By Steve Graf
Last week we broke down five tips on what to look for when buying a bass boat. This week we’ll take it even further from bow to stern. As I stated last week, boat shows will mostly be held in-house at the dealerships rather than the traditional boat shows with all dealers in one location; of course, this is all due to Covid 19 protocol we’re still dealing with. So, let’s continue and finish what we started.
1. Don’t under power the boat….Make sure you put whatever size motor that the boat is rated for. Nothing is worse than getting to lake with a boat that under performs because you put a motor on it that will not allow the boat to perform at its peak level. If it calls for a 250 hp. motor put that on the boat. It’s not worth the aggravation just to save a little money. You’ll be much happier when the boat performs like you thought it would when you purchased it. Also, it makes it a little more difficult to a sell a boat that does not have the size motor the boat is rated for.
2. Trolling motor….. this is one of the most overlooked features when buying a boat. All trolling motors are not created equal! Again, make sure you get a trolling motor that will pull the boat through heavy cover and over stumps. Nothing is more aggravating than getting in back water and staying hung up because your trolling motor isn’t strong enough. You also need to decide if you want hand control or foot control. Both have their advantages. But the one feature that has revolutionized fishing is the new “spot lock” feature that Minn Kota has. This just might be the best new feature that’s happened in the last ten years. Spot lock allows you to set up on a deep-water hole or brush top without touching the trolling motor even during a heavy wind. I won’t have another trolling motor without this feature.
3. Good insulated live wells with good aerators. This is very important when it comes to making sure your catch stays alive and keeps fish in good condition for release after the weigh-in. Insulated live wells will help keep the water at a consistent temperature and allows the angler to control the environment while keeping fish comfortable and alive.
4. Accessories….this is what makes a boat a great. For me the following items are a must. Good electronics (Garmin, Lowrance or Hummingbird) you can’t go wrong with any one brand. They all have some features better than the other. An on board 3 bank charger is a must. A “Hot Foot” just makes good sense in terms of safety and making the boat perform at its peak. Rod tie downs, these will ensure that your rod and reels stay in the boat. Lighted locker boxes are a necessity for me and really come in handy. Minn Kota Talon shallow water anchor system, this is another great accessory that comes in real handy when docking or fishing for bedding fish. You’ll be amazed how handy this accessory is.
5. When is the best time to buy a boat? In the past, boat shows have been the best place to buy a new boat. Mainly because, at no time during the year will you be able to get a better deal than at the boat show. Dealers are in the mood to make deals in order to help pay for the floor space their leasing at the show. They know that buyers are in the mood to purchase now that hunting season is over. More deals are usually made at boat shows than any other time of the year. But this year will be different as boat shows are canceled and dealers do in-houseboat shows instead. You’ll be able to get a great deal as dealers look to save some money by not having to purchase floor space for a boat show. There should also be special financing available for the length of time dealers decide to do their in-houseboat show.
6. Is it a good idea to buy a team boat? This is a question I get a lot. Here’s my opinion: If you’re buying from a local dealer, most will have a group of anglers that they have as “Team guys” who take a boat and use it for a year. At the end of the year, they are required to sell the boat at a discounted price. This can be one of the best ways to get into a top-quality boat at a good price. You can save several hundred and, in some cases,, thousands of dollars depending on the make and model. These boats have been well taken care of and in most cases, they have had the kinks worked out and the motors have been broken in properly. These boats have been pampered and serviced properly and are usually in fantastic shape at the end of the one-year period. Some dealers will even allow you to come in a pre-purchase a team boat and take possession at the end of the one-year period and you get all the discounts as well. But be prepared to make a deposit on the boat in order to finalize the purchase if you decide on buying a team boat.
I hope these boat buying tips have helped you! Buying a new bass boat can be a major purchase and, in some cases, will cost more than the truck pulling it. But if I had to give you one more piece of advice, get what you want and don’t settle for something you won’t be happy with. This usually occurs when people try to save a few dollars and buy a boat with too small a motor instead of the motor it’s rated for. Major mistake!!! Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook! Make sure to tune into the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show every Wednesday live from 11:00 till 1:00 and Saturday mornings from 6:00 till 8:00 on AM 1130 The Tiger KWKH or go to our Facebook page or You Tube Channel.
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