying too much boat first time round.

Buy a single engine, stock power (probably 496 or 496ho) with a good history that's been cared for. Survey hull, particularly for wet transom/stringers. I reckon Baja is hard to beat, straight bottom, easy to drive and pretty good room onboard. A great boat to start with, and they look nice too. Outlaw Vs Islander....... up to you, whichever you prefer layout wise.

My 2 cents worth, happy shopping,

RR
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:36 AM
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I live in North Liberty where you do and have a 288 Sunsation that will be up for sale soon. It will be a bit higher priced than your budget, but let me know if its something you would ever want to take a look at!
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Last edited by JKetels; 07-12-2019 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:06 AM
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I agree with the above comment about sticking with stock power. BUT with 2 496 boats Iíve been around, they had a lot of electronic issues and to diagnose, they needed a mercury scan tool that cost several hundred $. Graduated college in 2010 and bought MY first boat, a 21í Baja Hammer. It was a good first boat but itís not for big water IMO. Small fresh water lakes itís perfect. Never boated on the river so I cannot comment there. Since then, Iíve had a 19í jet boat, 27, 29, and now a 32 Fountain.
A 27í Fountain may be a good fit for you. On an aluminum trailer, it might be within your trucks towing capacity. I believe the dry weight is 4700 lbs. Iím partial to Fountains but early to mid 90s and up, they all have hydraulic steering and K plans. Not a standard feature on a lot of Bajas. I like the 502 mag the best so far. They are fuel injected so they start a lot easier than carb motors. 27 with a 502 would probably hit high 60s mph. Have decent stock reliable power. If this is a hobby you feel you will continue, donít start off too small, you will alway want to go bigger. After a couple years the 27 will feel small. There are a lot of other nice boats out there like Nordic, Checkmate, Sunsation, Formula, and etc. but I cannot comment on them.
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Last edited by jtbooten; 07-12-2019 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:37 AM
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What exactly is your tow vehicle? I think that may be your limiting factor. Remember, that Towing Capacity number is with NOTHING else in the vehicle, just the driver. Passengers, cargo, coolers, etc. etc. all subtract from your GCWR.

I had a 26' Sonic with a 500EFI on a cheap aluminum trailer for my first boat. It was 7280 lbs. total. My Tahoe was BARELY enough truck with a 7500 lbs. rating.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:44 AM
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NL resident as well. JKetels sunny would be a great boat has a fresh 500EFI in it but like he said a little above your budget. I know of another guy in town that might be looking to move his 25OL 496 mag (not HO) in the near future.


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Last edited by iaoutlaw; 07-12-2019 at 09:03 AM.
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