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Buying a new rig and need help


Biopope

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I have been saving some coin for a few years and am nearly ready to pull the trigger on a new boat or new to me boat. I plan to own my next boat for 15-20 years. I would appreciate some input from those with these boats as well as other regarding buying in general.
My fishing consists of fishing lake and rivers (50%), back lakes/flats (40%) main bay and passes (10%). Obviously, trailering is something I do quite a bit due to the mix.
I would like to buy a Redfisher 18 or Action Craft 19. New, they are around the same price. Gently used and less than 2 years old, there are more Redfishers than Action Crafts. I am not chomping at the bit and can wait for a boat to come onto the market or order one. From what I have noticed from recent boats put on the market, I could get a Redfisher for $40K w/ less than 100hrs. While supporting a family, this would be ideal. I have quotes from dealers for $48-56K with the following options (I am amazed at the variance in quotes):
Jackplate
8' Power Pole
Windshield and grabrail on console
Yamaha F115 SHO
No poling platform (I use a trolling motor and fish alone most of the time)

On either boat, I would like to get the 115. The reduced weight would allow me to reduce draft since I am fishing in less than 18" quite a bit. Sometimes I am fishing in 12" of water.

I would like to get some input regarding the pros and cons of buying new or used and pros and cons of both boats from owners or those experienced in fishing these boats. Important aspects for me are:

Ride
Draft
Storage
Fit and finish (wiring and components included)
Structural integrity and longevity (I will own it for a long time)

I have been on the Redfisher, but not the Action Craft. I am also in Texas and would like some input of buying out of state or remaining in state. I teach biology and have a family. I don't have a lot of wiggle room and have been diligent in saving money to make this happen. This will be a very important purchase for me.

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That’s a lot of analysis to ask for !  I’ll bet there are owners who can lay it all out for you,  too. 
The market is crazy lately.. I would squirrel away some more coins and wait for some correction(s) to be blunt and honest. 

Marc

ps Thank you for your service in educating our kids !! 

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You are welcome. I love teaching biology and after 22 years, I’ve seen many students grow into amazing people. I was even fortunate enough to have taught my son two years. 

It is asking quite a bit, but after being a lurker here for a while, I know you guys have it. There’s a wealth of knowledge here. 
The market is crazy and I was very close to pulling the trigger last year. I’m way more hesitant now. Since I’m about to start a new fall semester, I’m really not pressed to make a decision. However, if I were to buy new (which I am least happy about), I would like to order in January to have it by the summer. 
I just dragged my current rig to South Florida and fished 3 weeks. I can’t wait to do it in my dream boat and get into the back lakes in The Glades. 
Hopefully, some guys with l experience in the rigs can chime in soon. 
 

Thanks, 

Pope

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Good luck with your search sir. The prices you quote for new and two year old boats seem very low for what the market is today. Both boats you mention are very good. Would not go wrong with either. Most will have poling platforms, don’t let stop you from a good deal wether you use it or not. If planing to own for as long as twenty years please make sure you buy what you really want and look ahead to future needs and wants. 😀👍🙏️ Fin

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24 minutes ago, fin-addict said:

Good luck with your search sir. The prices you quote for new and two year old boats seem very low for what the market is today. Both boats you mention are very good. Would not go wrong with either. Most will have poling platforms, don’t let stop you from a good deal wether you use it or not. If planing to own for as long as twenty years please make sure you buy what you really want and look ahead to future needs and wants. 😀👍🙏️ Fin

The quotes for new were from dealers. Of course, I would have to add electronics and a trolling motor. Thankfully, my son fishes for a university and he gets a deal from Minn Kota and Hummingbird. I can purchase both with a deep discount and install these myself. 

I am 47 and am considering the future. I stay in good shape, but have had two back surgeries in the past (I have lived and played really hard). I used to want a larger boat, but know loading and unloading alone at 60 with not be the same as 47. Staying in the 18-19ft range and a rigged weight less than 2,000lbs allows this. Also, I am mostly fishing shallow and each should allow me to cross open water without issue. I could even fish the beaches and even nearshore on the right days.

My current rig is an aluminum tunnel hull and floats in 9". There is nowhere I have not be able to go aside from crossing the open bays on snotty days. I ran all over the 10,000 Islands and Flamingo in it, but could not cross Florida Bay most of the time. I also hate the hull slap with the aluminum hull. I know I spooked some snook at times. I was actually surprised how tolerant they were. I am ready for a rig that can allow the first and relatively eliminate the last.   

I am not a live bait guy. I like having the option, but fish live bait 5% of the time. I mainly use my livewell as a fish box! Still, I want the pumps to work and be trustworthy when needed.    

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As a owner of a 2018 Redfisher bought new in Dec 2018 with a SHO 115 , poling platform ( which I’ve stood on 1 time and ended up swimming in 40 degree water. All the goodies such as jack plate, trim tabs, windshield with protective hand rail ( not standard ) Minn Kota Terrova, Garmin electronics PLUS that 20+ Ft pole that hangs from my garage ceiling ( I’ve never used ), Power pole, and all the bells and whistles, Engine has less then 30 hours on it. I will say it’s a great boat! Handles chop well as I normally fish the St Johns inlet, intracoastal waterway and troll for kings along the beach on a flat and clear day. At 40,000 dollars would be a steal! Hang in there as the prices will become affordable!….David P.S. Save up some more coins and get a new one! #1 you have a great group of members here with MBG to answer many questions! Their built like a tank and their upgrades are great. Last but not least….They hold their value! Do the homework!

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I'll weigh in here, only in generalities, there are a lot of folks out there who own Redfishers and I have only been on one.   It's a great boat, btw, and I think you'll love it based on your fishing.  What I'm sharing with you is just what was passed along to me and has proven very beneficial.  I hope it helps you, too.

First, you indicated that you planned to have the boat for 15 years.   Don't plan on that.  If it happens, GREAT.   But plan to own it for less, far less.  Why?  Because if you buy it thinking you'll own it forever, it might be the right boat for you, but not one that is easily sold.   The best advice I can give you is to buy what you want . . . but buy it thinking you may have to turn around and sell it immediately.   The reality is that you might - life happens and most boats don't get owned for 15 years.  Statistically speaking, you are unlikely to own it much more than 5.   You don't want to settle for things you might be willing to live with . . and find out that you can't sell that boat because nobody else can live with those things.    A poling platform is a good example.   You don't need it or want it, great.   However, a Redfisher without one is less desireable to the guy you may be trying to sell it to.   You may have to price is lower than the money you originally saved (and don't underestimate the value of that platform for other uses, btw, it makes your 18' boat a 20' usable platform!)

Second, when you buy new, you are buying at the highest, steepest part of the depreciation curve.   You will lose about 5K the minute you drive it away from the dealer . . . probably more depending on options and customization.   Buying something cared for but 1-2 years old saves you that 5K immediately, and often significantly more.  Is there more risk?  Absolutely - you have to buy used carefully.   But, back to the first point, if you buy with the acknowledgement that life changes quickly and you might have to turn right around and sell it, you are in a better position slightly used.   

Third, it's been my experience that in the "slightly used" market, people tend to add options to the boat that you get for "free" - they buy it new, then add the power pole or the side scan, or the ipilot.   They can try to get it back in the resale, but generally don't.   That's a few extra hundred or even thousand bucks that you just saved yourself.

Finally, power is king, especially in resale.   If you under power a boat because you don't care to be a speed demon and you want to save some money, that's probably good for you, but may make it VERY tough to sell quickly or at a price you can live with.   You are also committing to that speed/power situation for the rest of your ownership of the boat.   If your fishing situation suddenly requires longer drives, you will find yourself frustrated by . . . and stuck with . . . that engine, or look at a MAJOR investment into the boat you already bought once.   And again - whatever you put on the back, make sure it's what MOST people would want, because you want that boat to appeal to MOST people if you have to sell it in a crowded, glutted market.   If 90% of the redfishers out there have a 115, great.   If 90% have a 150, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage when you go to sell that will result in a discount likely greater than your initial savings.

Buying used saves you a lot of money and generally lowers your risk if you have to turn around and sell it unexpectedly.   On the other hand, you will have to compromise more on some things (color, customization, equipment, etc), and if you DO keep it for a long time, that might eventually wear on you.    

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2 hours ago, whichwaysup said:

I'll weigh in here, only in generalities, there are a lot of folks out there who own Redfishers and I have only been on one.   It's a great boat, btw, and I think you'll love it based on your fishing.  What I'm sharing with you is just what was passed along to me and has proven very beneficial.  I hope it helps you, too.

First, you indicated that you planned to have the boat for 15 years.   Don't plan on that.  If it happens, GREAT.   But plan to own it for less, far less.  Why?  Because if you buy it thinking you'll own it forever, it might be the right boat for you, but not one that is easily sold.   The best advice I can give you is to buy what you want . . . but buy it thinking you may have to turn around and sell it immediately.   The reality is that you might - life happens and most boats don't get owned for 15 years.  Statistically speaking, you are unlikely to own it much more than 5.   You don't want to settle for things you might be willing to live with . . and find out that you can't sell that boat because nobody else can live with those things.    A poling platform is a good example.   You don't need it or want it, great.   However, a Redfisher without one is less desireable to the guy you may be trying to sell it to.   You may have to price is lower than the money you originally saved (and don't underestimate the value of that platform for other uses, btw, it makes your 18' boat a 20' usable platform!)

Second, when you buy new, you are buying at the highest, steepest part of the depreciation curve.   You will lose about 5K the minute you drive it away from the dealer . . . probably more depending on options and customization.   Buying something cared for but 1-2 years old saves you that 5K immediately, and often significantly more.  Is there more risk?  Absolutely - you have to buy used carefully.   But, back to the first point, if you buy with the acknowledgement that life changes quickly and you might have to turn right around and sell it, you are in a better position slightly used.   

Third, it's been my experience that in the "slightly used" market, people tend to add options to the boat that you get for "free" - they buy it new, then add the power pole or the side scan, or the ipilot.   They can try to get it back in the resale, but generally don't.   That's a few extra hundred or even thousand bucks that you just saved yourself.

Finally, power is king, especially in resale.   If you under power a boat because you don't care to be a speed demon and you want to save some money, that's probably good for you, but may make it VERY tough to sell quickly or at a price you can live with.   You are also committing to that speed/power situation for the rest of your ownership of the boat.   If your fishing situation suddenly requires longer drives, you will find yourself frustrated by . . . and stuck with . . . that engine, or look at a MAJOR investment into the boat you already bought once.   And again - whatever you put on the back, make sure it's what MOST people would want, because you want that boat to appeal to MOST people if you have to sell it in a crowded, glutted market.   If 90% of the redfishers out there have a 115, great.   If 90% have a 150, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage when you go to sell that will result in a discount likely greater than your initial savings.

Buying used saves you a lot of money and generally lowers your risk if you have to turn around and sell it unexpectedly.   On the other hand, you will have to compromise more on some things (color, customization, equipment, etc), and if you DO keep it for a long time, that might eventually wear on you.    

Great advice here! If I had to do all again, I would have bought a Bay boat like a pathfinder. So many more options to choose from like something unimportant like a T- top to keep those cool mid noon sun from cooking you and your family.!

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I appreciate all of the feedback from everyone. I really do. 

To address the point that "life happens" and I may have to sell, I get that. I likely don't think about it enough, which addresses some of the other points.

I am very good at taking care of my possessions. My last two vehicles were owned 12 and 11 years. They were in perfect running order at the 12 and 11 year mark as well. I tend to hang on to things, use and take really good care of them. I don't understand getting a new vehicle every time you pay one off. However, a vehicle is a necessity and a boat is not. Needing to put a boat on the market because of an unforeseen event could happen, which leads me to the points of power and poling platform.

I can live with the poling platform and can see that it may increase useable space. I also see that they may be important to others and increase resale. This is something I hadn't considered and should have.  

In regards to power, if I went with the Redfisher I see the squat increases with the 150. The extra 100lbs seems to have an effect. If I ordered one, this is not what I would want. I never run my outboards above 4,000rpm. I am the guy cruising at the speed limit in the right lane. Getting somewhere 10 minutes later doesn't concern me and having a boat sitting even and drafting less is more important than arrival time. I just need to launch on time! Now, if I find the right price on a boat outfitted in every way I like and there is a 150, I would likely be able to overlook it. I just couldn't pull the trigger on an order with one exactly the way I want it and get the 150. I would have to take that hit on the resale with the 115. I am glad that is in my favor in buying used.

My spouse and I are really considering either moving in the next couple of months or staying put and doing some remodeling. If we stay put, I am adding a pad and increase my gate width to accommodate a new boat (currently the gate in 9' wide) . I will have this worked out relatively soon and if things remain the same (no unforeseen life events), I will be closely watching the classifieds.   

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On 7/13/2021 at 6:31 PM, Biopope said:

On either boat, I would like to get the 115. The reduced weight would allow me to reduce draft since I am fishing in less than 18" quite a bit. Sometimes I am fishing in 12" of water.

Having owned a RF18....the draft, lightly loaded is about 10-12"....so, you will on the bottom if you are fishing in 12" currently in your bass style boat....you won't be in the RF18....the trolling motor will not be able to run in that depth.....18-20"....you'll be fine.....

You don't need more than 115 especially if you are fishing alone most of the time.

On 7/13/2021 at 10:05 PM, Moderator said:

The market is crazy lately.. I would squirrel away some more coins and wait for some correction(s) to be blunt and honest. 

Marc

Marc is dead on...now is not the time to be buying a new or even used boat......if you can hold off at least 18 months...things will change...but, everyone understands we like new toys....if you can stay in your current sled....hold off.....the market will change...right now the cheap money for interest rates and people who are not travelling etc. are buying boats, RV's, new car's etc...lots of pent up demand....how much will it change?  Could be worth as much as $10K on a $50K skiff when people become desperate and need to bail out of a new boat they bought now, and find they are not using two years from now....

You won't be sorry in a RF18 for what you are doing as described...they just will not float as shallow as aluminum flat bottom boat...don't expect it to do so...but, your ride will be 100% more comfortable.

 

dc

 

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The advice that has been given is excellent. Would never buy new, take to big of a hit from the get go. All to often you find several things wrong with a brand new boat and the cost of adding all the goodies, PP, TM, electronics and such. With  a sled that only has a few years you get most if not all the goodies your looking for and all the bugs and issues taken care of that a new boat might have and there can be many with the builds of today. Very few boats as stated are owned more than 8-10 years. Yes there are exceptions more so with much larger boats. I’m on 9 years with a 2003 22’ Pathy, second owner. Has been trouble free since owning. Orig owner had to replace the ecu within a hundred hours as shown by a computer scan vs hr meter. Again, best of luck which ever way you decide to go.

short story, brother had three new boats back to back from well known builders. First leaked from all windows and thru bolted fittings to the cabin. Both bilge pumps failed within 3 months. Manuf took boat back and he chose a different model. Still leaked, forever to plain out and pulled to stb. Could not let go of wheel, had to keep hand on throttle or it would have throttle creep backing itself down. Lots of issues. Transom rotted out. Third boat, recommended hp by dealer. Boat could not get 27mph. Rigged wrong. 

😀👍🙏️Fin

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