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Old 03-15-2017, 01:56 PM
jeff jeff is offline
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Default Qustions about potential new boat...long post..sorry

Please excuse this lengthy post. I have several questions that I need answered concerning a possible future new boat.

Presently I have a 2012 Crestliner Retriever 1546 Jon Boat. It has a flat floor, casting deck, and rod /gun box. No live well, but that’s not really an issue. Powered by a 25 Mercury, electric start and power trim / tilt.

The hull weighs only about 300 pounds, so it’s easy to get on and off the trailer (bunk type) and while moving around the garage. There is no wood in this boat, all aluminum, including the floor and transom. The boat is a tiller model, no center console. A nice rig.

Of course I’m always looking for something better, and as I am 69 years old, I should not wait too long to look.
I’ve sort of have my eyes on the following, all in the fourteen foot version. All of the boats are 2017s and all tiller models.
They are the Mirrocraft Outfitter, the Alumacraft Escape, and the Lund Fury. All would be equipped with their maximum rated motors, which I believe are between 25-40 depending on the brand.

I have a few general questions about these types of boats, deep V’s, in general.

First, are they easy to enter and exit from the dock? Do they pitch and rock much?

Remember, I am 69. My current boat is very flat on the bottom and very stable to enter and exit.

Second, when I am in it alone, and casting from the front casting deck will that be stable or will it pitch and roll more than my flatter bowed jon boat?

Third, these hulls weigh between 450-600 pounds depending on the brand. My current boat weighs about 300 pounds. Will I notice that difference cranking it up onto the trailer? I do have to crank, I’m no longer spry enough to drive it up the trailer and exit over the bow of the boat. Will I notice a difference moving it around the garage by hand? Of course I will have a tongue jack, like I do now.

Of the three mentioned above, does anyone have any specific comments about them?

I know Lund makes a good boat, but their live well doesn’t have a gasket on it, and I’ve heard that they can leak water out of the top when riding the waves.

It looks like the Mirrocraft may have the same problem.

On the other hand the Alumacraft live well does have a gasket around the opening and is supposed to keep the water in it.

The Alumacraft Escape has the widest beam, 76 inches vs 70 inches for the other two. The Mirrocraft is made here in Wisconsin. It did seem a bit bare bones or cheap, or maybe that’s just how the vinyl made it look. They do offer the best seat arrangement.
As an option I can have a casting deck with the pedestal base put on the rear of the boat, something the other two don’t offer. I also notice that these boats all have staggered seats, one seat is on the left side of the boat, and the other seat is on the right side of the boat. How do you feel about fishing from so near the gunnel and not in the center of the boat?

So help me out here. I’m in no rush to buy a new boat, but still…… Give me your thoughts and opinions. Better still, does anyone in Southeastern Wisconsin own one and care to take me for a test ride? I’d buy you lunch or give you a few bucks for your time. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’ll wait for your comments.

Last edited by Juls; 03-15-2017 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Just edited it to make it easier to read...:)
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2017, 02:19 PM
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MERCONLY MERCONLY is offline
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Ive sold all that your shopping, and NOT because I sell AlumaCraft now but the Escape Kills the Competition in all the ways you mentioned and having a Solid Aluminum Transom, Aluminum Storage Boxes and Lids (not Plywood) and being able to put any motor on it really is nice.....If you have any other questions im Originally from Eagle River Wis so I help all Packer Fans and Cheeseheads.....847-450-4011 Text or Call
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:22 PM
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I'm a tiller-guy, so let me jump in. Of the 3 you mentioned, I'd be looking hard at the Alumacraft Escape 145. It seems to be the widest at the transom, which will provide stability when entering off the dock.

As far as the drivers seat position, it will depend on your choice of outboard. If you want the seat more towards the center, look for an OB that has the tiller handle on the port side, rather than on-center. Most times, the drivers seat is not mounted until the boat is at the dealer, so the driver can determine the best position, for him.

Will you notice a difference in rolling a heavier rig around the garage, yes. Look for a trailer with fairly narrow, high-pressure tires, for minimum rolling resistance.

Happy shopping, HRG

here's an example of a port-side tiller handle.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:27 AM
bassin08 bassin08 is online now
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My brother has a Escape 165 with a 40 Etec on it. I have fished out of it several times and find it to be a really nice boat. It is two feet longer than the 145, but the width is the same.

His boat does not rock around when your moving about in it. The boat is very stable with the two of us in it. The forty really pushes it good, so I would think that a 25-30 HP motor would be good on the 145.

Cabela's in Richfield has one on the floor that I have looked at. They are a really good quality boat for the money. There is a dealer in Kenosha that has a very good reputation for sales and follow up. I think that he puts Yamaha's on them. My brother wanted an Etec, so he went with Mueller's.

I have a Classic 165 that I bought from a dealer near lake Wisconsin. My experience was not as good as his.

I'm 73 and can still handle my boat by myself. I have done some things to it for that to be possible though. A two speed winch makes loading your boat very easy. I have two graphs in the rear, one for mapping and one for sonar. I am also putting a Terrova on it this year so I can operate it from the rear of the boat. I make sure that I keep my tires at full pressure to make the boat easier to push back into the garage.

I always wear a Mustang H.I.T life jacket when I'm in the boat. They are $300, but I will not skimp in this area.

I think that you would be very pleased with the Escape 145, but just remember the dealer is a very, very important part of that 'pleased'.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:36 PM
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If you are looking, take a look the the new Lund Rebel. Very stable boat, Wide chine width for casting on the front deck.

for reeling in the boat, take a look at a 2 geared winch or an electric one, we just got an electric one for my wife's 80 yr old grandpa and he loves it to bring in his 18 foot side console with a 90 merc and 9.9 kicker on the back.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:56 PM
jeff jeff is offline
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Thanks for the comments and thoughts . There was a 16 foot almost new Lund Fury for sale here yesterday, but I guess I'm not ready yet. I did inquire about it , and then passed on it. Nice rig, sold in less than 24 hours.It just didn't excite me tho. I think I am going to hold off until next year. I've heard lots of good stuff about the Alumacraft Escape, so I may consider that seriously next year, either in the 14 or 16 foot model. Who knows? Like I said, I do have a very nice rig, so I can wait and decide later.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:03 PM
jeff jeff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassin08 View Post
My brother has a Escape 165 with a 40 Etec on it. I have fished out of it several times and find it to be a really nice boat. It is two feet longer than the 145, but the width is the same.

His boat does not rock around when your moving about in it. The boat is very stable with the two of us in it. The forty really pushes it good, so I would think that a 25-30 HP motor would be good on the 145.

Cabela's in Richfield has one on the floor that I have looked at. They are a really good quality boat for the money. There is a dealer in Kenosha that has a very good reputation for sales and follow up. I think that he puts Yamaha's on them. My brother wanted an Etec, so he went with Mueller's.

I have a Classic 165 that I bought from a dealer near lake Wisconsin. My experience was not as good as his.

I'm 73 and can still handle my boat by myself. I have done some things to it for that to be possible though. A two speed winch makes loading your boat very easy. I have two graphs in the rear, one for mapping and one for sonar. I am also putting a Terrova on it this year so I can operate it from the rear of the boat. I make sure that I keep my tires at full pressure to make the boat easier to push back into the garage.

I always wear a Mustang H.I.T life jacket when I'm in the boat. They are $300, but I will not skimp in this area.

I think that you would be very pleased with the Escape 145, but just remember the dealer is a very, very important part of that 'pleased'.
Good advise! I wore a Mustang this year for the first time, one model down from the HIT. I've never been on the boat last year without wearing it. It's so comfortable you don't know you have it on. Thanks for the heads up on the dealers too. A great dealer is very important.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:29 AM
bassin08 bassin08 is online now
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Jeff.....You are welcome. I did make a mistake on the price of a Mustang Elite H.I.T vest. I actually got mine on sale from BPS for $200.

I was at Cabela's Friday and they had a new 2017 145 Escape on the showroom floor. They are really a very nice boat! I think they would be a great boat for a senior like us with a 30 HP Yamaha on it.

Now if they would have just stocked some Lindy live bait jigs, along with some Storm 360 swim jigs the trip would have been great.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:08 PM
jeff jeff is offline
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Yeah I saw that rig there too. Two things that turn me off about it. Notice how close the seats are to the gunnels ? You're sitting way on the side, you can't even turn the seat in the outer direction. Second, wood floor. Why in this day and age do they have a wood floor. I asked Alumacraft and they told me it would take extensive redoing in order to offer the aluminum floor. So? What a great selling feature that would be and the boat would be even lighter. My Crestliner 1546 Retriever jon boat does not have any wood in it at all. Mostly all the other Alumacrafts have aluminum floors.

My boat is up at Cedar Lake Sales for minor work. When I pick it up I'm going to stop at Cabelas and look at it again.

and the vest....yeah I got one for my son at that price , $200.00 , for Christmas. It was a very good buy.

Last edited by jeff; 03-20-2017 at 06:09 PM. Reason: added thought
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