Tips On Buying A Bass Boat
Bass Boats have gone through a tremendous evolution to get to the point where they are today. The first “bass boat” was considered to be a hulled out canoe made from chippings off of very large trees. The Caddo Indians of east Texas and western Louisiana are credited with this type of boat “invention.”
They used these boats to fish to provide food for their families. Bass during that time were the number one food choice to enable families to survive. Fortunately for these families, bass were found in very large supplies in the swampy waterways of the southeastern United States, exactly where these tribes were located. Thus began the evolution of the bass boat as we know it today. Below are present day considerations and tips for purchasing a bass boat.
Consider your Towing Vehicle:
Bass boats and trailers with a full tank of gas and loaded with all the fishing gear easily weighs over 3500 pounds. Before you consider your purchase of a bass boat, make sure your towing vehicle can handle to the load. Also, remember to take into consideration towing up mountains and hills.
There are key questions that an angler looking into buying a bass boat needs to ask themselves. Where are you primarily going to be doing your fishing? What is the size of the body of water? Will it be small lakes and rivers? If so, perhaps all you will need is a small boat with a small outboard motor. If you are planning on fishing in larger bodies of water, a minimum of 19-foot boat is your best choice. Overall, the three main characteristics recognized and looked for in the bass boat of today are shallow draft, maneuverability and stability of the boat.
Lastly, if this is going to be your first bass boat purchase, you might want to consider buying a used boat. This way you can gain more experience and have a better idea of what you want in your next new boat purchase.
Aluminum Bass Boats:
Aluminum boats are much less expensive than fiberglass boats. Additionally aluminum boats are much more forgiving of occurrences that inevitable happen on the water; banging into a dock, running up into shallows, hitting submerged rocks or stumps and so forth. The downside is that aluminum bass boats ride much rougher than fiberglass boats and are easily blown around by even the slightest wind. Again, the size of the body you plan to bass fish on is clearly a tremendously important component in the decision making. If you are intending to fish in a small lake, a 16-17 foot aluminum bass boat would likely be a good choice.
Fiberglass bass boats are much more expensive than aluminum but clearly there are reasons for this. Fiberglass bass boats are capable of handling rougher and bigger bodies of water, they give the boater a much smoother ride and they can go much faster than aluminum bass boats. Experts suggest that if you are considering going with a fiberglass bass boat that you purchase one with a 4-stroke outboard engine as opposed to a 2-stroke engine.
The reasoning is that even though they cost a bit more, they cover much more water as far as fuel is concerned, they are much quieter and much cleaner than a 2-stroke. The reduced fuel cost is estimated to pay-off for the additional cost of the engine in the long run. To give you an idea of the cost of a fiberglass bass boat, they usually range from $20,000 to a $40,000 top of the line boat.
New vs. Used Bass Boats:
There are advantages of buying a used bass boat. Clearly they will be less expensive than a new one and historically, used bass boats hold their value much better than a new one. Also, as mentioned above, is this is your first bass boat purchase, buying a used boat will give you a better understanding of what you may or may not want if you ever decide down the road to purchase a new bass boat. There are also disadvantages of purchasing a used bass boat. In the simplest way to state it, you may be buying someone else’s headache.
Outboard engines, as are found on bass boats, are known to be short lived and it is difficult to determine this on a causal inspection of the boat. The best suggestion is to either buy from someone you trust or have a professional inspect the boat and engine before purchasing. Lastly, just as in purchasing a car, the seller needs to be willing to negotiate on price with a used bass boat sale.
Obviously, the biggest advantage to buying a new bass boat is warranties and the sheer joy of owning a brand new bass boat!
Whether you decide to purchase a new or used bass boat, learning to handling it is a process that takes time. Every boat has its own “personality” and handles differently in every way. From launching to retrieval to water handling, bass boats are all different. A few examples of these differences are the sounds your engine makes when it is trimming, the way it pulls out and into shallow water and the correct engine positioning and trim tab positioning to get it up on plane. Bass boats are all different. Realizing this and knowing that it will take time to learn your boat will encourage you to spend more time on the boat and enjoying the wonderful sport of bass fishing!