What is Best 18-19 Foot Class Multi-Species Deep-V WT Fishing Boat?
I tried posting on Michigan Sportsman forums and did not receive the feedback I was looking for, hoping you guys can help me.
I just sold my 2013 Crestliner 1650 Fish Hawk with 90HP 4-strolke merc 3-weeks ago and looking to upgrade to next size larger boat of 18-19 feet, Multi-species Deep-V, Walkthrough Windshield, with 4-stroke Outboard motor. Looking for opinions/feedback for what would work best Boat type, Brand, model, features, configurations, for fishing on Lake St. Clair and St. Clair River here in Metro Detroit area of Michigan. I moved to a newer home 5-years ago, larger 24-foot garage, why I am looking for that 18-19 Foot boats with 95-100 inch beam that fits in the garage.
I would say my fishing style is I spend 66% of time vertical jigging walleyes in St. Clair river, 20% casting in Lake St. Clair for SM Bass, and the remaining time trolling crawler harnesses for walleye or jigging the Grand Traverse Bays of Lake Michigan for Lake Trout, whitefish, ciscos, and SM Bass.
Boat Ride & Handling the Big rough water, boat wakes, chop is one of my Primary considerations. I was happy with my Crestliner, the all-welded Hull boat was excellent quality no problems, I had the conversion bench for extra room on stern casting platform, I think I prefer the newer stern jump seat design. The shorelander trailer that came with Crestliner, was cheaper quality, had to rewire, replace tires, and bearing buddy. The 1996 Lowe Fishing Machine I had before was riveted hull, I popped rivets running on Lake St. Clair, why I bought Crestliner all welded Hull. I am keeping an open mind, looking at all my options for the next fishing boat?
Need Feedback Pros/Cons of each below:
Question #1 Budget Cost? I am going to be 48 years-old in Nov, this could be my last fishing boat, Do I get buy good fishing boat that meets most my needs, or do I go all out buy a Dream Boat? Needs versus wants? Must Haves: Deep-V Multispecies, Walkthrough Windshield, 4-stroke outboard motor. Buy New or Used? Buy used avoid initial Depreciation, lower cost. buy new order exactly what u want, nothing is messed up, only I can mess it up, it's on me.
Question #2: Aluminum versus fiberglass Hull for Bigger Water Lake St. C;air Pros and cons? Pricing out these 18-19 foot Lund and Crestliner Aluminums with 150+ HP 4-stroke mercs that can run $50-60K, that now is comparable Price Range of the Glass Deep-Vs like Ranger 1880 MS, Nitro, Triton, Yar-Craft etc...
Question #3: If Aluminum Hull, Riveted versus all welded hulls for the rough waters of Lake St. Clair?
Looking at 1850 Crestliner Fish Hawk versus Raptor Models, looking for a Higher Drier Ride than the 1650 Fish Hawk on Lake St. Clair.
Who fishes LSC Regular in a Lund 1875 Impact versus 1875 Pro V how do you like the ride? Ever have any issues popping rivets fishing Lake St. Clair rough water boat wake chop?
Question #4 Flooring: All Vinyl versus Cockpit vinyl flooring and bow/stern casting deck carpet. I am told do not go all vinyl decks can be slippery, but I hate cleaning fish blood and worm dirt out of carpet. Like idea just take power washer to all vinyl flooring, easy clean-up.
Question #4 Engine: 4-stroke Outboard
1. Lot of the lower cost packages in the 18-19 foot boats come with 115 or 150 HP 4-stroke Mercs
2. Is it Worth upgrading to 200HP Max like Pro XS? is 115 or 150 enough, do not want to be under powered.
Question #5 Electronics:
1. Trolling Motor Minnkota versus Motor Guide, other Brand?
2. For an 18+ Foot boat 80# Thrust 24v 2-Batt or 112# 36v 3-batt trolling motor system?
-if I don't buy a kicker motor, buy 36v 112# Thrust Bow mount, for trolling slow thinking.
3. I really like the Ulterra with automatic stow and deploy for making short runs in river for active schools of walleyes.
4. Thinking of going with Hummingbird Helix series graphs over Lowrance HDS, so they can link with Minnkota trolling motor, share mapping way points, etc.....
5. is the down and side imaging, 360 Live scope imaging technology worth the money $? Additional cost for transducers on stern of boat and trolling motor. Has anyone used these for jigging walleyes or casting for SM bass, what has been your experience?
Question #6 What Brand Model do you prefer and why?
I am going crazy comparing the following
Crestliner 1850 Fish Hawk versus Raptor
Lund 1875 Impact XS versus Pro V
Glass: Ranger 1880MS, Lund Tyee/ProV GL 186/189, Nitro ZV 18, 19, Triton 186 Fishhunter, Skeeter WX1910, Yar-Craft 186 TFS, Warrior V1898
What am I forgetting? Appreciate the feedback.
oh boy a lot here. cant sleep(we dropped our daughter off at college yesterday and now empty nesters so guess my mind is occupied) so I'll play.
I'm prob more firm on just a few answers as there are a lot of great boats/equipment out there anymore...they all work....just get what you want, I really don't think there is a 1 perfect answer.
Q1- no wrong answer here, You are in an area where there is likely a good lightly used boat market so that would work...its up to you and your financial situation. a well maintained used boat can be "made yours" pretty easily and cheaper. But hey, if you have the money to buy new, nothing wrong with new...I buy new then fish them for years. I bought my last boay new and fished it 17 years. I sold it to a friend. he's still running it 6 years later...still have my dads 1994 Stratos 285 pro XL...
Q2- I have had glass for the last 30 years, I just like them. I don't have side by side experience (except alum boats 30 years ago which isn't relevant) unless its glass walleye to glass bass boat experience so cant really comment on alum vs. glass. I think Alum has come a long ways in those 30 years. Id fish alum in a heart beat...You have had great luck with welded aluminum...sounds good to me. no wrong answer here, get what you want..
Q3- I don't have much of an opinion here either...you have had good luck welded , why not another welded? on an old boat I do remember leaky rivets, but welds can crack yada yada. prob 6 one way, 1/2 dozen another? You have more experience with that... If You had good luck with a Fishhawk, get another!
I think one thing glass gives you is its easier to create any shape so there are some who say they fish a bit better, fish quiter? but that can be a fierce debate. Ill just say I have always loved glass and how many color options there are. For me personally, that's what I have had and really enjoyed. That being said, there are a lot of alum boats out there with very happy owners.
Q4- I like a non-carpet floor in back, carpet upfront.. In back I may be bait fishing, up front usually artificials. again no wrong answer. I like to spray and mop out the back vs carpet.
other Q4- definite opinion here...I would definitely be max powered, you'll save money on underpowered upfront but not be happy more than likely. I have MErcs, had great luck with them. Yamaha and Suzuki are really great motors, dont see as many honda's but prob good. I'd go with where the service options are the greatest. down here there are merc dealers everywhere. not so many suzuki dealers...but suzuki make fabulous motors from what I hear.
Q5 Electronics is personal, a lot of good stuff out there. Minnkota with Humminbird has some advantages..but I have Minnkota with Lowrance in my walleye boat and it works great. just get someone who knows whet they are doing to set it up. I use SI and DI a lot. A lot of guys down here use Live scope for suspended crappies...I'm not so sure about walleyes/Bass. I don't have LS even though I am really a multi species guy. Helix vs HDS? both good.I have HDS cause that's what came with a Ranger Cup. My setup hasn't held me back.
Q6 Again no wrong answer here, you have a lot of great boats listed . I looked at an Impact vs PRo V, the Impact has more family features, Pro V was more guide/tourney boat. from what I understood, The Impact is actually a PRo V hull with less alum upfront. Do you want family features? more seating, ski locker or do you want a tourn boat? I hardcore fish and so I wanted a tournament type boat.
the big difference I see between say a Ranger 1880 MS and a 619 or Pro V vs Impact is family features vs hardcore tournament walleye boat...a lot of brands have both. I think the Ranger MS 1880 is the only "more family" type boat you have listed there...I dont think it will take a kicker..so would be a big deal for me going to the 600 series.
GBin kinda went through a public build sort of speak, go look at his threads. lotta good stuff there
It sounds like you have a lot of experience, Id just go get what makes sense for you.
just my 2 cents ....
why are there not many Deep V walleye boats for sale in Michigan?
One thing I have noticed is for used Deep V walleye boats Market, not many are for sale in state of Michigan. States like Wi, MN, and ND have more than double, I wonder why?? Mi supposed has the 2nd most boat licenses in the US behind Florida.
We just bought our "dream boat" back in May. I say our dream boat as it fits our style of fishing the best, so take it with a grain of salt. We purchased a 2020 Alumacraft Trophy 185 which is a big deep boat for fishing bigger water. We are from Omaha and our local dealer had just the boat and motor on their showroom floor for $52k and change. That did not include electronics or any other options.
We shopped around and ended up making a 7 hour drive and got the same boat fully rigged for just under $41k out the door. We got the bimini, snap in bow cushions, bow/console nets, 3 group 31 batteries, 80# Terrova w/link all networked to a Helix 9" and I put a 7" on the bow. We have used the boat a ton this year and I couldn't be happier. Quality/finish is great....We fished lake Michigan too for salmon this year and the boat did great on the big lake.
PM me if you have any questions.
Warrior 198. Hands Down, no question.
I would price out some Alumacrafts. I found my 205 Comp Spt w/ 250SHO for 10 to 30k less than the competition and it came with a higher quality tandom trailer and larger motor. The 205 Comp also rides better than the Ranger 1880 I used to own and the hull is much quieter in the water. That may be shocking based on what you read on this site about glass vs aluminum, but it's been my experience. I'm sure once you step up to larger glass boats, there is no comparison. I would not be afraid to drive a state or two away. I saved 10k by doing so. If you want a dealer recommendation, PM me.
Deerslayer - I have a yarcraft 209 TFX stuffed into my 20 x 20 garage. So you may want to bump the size up if that is the only thing worrying you.
Remember, there are some excellent used boats on the market that can represent a very good value.
For myself, wishing to have the best ride that is also the driest, glass is the only consideration.
In your list, I would be considering the Warrior, the Skeeter, or the Yarcraft.
A 150 hp motor works very well for any of these boats and put the boats in the mid to slightly above 40s speed.
If you want to go to a larger motor you can go to the upper 40s, or low to mid 40's - depending on the boat motor and prop.
It is getting to the time of year, where folks are getting the urge to sell them before storing them for the winter, if selling is on their minds, so there may be some bargaining to be made.
Since this will be a significant money outlay, it is worth your consideration to drive a thousand miles to get a rig if you can save a few thousand dollars with the right rig with what you want in the right condition.
I picked up a used 2015 Ranger 1880 Angler at the end of 2018. I am 55 yrs old and this will be my last boat. I have always wanted a Ranger, I have one and I will give it to my boys when I no longer can use it.
Q1: If you can afford new I would get that so that you know how it has been taken care of. Get it loaded up with everything you can think of.
Q2: Fiberglass is all I will buy. I grew up in Lunds and when I got into a fiberglass boat I decided this is what I am going to stick with.
Q3: Fiberglass isn't welded or riveted. Nuff said on that.
Q4: I like carpet. Feels nice on the feet when you kick off the shoes. The carpet in my 1880 is removable so cleaning is fairly easy for the back section. Front is just a hose and brush.
Q5: Get as much motor as you can afford and is allowed on the boat. If it can take a 200 v8 4 stroke get that. If you are buying used then you are a bit limited to what the previous owner decided was important to them. Mine has a 150 Merc 4 stroke from the previous owner. With two people and gear we are seeing roughly 45-47 mph.
Q6: I think you are limited to trolling motor brands till Lowrance and Garmin make longer shaft motors. I would go with Minn Kota and Hummingbird for better integration. Get the 36v and get a kicker if you can. I am going to be adding one to mine when I get some extra money.
Get the biggest screens you can afford and yes DI/SI is the bare minimum.
Q7: Ranger. I like the fit, finish and resale value if I ever need to sell it.
In all honesty, there are so many good boats being made today that no one is going to be able to answer these questions for you. My only suggestions are:
1. Buy fiberglass
2. Don't buy a Larson FX
Get in the boats that you're interested in and go for test rides. Better yet, see if you can find people who own a certain boat and see if they'll take you out for a few hours. Good dealerships usually have a huge network of people to line these types of things up. If you're looking at used, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, ask to take it out fishing for half a day or go with the guy. I think it's really important to get on the water, in situations that you'll likely find yourself, in boats that peek your interest.
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