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#2202799 - 02/24/10 04:19 PM
Best all around Musky Boat?
Bob Schultz Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 85
Loc: Alaska

In the market for a new/used Musky boat for the coming season--price range 8-15K.

Leaning toward a used Ranger right now (185,518-520,690) it seems there are many for sale--good deals still out there.

Mainly fishing the West end of Vermilion-but some East end also.

What would you be looking for in that price range?

Have owned or fished out of all the usual suspects just looking for every ones opinions.

Thanks is advance.


Edited by Bob Schultz (02/24/10 04:20 PM)
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#2202868 - 02/24/10 05:25 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: Bob Schultz]
Esox_Magnum Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Specialist

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 4975
Loc: IGL's, NW Iowa
690/692 gets my vote for older ones, 618-620s newer than 2000. Tuffy makes a great rig as does Skeeter.

Founding/ Board Member, Hunters Helping Hunters
Board Member Upper Great Plains Chapter 29 Muskies Inc.



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#2202879 - 02/24/10 05:35 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: Esox_Magnum]
TSchultz Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 159
Loc: Kato
Yep in that price range I'd be looking at a nice used Ranger 690/692. I've seen a fair number out there. I don't think you'll find a 619 at $15,000 yet.
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#2203068 - 02/24/10 07:34 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: TSchultz]
propster Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 1040
Loc: Cannon Falls, MN
Bob, see if JRedig chimes in here. He may be looking to sell his mint '96 690 VS w/175 Merc at the end of this season, and it should be pretty close to in your range. We have a one year older version and are so glad we got it.
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#2203091 - 02/24/10 07:50 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: Bob Schultz]
Mid-Lake Rock Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 781
Loc: The Garage
690 is a very nice ride and maybe the best Ranger ever made. I frequently fish with two guys who have the 690 and I love their boats. I also fish out of newer Rangers and the 690 is still awesome.

My opinion, any boat is better than none. I know a guy with a little tin can that did very well with muskies last year.

My first boat was small and had an unreliable motor, however I got several muskies over 50" and learned a lot in that boat. Best investment (a small one) I ever made.

Let us know what you get!
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#2203185 - 02/24/10 08:51 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: Mid-Lake Rock]
scsavre Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 2078
Loc: Bloomington, MN
Ive got an aluminum, and if that is what you were going to get. I really like my fishawk. Huge front casting deck and low gunwalls for easy angling.

The rangers were out of my price range at the time. A i figured why get a 10-15 yr old ranger when i could get a few year old Crestliner.

Scott Savre
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#2203248 - 02/24/10 09:50 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: propster]
cjac Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 3117
Loc:
Originally Posted By: propster
Bob, see if JRedig chimes in here. He may be looking to sell his mint '96 690 VS w/175 Merc at the end of this season, and it should be pretty close to in your range. We have a one year older version and are so glad we got it.


With all due respect to others.....get in line for this one if it even hits the open market. Fishes "big" on open water and fishes "small" on Harriet and Calhoun. 690s are an outstanding hull with a well thought out design and interior, and this year range of Mercs was clear of the late 90s issues that Merc Marine experienced. A little noisy and a little tempermental, but learn her quirks and you'll get along just fine....(sounds like real life!)

To the initial question: The Ranger 690s are outstanding, and some of the "tin" boats are a great value as well. I have an '03 Lund, great ride, poor rod storage and poor rear deck space. Yamaha '03 115 4-stroke has been flawless...knock on wood.

Lots to consider.....jump in and test ride with a few people if you can.....
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#2203294 - 02/24/10 10:49 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: cjac]
guideman Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 04/16/00
Posts: 3276
Loc: Tower, Lake Vermilion
Hi Bob,
How are things in Alaska? We didn't get the chance to fish out of my ProV last time, but I get a lot of comments from Ranger owners about the great ride.

I put a 150 Yamaha on it last year and it pushes my 19ft'er at about 44mph. Greast ride on rough water and it gets great gas milage. Not great rod storage however lots of tackle storage.

"Ace"

Terry "Ace" Sjoberg.
Lake Vermilion.
Muskies and More.

It's just fishing man!
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#2203445 - 02/25/10 07:22 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: scsavre]
Scoot Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 7411
Loc: Fargo, ND
Originally Posted By: scsavre
The rangers were out of my price range at the time. A i figured why get a 10-15 yr old ranger when i could get a few year old Crestliner.


If I were looking for a boat in the price range you mentioned, I'd think carefully about the info above. I think this is very solid advice. In fact, I wouldn't even consider the age of boat you're talking about to get a Ranger in that price range... You can certainly get one and some will chime in saying, "My Ranger is a 19XX and it performs flawlessly...", but go with a newer aluminum and I think you'll be a lot better off.

Scoot
RodsbyEngel: custom made fishing rods

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#2203493 - 02/25/10 07:47 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: Scoot]
MuskieJunkie Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1394
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
I went through this last year, I was looking to keep it under $20k and wanted a big water boat, 17 or 18', needed a full windshield (wife and kids), REALLY wanted a ranger, and REALLY wanted a FI 4 stroke.

I ended up with a Crestliner Sportfish with a Yamaha F115, and I'm very happy with the decision I made.

All the rangers I found in my price range (which wern't many) we older which isn't a problem except that then you're stuck with an older carburated 2 stroke motor. I had made the decision to not go back to a Merc motor for the reasons stated above (previous to this I've ran Mercs all my life).

If you want the glass boat and you don't mind a 2 stroke carb'ed motor you can get an older one in your price range, for me I just didn't want another motor like that and decided to go with a tin boat for now and upgrade to a ranger later.

Another thing I'd recomend, don't overlook the rod storage, the Sportfish is great for the family but I'm the guy that brings 20 rods on a trip and the rod storage in a lot of tin boats leaves something to be desired.

- Brian
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#2203498 - 02/25/10 07:49 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: scsavre]
not_nuf_time Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 653
Loc: Rogers,Mn.
I agree with Savre, I have a fishhawk and love the design for muskies. big casting front deck. Nice sized casting space in the rear by the motor, and what else I think is neat is that you can literally walk all around the perimeter of the boat without stepping down into the main floor area. for 10 to 15k you can pick up a 3 to 4 year old boat and motor in the 115 to 150 hp range. Also light boat 40+ mph with 115hp or better. Good luck.

I think I have a problem with low self esteem, because I'm way better looking than I think I am.

Winter is the best time of year, its for dreaming and planning all the things you wont quite get to.
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#2203555 - 02/25/10 08:33 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: not_nuf_time]
10,000 Casts Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 2366
Loc: Virginia
There are alot of good boats out there. Some have downsides. I had a 2000 Crestliner 1850 Sportfish with a 2000 135 opti. Like all Crestliners, it hit like a ton of bricks and got you wet, like all Crestliners the floor rotted out twice and it was a horrible walleye boat control boat. It was nice to fish Muskies out of though but a $2000 floor every 3-4 years just didn't seem worth it. The Other issue was the Opti, blew up twice, once while out on Green Bay and another time while running accross Lake Bemidji, both times it spent 3 weeks in August at Bemidji Marine.

Takes good look at the Alumacrafts if you want to go Aluminum, you can buy alot of boat for $15k, See if you can find a 2007 Lund 1700 Mr. Pike, I call it the poor mans Pro V and it fishes just a nice as an 1800 Pro V and it can handle some pretty big water. Tough to find though.

John






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#2203595 - 02/25/10 09:09 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: 10,000 Casts]
RK Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 3159
Loc: St. Paul MN USA
Hiya -

My stock answer to this question is that the best muskie boat is two boats...three if you can swing it. smile

Every boat's a compromise. You just have to decide which style meets the most of your requirements. A lot of it depends on fishing style. If you're a 100% caster and are only going to use the boat for muskies, a bass boat can make a lot of sense - but trolling with one is a nightmare, they aren't ideal for walleye fishing at times, and they don't handle rough water like a deep-V, which is a factor on Vermilion. But...some deep-Vs don't have adequate rod lockers for long muskie rods, or front deck space for two casters, etc. Do you want a tiller? Consoles? Full windshield? I used to tell my friends that if they ever say me behind a steering wheel in a boat, shoot me...now I have a full windshield and I love it. It's worth a layer of clothes in late October.

Some thoughts on some of the boats mentioned here...
- 690. Flat out one of the best muskie hulls ever made. I'd put the Stratos 219 in the same class as they're very similar. Some used ones around, but many of them with carb 2-strokes, so they burn a LOT of gas, which is an issue on Big V.
- Fishhawk. Great to fish out of in a lot of ways, very economical, but an 11 degree dead rise on the hull which makes them rough riding in waves and they can blow around on you a lot in crosswinds.
- Lund Mr. Pike - really versatile but the ones I looked at a while back didn't have much for rod storage. Maybe different models are better.

One boat I really like the looks of is the Lund Pro Guide. Cheaper than a Pro-V by a ways, not as much foo-foo stuff as a Pro V either, and a big casting deck. Some used ones showing up now.

I have fished out of an 18' Tracker Tundra for the last 8 years. Love the thing. Tons of storage, I can fit 9' rods in the side lockers, and amazing in rough water. Downsides are the sides are a little high, and the front deck is a little tight with 2 casters, although manageable if both of you know what you're doing.

Best thing to do - make a list of what you want in a boat, and forget brand names while you look for a hull that hits the most items on the list.

All this reminds me of just how much I hate boat shopping. Good luck smile

Cheers,
Rob Kimm
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#2203601 - 02/25/10 09:16 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: 10,000 Casts]
Bob Schultz Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 85
Loc: Alaska

Great stuff guys,

Agree with all the posts--Much boat wisdom here!

I started seriously fishing Musky only as a kid in high school early 80s. 14 foot sears boat, 9.9 Evinrude-no trolling motor, no electronics, (MY dads boat)

Moved up to a 14 foot sea nymph with a 25 hoarse electric start Evinrude 1990 (my dads boat)with a basic humingbird--Learned how to fish in this boat and caught some trophy Northern WI Musky's.

Now as a new cabin owner this will be my first good Musky boat--Really excited but don't want to make a mistake and have to buy twice.

Ace--had a great day of fishing with you-caught a lot of SUN that day-- Just kidding--Easy to see you know your onions.(easily the nicest weather day we were there in July)!
We did fish out of your Pro V with the new 150--Sweet Ride for sure--However newer Lunds are so overpriced in my humble opinion. You can't touch anything decent for under 15K.

I am looking at a 93, 690 right now. But much prefer the updated version after 95. Any thoughts on the Pre 95 690s?

CALLING JRedig--perhaps we can work something out if your boat is not spoken for.

All this talk about boats and Musky fishing is a good thing as we are still staring at a lot of winter up here in AK.

Thanks Guys!


Edited by Bob Schultz (02/25/10 09:24 AM)
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#2203642 - 02/25/10 09:50 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: 10,000 Casts]
MuskieJunkie Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1394
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Originally Posted By: 10,000 Casts
...like all Crestliners the floor rotted out twice and it was a horrible ...


Did you ever find out why that was happening? Just want to make sure I don't have an issue with my Sportfish. This is he first I've ever heard of that.

Hopefully I don't highjack this thread. Thanks.

- Brian
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#2203668 - 02/25/10 10:15 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: MuskieJunkie]
scsavre Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 2078
Loc: Bloomington, MN
10,000 casts, I hope you had a one of a kind there. That is not fun for anyone. I really dont see how your floor rots out twice in 9 years though. I hope it is at least the same floor and not a total replacement and rot out again.
Not_Nuf_time, the single level deck to rear is great to play a fish on, I hear you on that.
I have heard about getting wet in the Fishhawk, I have never noticed it, but I am behind my console.
As a couple people have pretty much said. The Ranger is kind of the end goal. I just didnt want to get stuck with a boat that was 15 years old. When I am going to get my Ranger, I am going to go all in. So for me that means use a really nice, 4 year old, $12k boat, until I have that $30k for a few year old Ranger. Its also nice to use a boat for a year and be able to sell it for pretty much the same price the next year.

Scott Savre
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#2203851 - 02/25/10 12:27 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: scsavre]
10,000 Casts Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 2366
Loc: Virginia
What was happening was, my Dad bought the boat new in 2000 and we kept the boat under a covered boat lift on Ottertail for the first 4 years. We would be out in the rain walleye fishing or in the waves ect and when we got back, we would raise the boat all the way up and it would sit in the shade until we took it back out which could be weeks at a time. I bought the boat from him in 2004 and I had the whole floor replaced under their 5 year anything goes warranty. After I had it for a few years, the ... floor started rotting again where the back swivil seat brackets were and in the corners so I had to get that whole area replaced again.

After talking to alot of Crestliner owners, I found quite a few people that had rotten floors. For a few years they didn't use marine grade plywood in their boats and I know my 2000 didn't have it when they ripped up the floor.

The main thing is to let your boats with wood floors dry out in the sunshine before you throw your cover on it or put it away in a dark and dingy place.

John






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#2203892 - 02/25/10 01:00 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: 10,000 Casts]
scsavre Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 2078
Loc: Bloomington, MN
Ah, I see. I thought it would be a ventilation problem, and of coarse if there is a non marine grade floor there would be problems.
I did just think of another crestliner owner who had a floor problem. It was in the rear of the boat as well. He bought his from Dans southside though, used. You wouldnt believe the stuff they tried to pull on him. Its been a year and they havent even sent the title yet. But that is another topic.
By the way, how good of a Muskie lake would Ottertail make, thad be fun. Limited out on eyes on saturday....

Scott Savre
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#2204766 - 02/26/10 08:17 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: 10,000 Casts]
MuskieJunkie Offline
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1394
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Thanks 10,000, good info.

My dad ran a '96 Crestliner for 12 years with the same type of use except he would park it in a covered marina (shaded and covered but not tucked right under the cover) where it would sit for a week or 2 and he never had an issue with the floor.

- Brian
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#2204995 - 02/26/10 11:30 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: MuskieJunkie]
10,000 Casts Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 2366
Loc: Virginia
ya, the next boat I buy will have as little wood as possible if any...

and OT would grow some of the biggest fish in the country! good luck with that one though...

John






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#2205019 - 02/26/10 11:54 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: 10,000 Casts]
HorseshoeChain Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 84
Loc: MN
I run a 18' tiller Lund Explorer 1800. I love it.
It's got Lunds' highest grade hull- the same one as the Pro-V.
It's wide, stable, and has a TON of wide open space to chase a big fish around the boat without stepping on a rod or getting one one of my 10 billion! lures in my foot.
It had a pretty good amount of casting deck space for a "walleye" boat, but I built in extra storage/casting deck space. The rod locker will hold a rod up to 8'2". I'm going to look into cutting the front wall of the locker out, to make it longer.
This boat is basically the Pro-V without some of what RK called "foo-foo" stuff. Because of that, it has WAY,WAY more room than a Pro-V of the same size.
I bought mine brand new 2 years ago. Unfortunately, 2007 was the last year they made them, and I bought the LAST new one in the whole state!
It was replaced with the Pro Guide. Everywhere I went, they tried to sell me the Pro Guide. It has the same set up as my Explorer, but at all lengths, it is several inches narrower. -NOT an improvement in my mind.

I fish a lot of big water in big wind, and this boat handles well. Glass boats do "soften" the ride some, but aluminums are lighter and cheaper. Also, I don't worry much about getting a few scratches.
If you want an aluminum boat and can find one of these, I think you'd be pretty happy.
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#2206447 - 02/27/10 10:25 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: HorseshoeChain]
guideman Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 04/16/00
Posts: 3276
Loc: Tower, Lake Vermilion
My back-up boat is a 93' sport fish single consel Crestliner.
I guided out of it full time for 14 years. It was and still is, one of the easiest boats to control in the wind that I ever owned.

It rides very dry as long as you don't try to go to fast in big waves. I fished several Walleye tournaments on the great lakes with this boat and never felt like it wasn't capable of handling big water.

Even now, when I have had to use it because my main rig is in the shop for something. I still get comments about how comfortable and fishable this boat is. If you rig them right you will get the performance that you want.

"Ace"

Terry "Ace" Sjoberg.
Lake Vermilion.
Muskies and More.

It's just fishing man!
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#2210075 - 03/03/10 10:50 AM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: guideman]
Musky Buck Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 4526
Loc: MN
I cruise an 2007 1660 Tiller Classic with a 60 4 stroke merc. Seems about right with a fairly heavy duty trailer.
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#2210194 - 03/03/10 12:15 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: 10,000 Casts]
RK Offline
HotSpotOutdoors Pro Staff

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 3159
Loc: St. Paul MN USA
Originally Posted By: 10,000 Casts
ya, the next boat I buy will have as little wood as possible if any...

and OT would grow some of the biggest fish in the country! good luck with that one though...


One of the things I like most about my Tundra - not a stick of wood in it. Nada.
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#2210567 - 03/03/10 06:07 PM
Re: Best all around Musky Boat? [Re: RK]
propster Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 1040
Loc: Cannon Falls, MN
Musky Buck, what color is your ride? We'll keep a lookout for ya.
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