Performance Boats Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1st Time Buyer--Please Recommend Boats

Hey guys,

I'm in the market to buy a boat, and with so many different manufacturers it is giving me a slight headache. Does anybody know of a place on the internet where you can compare and research different boat manufacturers? I mean, I'm not 100% clueless, but I just don't want to buy a boat later to find out that it's kind of an "undesirable" brand that will be hard to resell.

Because this will be my first boat, I'm looking for a starter runabout in the $14-18K range, but I plan to upgrade to something in the $25-30K range within about 2 years. I figure I'll make all my "learning" mistakes with this starter boat, lol. Looking at open bows in the 20-24ft range.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
OK, been researching tonight and I have narrowed my search down a bit. I want a boat for under $22K or so that has a little "attitude" and will be a good starter to get my feet wet in the performance boat market. I'm considering the following as they seem to be the only ones in my price range, any comments good or bad on these?

1) Baja Islander
2) Crownline LPX
3) Others I should be considering?

Looking for something with a V8, through hull exhaust, etc that will go 50+ MPH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Where will you be boating?
Big lake?
Small lake?
River?
I/o or jet or out board? All have there advantages and faults.
will you be skiing? Or just boating and cursing with more then 6 people on board.
Do you want something more of a belly button boat? Or something a little more custom. that has a" this is me boat"
There are many nice boats for sale at your price.
eliminator
Howard
Shockwave
Ultra
Essex
Commander
Cole
And so many more that I am not listing in the custom market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Welcome to the site. I see you are at Eagle Mountain. I am on the other side of the metroplex from you in Sachse. Are you looking for new or preowned?
I am looking for preowned, preferably under $20K. Looking for a "starter" performance boat, I just noticed that Stingray makes an 220 SX series that may be in price range as well. As this point I'm looking for a list of performance boat models I should be looking at, considering my budget. I want I/O, over the water exhaust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Here is a very nice Howard Custom Boat - top of your price range ($20k) - but a great starter performance boat and may turn out to be a "permenant solution"! Good luck with your search. Also a few others that might fit your interests. The 22 and 25 howard offshores in the 1995 vintage can be bought in the high teens and low $20k's - they did not make a lot of them and the cost a lot when new so not unusual to find them in pretty nice shape. The Hallet 21 and 240 are also really nice boats and the eliminators (v or cat) can be found and make nice performance boats.

link: Howard 22ft off shore - good rough water boat for its size


link: Howard Custom Boat - more a lake boat or small lake option

link: ***PRICE JUST REDUCED - 1996 HOWARD 20' BOWRIDER*** - smaller boat - flat bottom, not good for choppy lake but fine for river or small lake.

link: ELIMINATOR 25 (25 ft) EAGLE XP

link: 1997 Eliminator 236 Eagle XP

link: Eliminator Boat

link: Eliminator eagle 215

link: Laveycraft 21ft Ski - Open Bow I/O, Excellent Condition

link: 1995 Cole Nighthawk22 Open Bow 502 MAG/MPI/EFI - Cole (like Howard) was a very small custom builder this 22 and their 25 were real nice and real expensive new.

Good luck finding something that fits your needs. Boat trader and Craig's list are both good sources to look for boats.
 

·
Essex Junkie
Joined
·
149 Posts
I think brgrcru gave you a pretty good list of performance boats.
The tough thing is going to be your location. Most of those brands are made in CA or AZ so in your area will be very limited availability.
I just listed my 23' Essex on here but it would be quite a road trip for you.

Good Luck on your search...its half the fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Just my opinion. But I would defiantly look at the custom boat market before settling on Sea ray, baja, bayliner, crown line. Not that there is anything wrong with these brands. I would love to have a big Sea-ray or bay liner like in the 28-30 + foot range to take in the ocean. Performance boats, (still do) and the old Hot Boat magazine use to do great evaluations on the new line-up. I know there is guy in here selling old hot boat mags. I am sure there are a lot of new/ used boats that fit your needs and budget in those mags, to read-up on evaluations. Also boating magazine has lots of info and on water test articles, you can read up on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Stay away from the Bayliner and Stingrays. The Bayliners are good boats for what they are but from what you've said, not for you. The Stingrays have a very light lay up and like Bayliners are good value, but I don't think what you're looking for. Sea Rays are incredibly built, great lay up for volume builder, think GMC of boats, but not performance for the most part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks everyone. What's the story on Baja? In the Midwest and South you see them all over the place but on the coasts you guys seem to have some more elite brands of performance boats. Is Baja kind of like the Bayliner of the performance boat world?

Also, why are older boats like below so dirt cheap? Deals like below just seem like you're getting a ton of boat for the $$$ but I figure there has to be some kind catch or downside otherwise everybody and his brother with $12K laying around would be rockin something like below. Most people would think you paid $40K, not $13,500, because boats kind of look the same today as they did back then (generally speaking).

Formula 272 SR1 with twins
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Here is another Howard for sale in your price range. Closed bow 22 - very nice looking.

link: Used 1997 Howard Custom Boats 222ft Offshore, Garden Grove, Ca - 92840 - BoatTrader.com


Reason many of the older boats are cheap is financing is tough to get and people paid less back then and simply are looking to move the boat. Repairs are no fun on any boat and older boats are more likely to need some things, so that anticipated expense is often factored into the price. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them, they do offer value to get you on the water and have some fund.

Just remember the rule of peformance boating:

Pick any two -

Fast, reliable, cheap

Good luck finding what you are looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
OK guys, I have been all over the place but am finally starting to narrow in on what I really want. Please recommend some year/make/model options I should be looking for considering the criteria below:

Budget: $16-22K (Really want final agreed price to be $18-20Kish)
Length: 22-25FT
Configuration: No open bows, now am wanting a front cuddy style only. Only 3-4 people will be using boat at a time so I feel an open bow is a waste and I also want to be to get away from the Texas sun while anchored.
Engine: Prefer a BB, 454 or 502.
Examples Of Some Boats I've Found:
1998 baja 232
1997 Baja 232 BOSS
2001 BAJA
2001 Baja H2x
1996 Baja Boss
1999 Eliminator eagle closed bow with built 500

Any other year/make/models I should be considering besides the Baja's above? Looking a "starter" PB to get my feet wet, I want something that looks sporty, sounds aggressive, etc but I'm not really that concerned with "all out speed" since I live on a relatively small lake (Eagle Mountain, TX) and just want something cool to go anchor/hang out with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
OK guys, I have been all over the place but am finally starting to narrow in on what I really want. Please recommend some year/make/model options I should be looking for considering the criteria below:

Budget: $16-22K (Really want final agreed price to be $18-20Kish)
Length: 22-25FT
Configuration: No open bows, now am wanting a front cuddy style only. Only 3-4 people will be using boat at a time so I feel an open bow is a waste and I also want to be to get away from the Texas sun while anchored.
Engine: Prefer a BB, 454 or 502.
Examples Of Some Boats I've Found:
1998 baja 232
1997 Baja 232 BOSS
2001 BAJA
2001 Baja H2x
1996 Baja Boss
1999 Eliminator eagle closed bow with built 500

Any other year/make/models I should be considering besides the Baja's above? Looking a "starter" PB to get my feet wet, I want something that looks sporty, sounds aggressive, etc but I'm not really that concerned with "all out speed" since I live on a relatively small lake (Eagle Mountain, TX) and just want something cool to go anchor/hang out with.
Personally I would stay away from a closed bow in Texas. I had a 25' Outlaw for 2 years and hated it. It's way too hot to be down there in the closed area of the bow. There was no breeze and folks were miserable. If you want shade, invest in a nice bimini top. jmo....

Also, yes. Baja is the Bayliner of performance boats. They build a ton of them and the quality is no where near what you will find in many of the custom boats folks have suggested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
480 Posts
The most important thing to remember is that hot boats are not investements. Older boats will still deliver the mail and give you a ton of enjoyment. Older boats are good in the fact that you can pick them up much cheaper from the posers that need tomorrows model and make them faster and customize to your taste for considerably less money than new. I am into jet boats so cant reckomend hulls for you but shop until you find what your minds eye likes, poor money into it, and keep it. If you want another boat get another one, you have a better chance to stay on the water with three or more!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top