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Boat Selection in response to a report titled: Boat Selection
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I've been around boating all my life and never heard anyone complain about the service given by a Boston Whaler. However, if your plans include Gulf of Mexico use or if you use the boat in any open water bays/lakes, you may want to consider BW or other brands with high gunwales. Some Whalers have low sides which may make for difficult times in rough water conditions. Not that they will sink, but they will take waves over the sides. We have an older 15' BW model with low sides that we use for marsh fishing and Lake Pontchartrain can make this rig painful.I purchased a 20' Angler center console a couple of years ago and have been very pleased with its fishing performance and structural integrity. Lots of room and the amenities needed for a good fishing trip. It is a good solid fishing machine that won't break the bank. I've done inland fishing as well as taken 5-10 mile offshore trips and was never worried about coming home. One offshore trip to Florida, I encounterd 4-5 footers coming in and while it was a slow return, she did fine. It also gives great service as a weekend cruiser with the family. My daughter is learning to ski and it has plenty of power for this task, as well as the towable tube and kneeboard. Now, if I could just find more time to use it!When evaluating boats to buy, I noticed that most (new) boats today offer very similar construction attributes. Most have forsaken wood as a structural component, use modern lighweight materials, lots of foam for floatation and structural sound deadening and appear to be solid in construction. Variances in prices can be huge as wells as layout and amenities. Don't assume that just because a boat costs more, that it is better. Make yourself a list of "must have" and "want to have" features, and find a rig that meets as many of these as possible and then negotiate price. Unless you are a hardcore, every weekend or commercial fisherman, find something that makes the trips easy and enjoyable with the least amount of maintenance. If your primary use is fishing, forget the plush cushion interiors; they'll make your life too hard. Do add a good VHF and a combo GPS/Fish/Depthfinder. A stereo/CD/MP3 system is a great add-on for the family trips.But most importantly...Enjoy the process!
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