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First time boat buyer for Saginaw Bay advice needed

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Old 07-01-2012, 10:31 AM
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Default First time boat buyer for Saginaw Bay advice needed

We are new to the boating fun Bay City has to offer. I have been around boats most of my life and have always wanted an offshore type go fast boat. It would be nice to have some local help leading me in the right direction as to what works and what doesn't around here. We will most likely be looking to pull the trigger for the start of next season, maybe even sooner if the cards fall in the right spot.
I feel lucky that my wife is just as into the idea as I am!
We have been looking at the 27-32' pre loved market. We both like the Formula, Pachanga, and PowerQuest boats. With 2 boys ages 4 and 13 I'm sure they will appreciate having a quick boat vs. a cruiser. What kind seem to handle the bay the best? More than anything, it would be cool to hook up with some locals and make some friends in the area that also boat.

Last edited by BayBuoy; 07-01-2012 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:16 PM
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Location: Bay City, MI
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Hi!

I moved here about ten years ago with a GT-21 Donzi and now I have a Formula 242, both worked out well on the bay. My experience has been it is either really calm or really choppy, not many days with just 2 footers.
My Formula only has a single 350 so on calm days it is under powered but then the next day 25 mph is about as fast as I can go with any comfortable. We are lucky that the prevailing wind in the summer is from the southwest so it is nice along the southern shore.
Most boaters anchor at the sandbar just north of Bay City State Park. It is a fun spot with a lot of nice people but I find myself trailing up north most weekends, I love northern Lake Michigan and Mackinac and is only a three hour tow to get there.
Tawas is about 50 miles from the river so the boats you are looking at can get there in less then two hours and then Caseville is closer. These are both great weekend trips.
Good Luck getting set up for next summer!
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:15 PM
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Anything in that size range will be fine on the bay as long as you don't go out during a big blow or a northeaster. How old or new are you looking for? How fast you looking to be? Looking to be able to overnight comfortably? These boats are all about tradeoffs, gain in some areas is a loss in others. Good luck on your search, best advice is to stick with a reputable brand, get a good survey done, and above all pick something that works for YOU, not what anyone tells you you should have. We boat the bay a fair amount since we are local here too, but like jwright we tend to trailer north quite a bit. If you see my boat out and about feel free to stop and say hi, and if you need any other help or advice I will do what I can, just PM me. Oh, and welcome to OSO, lots of good info and people on here, just ignore the a-holes, like any other crowd there are a few lol.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:44 AM
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Thanks for the welcome! We have had a ball anchored out at boaters beach. At the moment, we are using my family's boat, a 20' Thompson that has been in storage since 1999. It is serving its purpose getting my family interested in upgrading. We really like the late 80's Formulas in the 27-32' range. Twin engines and the ability to shoot up to Tawas for the weekend is big on our list with 55+ mph. We are out almost every weekend. It's not hard to spot me...I'm the guy in a little red Thompson drooling over all the fast boats passing by in the river
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:50 AM
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SR Formula in that size range would be a good choice, and they are some of my favorite older boats. Be sure to have the transom and stringers checked for moisture. Other than that, good luck in your search.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:19 PM
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Could be a good buy. Boat is super clean http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/boa/3060814026.html
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:24 PM
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Thanks for the link! That's exactly what we are looking for. Now someone just needs to buy my Jeep!
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:40 PM
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I've seen it in person. Gel coat shines like paint.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:38 PM
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Here is one that will do everything you want.

http://kalamazoo.craigslist.org/boa/3107419138.html
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:31 PM
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just so happens my brother is selling his 91 272 Formula. He is a local (Bay City) boat. pm me I will get you pics if you like.
We all hang out at State Park, there is a brood of us Formulas out there. Mine is the black 353 fastech. One thing about the Formula, it isn't the fastest boat as they are a bit heavier but they are great with all the little features and sweet riding characteristics.
As far as the Bay goes, it can get messy. With predominant west winds it is usually great at State Park even if breezy. BUT if you go to Tawas and need to be home the next day and it blows up.....can be a nasty ride home!
I raced offshore for years and when the big boys came to Bay City (late 80's early 90's) they were amazed at how rough it could get due to shallow water and no rhyme or reason to the wave patterns.

Last edited by supercat; 07-10-2012 at 03:42 PM.
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