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Mark77

Boat brand / model suggestions

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Wondering if I could get some ideas of which brand/model people might suggest that fits my needs so I can keep an eye on the second hand market. 

I live on a canal but it is fairly shallow. At the front of my pontoon it can be down to about 50cm at a very low tide. If my boat draws more than this I will have to constantly maintain the frontage by regularly pumping out sand. A cat would be ok as it can sit level. It is only sand/mud - no rocks to damage the hul. 

Looking to get a larger boat after owning multiple small trailer boats. Length limited to about 11m. Height limit 6m due to bridge (no mast). 

Would like something dual purpose for reef fishing plus weekend get away for the family (3 kids). If I can't have both then fishing/comfortable day boat for the family.

Doesn't need to go fast but needs to be relatively fuel efficient. 

Price under $60k (looking at second hand). 

Obviously any boat left in the water will mean a lot of maintenance. Ideally outboards which clear the water would be great but as length goes up this get unlikely in the price range unless multiple old large 2 strokes which kill any chance of reasonable fuel efficiency. I want to avoid old large carby V8 petrol inboard/sterndrives for same reasons. 

I am hoping to get to know which branded hulls are likely to have stood the test of time and which might present good value long term so I can focus on finding a good well maintained example and jump on it when it comes up.  

So far have looked at Sea Ray, Mustang, Bayliner, Sunrunner, Leeder. Also things like Noosa Cat but these larger powered cats but these seem to command a real premium for some reason.  

Any opinions welcome as I still have a lot to learn. 

 

 

 

Edited by Mark77

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Sorry not to dampen your spirit, their is not much that will go in 50cm of water - maybe a jetboat or a canoe 

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I don't think you are going to find a boat around 11 metres long with a less than 50cm draft. You would be looking at inboard diesel preferably shaft drive. Look at 2nd hand Howards or Stebers. Howards are alloy boats and Stebers are glass. Don't know if trade a boat magazine is still sold but if it is grab the latest copy and have a look.

years ago after the Pro fisho's buy back there was plenty of cheap trawlers up for grabs, not many about these days.

Frank

Edited by frankS

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I have a friend with a Sea Ray 290 and he reckons it only draws 50cm with legs up. In reality if it draws a touch more then it wont be a massive issue. I'm sure it will settle into the sand a little. 

 

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Doesn't need to be 11m, just listing my limitations as far as frontage goes. Have been looking at 23 feet + but these smaller leasure style boats don't really have the accomodation for a weekend away at least with any level of comfort with 3 kids. 

What is the average 30 footer shaft drive going to draw?

I realise that shallow draft is the biggest challenge. 

Edited by Mark77

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It might actually be more practical for you to invest in extending your pontoon out to some deeper water, council permitting of course

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23 minutes ago, GoingFishing said:

It might actually be more practical for you to invest in extending your pontoon out to some deeper water, council permitting of course

Fair comment. I could extend about 1.5m with Council approval but would not gain a massive amount of depth. Council do not seem to maintain the depth in the canal despite it being Council owned land. Apparently it is the owners responsibility to maintain a depth of 600mm under the pontoon. I think this is to protect seagrass. 

Edited by Mark77

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You could look into a tubed boat, either inflatable or aluminium such as zodiac, naiad, stabicraft, profile, oceancylander etc. The tubes help reduce draft.

Edited by JonD

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2 hours ago, JonD said:

You could look into a tubed boat, either inflatable or aluminium such as zodiac, naiad, stabicraft, profile, oceancylander etc. The tubes help reduce draft.

Thanks, I had briefly thought about this but might look into the options again. How well would an inflatable stand up to being exposed to the sun constantly. It is one thing to have a small cheap tender deteriorate but the larger RIBs are not cheap. Also have heard they can be very wet boats. Still they often require smaller motors for their size and you can't have everything I guess. 

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39 minutes ago, Mark77 said:

Thanks, I had briefly thought about this but might look into the options again. How well would an inflatable stand up to being exposed to the sun constantly. It is one thing to have a small cheap tender deteriorate but the larger RIBs are not cheap. Also have heard they can be very wet boats. Still they often require smaller motors for their size and you can't have everything I guess. 

There ar uv protecting cleaners which extend the life of tubes, there are also plenty of boats on the market with tubes older than 15 years. Tubes can also be replaced, small ribs often have pvc tubes and larger boats hypalon. Most ribs are built using no wood in the construction which can be prone to rotting in fibreglass boats and often costing far more to repair than replacing a tube set. 

Aluminium boats can also have issues from galvanic corrosion. When items such as ellectric components, rod holders, steering fittings and even sinkers or bottle tops under the floor are fitted or come in contact with the aluminium. A reaction between the metals can end in pitting and holes. Welds can also crack if a poorly built boat is pushed hard.  Ive recently heard of manufacturers from one high end aluminium builder of ribbed boats using Chinese aluminium in cost cutting which has resulted in two rescue boats within my area already having serious corrosion issues in vessels less than 12 months old. 

Tubes whether they are inflatable or aluminium eat into usable deck space.

 

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Thanks for the info Jon. It is a fair point - all boats degrade over time...

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60K for a large non trailerable boat could well put you in a world of pain- but Ok i will make a few suggestions-some of the slightly larger US boats like Seaswirls, Trophies, maybe a pretty old Grady White or Boston Whaler might be an option- anything up to about 21 ft will draw less than 50cm of water -you might just have to trim the motor out for a bit- from what i saw when i was on the GC recently large parts of the Nerang and associated waterways are 6 knots to anything over 8m at all times but once you are in the river depth is a non-issue. A shaft driven boat in any sort of reasonable condition aint going to be a comfortable fit in shallow water-plus the whole maintainance regime -its more expensive than you think. Ive got 3 kids and weve done week long trips on houseboats a few times and its an absolute ball but 30ft of normal boat would be a damn tight squeeze, we did the last trip on a 30foot houseboat but had my center console tied off to "escape"" -if you like. There are houseboats available on the GC-just buy a good fishing boat and hire a houseboat if you feel the need for an adventure!

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I have thought about some of the above boats for fishing only. A few people near where I live have Trophy's but have heard quite a few negative comments on their build quality.

I have not tried to stay on a 30 foot boat with the family and will take the advice onboard. The idea of having a boat for going on a family break would be to take it places where a calm water boat cannot go e.g. North Stradbroke Island, Moreton etc. 

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I really appreciate all the advice. I can see now that what I am trying to acheive is not very realistic. It is easy to scan through ads of boats and dream. A boat large enough for family getaways is going to be either out of my price range or too big a liability or both. The guy I know with a Sea Ray 29ft with twin v8 petrols said he hardly uses it because of the cost of fuel. Converting to outboards is an option but very expensive. 

I think I will wait a couple of years until the children are a little older and are able to come fishing and get a reef boat and getaways might have to be on land or hire boat. Until then i'll stick with a tinnie for the calm waterways. 

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nothing wrong with dreaming! take your kids now- when they are older its too late and it comes too quick!

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Ha I have 3 kids under 5. They love fishing but don't really have the patience yet. My daughter just brings her line striaght in as fast as she can yelling i've caught one!

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23 minutes ago, Mark77 said:

price range or too big a liability or both. The guy I know with a Sea Ray 29ft with

Can you do a boat share with this mate?

option 329: Buy a smaller half can boat for day or basic overnighter  and that 1 time per year hire a larger boat.

 

i feel you with the kids fishing, when my youngest was under 5 I used to just tie a sinker most of the time, as it spent more time sailing through the air than in the water.

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Under 5's can be a challange but when my boys were that age we used to holiday in Noosa a lot and i would take two of them very early in the morning and not fish myself but put a small lure on and drift the canals i would cast and they would wind in-kept them (and me) very busy for a couple of hours whilst my wife either went for a run or had a sleep in. Caught plenty of trevors and tailor doing this and had plenty of fun-the main thing for safety was i did the casting-the constant winding in kept them interested.

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44 minutes ago, PaddyT said:

i would cast and they would wind in-kept them (and me) very busy for a couple of hours whilst my wife either went for a run or had a sleep in. Caught plenty of trevors and tailor doing this and had plenty of fun-the main thing for safety was i did the casting-the constant winding in kept them interested.

That's an awesome idea. 

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