Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Best Bay Boats For The Money

Aluminum Fishing Boats: Starweld 16 Fusion Dc

Buying a Bay Boat? Top Contender for the $Money$ – SEAPRO 248

Aluminum boats are like the ATVs of the boating world. Theyre rugged, versatile, compact, easy to transport, and easy to afford. Theyre also an excellent choice for people who have light-duty tow vehicles, thanks to their relatively light weight.

So, let’s say you want a 16-footer that has rear seating so you can comfortably take the entire family fishing, but you also want a boat with an aft casting deck? The Starweld 16 Fusion DC does the trick, with aft jump seats that span the boats beam but fold down so you can also stand and cast from an elevated position. It also has some startlingly capable integrated fishing accessories, like a whopping-big 30-gallon livewell with a bait bucket, a Humminbird Helix 5 GPS fishfinder, and a locking rod stowage box.

Starting MSRP with a Mercury 50 FourStoke is a mere $24,457, however, even with all these goodies onboard. Added bonus: At 184 sitting on a trailer, this boat is garage-ready and easy to store right at home.

Cabin Cruisers: Jeanneau Nc 795

Cabin cruisers naturally tend to be larger and more expensive than many other types of boats, but that doesnt mean theyre out of reach for people who considers overnight cruising the ultimate family adventure. In fact, consider all the expenses youd incur if you paid for all the gear, vehicles, lodging, and supplies to go on a trip to some exciting new place every weekend, all summer long. Then visit our Boat Loan Calculator and plug in the cost of a relatively affordable cabin cruiser, like the $80,750 Jeanneau NC 795. You might be surprised to learn that you could actually do more for the dollar, by buying the boat.

Visit Jeanneau to learn more.

Nauticstar 215 Xts Sb

With a sticker price of $46,227, the NauticStar 215 XTS SB is unique among its peers. The SB in the model name denotes that this boat has a tunnel in the hull for shallow-running abilities. Plus, with a standard 150 HP outboard on the transom it has plenty of power. The forward casting deck is unusually extensive with side wings stretching back to the front of the console, and from a fishability standpoint this boat is top-notch.

In fact, the list of standard fishing features is off-the-charts comprehensive: rodboxes for stowing up to 10 rods in organizers, an insulated bow fishbox, livewells both forward and aft, cast net/bucket stowage under one aft jump seat and tackle stowage under the other, two flush-mount gunwale rodholders, under-gunwale rodracks, six vertical console rodholders, and a leaning post with 94-quart Igloo cooler.

Visit NauticStar to learn more.

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From Sport Boats To Pontoons These Boats Are Sure To Please

Trying to find the best boats for families can be a challenge, as the industry is chock full of different models to suit different needs. To help you on your way, weve put together a list of 10 of our favorites.

Boating is all about family time and making memories on the water. But with a market full of hard-core fishing boats and tournament-level wakeboard rigs, it can be tough finding versatile family boats that can do it all. Here are 10 of the best boats for families.

Lead photo by YanLev/Shutterstock.com

Sylvan 820 Mirage Cruise

5 Best Bay Boats for the Money (Updated January 2021)

If you are an avid reader of this website you will know that I have an affinity towards Sylvan pontoon boats ever since I saw them at the Denver Boat Show a couple of years ago. I am still a huge fan of the boats. One of the main reasons why I like them so much is because they look and feel like a higher end boat, such as a Bennington, but their price point is a little easier on the pocket books! The Sylvan 820 Cruise is a great example of this. The Cruise Series from Sylvan I believe is their value series but when you look at all of the standard features that come with them such as plush furniture, bimini top, stereo, rear ladder, and cool color scheme, then it starts to feel like their value series is on part with other manufacturers high end series.

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Bowriders: Regal 1900 Es

As one of the most versatile, do-everything designs around, bowriders attract a lot of first-time boat-buyers. That means theres a long list of boatbuilders who make bowriders, and theyre available in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Youll want to do lots of comparison shopping before deciding which specific make or model is ideal for your needs, but if your budget comes in at $30,000 or under, one youll surely want to look at is the Regal 1900 ES. It can hold the entire family plus some friends and can be used for everything from watersports to day cruising.

Lowe Ultra 162 Fish N Cruise

The Lowe Ultra 162 Fish N Cruise also makes the mark in this category and is equally good. Lowe Boats has a similar story to Sun Tracker they have been around for 50 years now and they sell a lot of boats. One of their niches is providing a value package pontoon boat called the Ultra Series geared toward people just starting boating who is looking for a high quality pontoon boat at a great value. The Ultra is advertised as a value boat but looking at how many features they include and how comfortable the seating and layout looks it really feels like one of the best boats you can buy for the money in the $15,000 and under group.

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Find Your Perfect Bay Boats

Bay boats are medium-sized, trailerable vessels generally used for time-honored pursuits such as freshwater and saltwater fishing. They have a rich legacy as vessels that are sought-after due to their shallow draft and average beam, traits that make these vessels exceptionally great for freshwater and saltwater fishing. The average number of people that can be accommodated onboard bay boats listed is 8 passengers, with a maximum capacity of 14 guests and crew. Models with more power can hold motors up to 895 horsepower, while the most modest models may have as little as 70 horsepower engines on them .

Of the 356 bay boats for sale on YachtWorld currently, there are 202 new vessels and 154 used and custom yachts listed by professional brokerages mainly in the following countries: United States and Mexico. Over the past 30 days, there have been 78 bay boats listed for sale on YachtWorld. The average length of these boats is 24 feet, while they vary in size from 17 feet long for the shortest, to 35 feet for the longest listed vessel. They are assembled by a wide variety of yacht building companies and their hull types include modified vee, deep vee, flat, sea-V2 and other designs.

Wellcraft 221 Bay Boat

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The first vessel to resurface on our radar is the Wellcraft 221 Bay Boat. Like most southern-style boats, it boasts raised casting platforms, a low profile, low draft, and high performance, making it a perfect vessel for light tackle casting.

The boats design suits live fishers and not amateurs who, in most cases, incline more to crossover models. And the live well in the aft deck proves that. Its inside is baby-blue, can hold up to 34 gallons, and includes a timer and a light. This is quite different from other half-measure bay boats that would probably have a white interior, a 20-gallon capacity with no timer or light.

Rod holders in this bay boat also showcase the vessels fishy attitude. The T-top has four holders, four more behind the boats leaning pole, another four in the gunwales, with the console having six more vertical holders. Under the gunwales are rod racks that feature padding inserts to prevent your reels from banging against fiberglass in-wales.

Another selling point of the Wellcraft 221 Bay is the console and helm layout. Lining the top are lighted toggle switches with breakers, and theres enough room to flush mount electronics such as large MFDs.

Overall, the console is slender, which translates to a tight head compartment. However, that also translates to more fishing space. Its transom then incorporates an Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboard engine able to reach over 50 mph at full throttle and still get 2.5 mpg, which is quite impressive.

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Sailfish 2100 Bay Boat

The Sailfish 2100BB is for you if you want the most powerful 21-foot bay boat on the market. This boat is adaptable, inshore or offshore, to both fresh and saltwater elements. With characteristics such as wide front and rear casting decks, 14-rod holders, various storage locations, and the capability of three live wells, 2100BB is the dream of an angler. To meet and exceed your standards, the 2100BB could be configured to suit different helmet seating styles.


2003 Sailfish 2100 Bay BoatSpecifications


It has the ideal layout. In big water, the aggressive 18-degree hull deadrise makes a soft ride. On all cylinders, the motor has great compression.



Bay Boats/flats Boats: Mako 18 Lts

Saltwater fishing is popular just about anywhere theres a coastline, and anglers who ply bays, inshore waters, and back-country flats love their bay boats and flats boats. If youve been looking at offerings in this genre youve probably noticed theres a very wide range of pricing, which is often related to the size of the boat. But an 18-footer like the Mako 18 LTS can still be had for well under the $30,000 mark. And note that although its relatively small and inexpensive, this boat can carry five passengers and has plenty of features ranging from flush-mount vertical rodholders, to an 18-gallon livewell, to cockpit courtesy lighting.

Visit MAKO to learn more.

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Quick Tips: How To Narrow Down The Search

I have provided you with five of the best boats for shallow water, including four different types of boats. However, as you are sure about moving forward with your boat purchase, then I recommend you stop and ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the intended use for your boat?
  • Do you plan on carrying passengers?
  • How vital are maneuverability and relative ease of operation?
  • Does your boat need to be capable of carrying lots of gear and equipment ?
  • Do you want cabin space for overnighters and camping trips?
  • What are the associated storage, towing, and operation costs of a bigger vs. smaller boat ?
  • What can you afford?
  • There’s A Big Difference Between Cost And Value We Spotlight The Boats That Give You The Biggest Bang For Your Buck

    5 Best Bay Boats for the Money (Updated January 2021)

    If you’ve been boat shopping lately, then you know it’s hard to sort through the huge range of runabouts, the copious crop of center-consoles, and the plentiful packs of pontoons. It’s even harder to determine the ones that are merely cheap and the gems that represent real value. Never fear, dear boater. We’re here to help. In this issue, we’ll break down trailer boats into four basic classes: bowriders/runabouts, watersports boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats. Then we’ll identify top values in four different price categories: those costing less than $15,000, those less than $25,000, those less than $50,000, and those less than $100,000. We’ll be sure to provide some boat-shopping insights along the way as well as tease you with you some additional options to dream about, too. Ready? Let’s look at some of the best buys for boaters.

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    Key West 186 Bay Reef

    The Key West 186 Bay Reef boat is in excellent condition. Yamaha F115 fuel injected with 225 4-stroke, initial hours, recent operation, impeller, thermostat, upper oil and filter, lower gear lube unit, filter for internal fuel. The precautionary timing belt was replaced just because ten years had passed. This has a new Yamaha Water Separator Spin. Yamaha K 16 stainless steel prop and aluminum spare prop for high elevation lakes where I live. The boat has 80 lb. and is wired for a bow trolling engine.

    Windshield and grab bar, deluxe reversible backrest cushioned cooler bench, Bimini top, broad live well, wash down device, pop-up cleats, rod holders, 4 charger batteries , two more one house and one starting, add a battery transfer, 2 tinned wire gauge from the motor to the center console. The boat has a top speed of 39mph and gets 5+ mpg!


    2006 Key West 186 Bay ReefSpecifications


    It offers a super dry and soft ride.



    Carolina Skiff 162 Jls

    While one could technically argue that the Carolina Skiff 162 JLS is a skiff, it surely qualifies as a bay boat, too, thanks to fore and aft casting decks and a six-inch draft. And with a starting price of $18,972 theres no argument about this boats affordability. Fishing features on the stock model include six console rodholders, an 18-gallon livewell, trolling motor pre-rigging, inwale rodracks, and pedestal-mount fishing seats.

    Note that unlike older Carolina Skiff J-series boats this is a fully-linered model, which looks a lot sharper than the historic spackle-finish interior seen on un-linered boats.

    Visit Carolina Skiff to learn more.

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    Top 5 Best Boats For Shallow Water

    You need to find a boat that can handle and maneuver smoothly in shallow water conditions. The chances are that you are an avid outdoorsman and serious angler chasing the flats for some game fish.

    If that sounds like you, then youve made it to the right place. This article will help match the most appropriate Jon boat, Skiffs, Flats boat, or Bay boat to your intended shallow water use.

    Cuddy Cabins: Rinker 22mtx

    Florida Sportsman Best Boat – 24â to 26â Bay Boats

    If you like the idea of having a boat with a cabin and spending nights or weekends aboard is an option you desirebut spending big bucks on a yacht is nota cuddy cabin will likely prove ideal. Cuddies have all the basics you need like a berth to sleep on, basic restroom facilities, and sometimes even a compact galley , but theyre still small and simple enough to keep pricing down at reasonable levels. Just whats reasonable?

    While cabin boats do tend to cost a bit more than open models, some like the Rinker 22MTX will cost less than many nice cars . Yet boats like this come fully-equipped with everything you need for memory-making mini-vacations.

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    Landau 212 Island Breeze

    Landaus pontoon boats are another manufacturer that I got to check out in person at the Denver Boat Show a couple of years ago and I was super impressed with how comfortable their boats felt. It seems like the Landau 212 Island Breeze is a floating patio party on the lake, especially if you choose their sport rear lounge option. It is a pretty standard 20 x 8.5 boat but look at all of the seating that is offered! The Landau Island Breeze is a great option if you like to have your friends out on the water for a nice sunset cruise or similar because it is the perfect cruising boat. There is a rear fish option as well with a built in cleaning table and the Island Breeze comes with great standard features such as a bimini top, ladder, rear storage compartment, speaker system that are bluetooth ready, and heavy duty pontoons.

    Chittum Islamorada 18 Legacy Edition

    by Chris Riley Updated on January 4, 2022. In Boats

    Contrary to what you may think, flats boats are not necessarily flat-bottomed boats. Their name has nothing to do with the shape of their hull, but more about where they run.

    Flats boats, which are sometimes called skiffs, are designed for fishing in shallow water flats. Their unique setup allows them to cruise through water thats just 14 inches deep or less.

    Most skiffs measure anywhere between 15 and 25 feet in length and are usually outfitted with an outboard motor, although they are light enough to be pushed forward with a pole.

    Since these vessels are mainly designed for fishing, most of them come with a front casting deck and an aft poling deck to allow one individual to cast a line while the other pushes the boat forward with a pole.

    So, what are the best flats boats, and how do you choose the best one? Heres everything you need to know about them.

    The Maverick 18 HPX-V is one of the most versatile high-performance flats boats weve come across, bar-none. It is designed to navigate skinny shallow waters, as well as tough choppier areas in even the windiest of conditions. And it does it with amazing grace and elegance.

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    Ranking The Best Bay Boats Of 2022

    by Chris Riley Updated on January 4, 2022. In Boats

    Bay boats and flat-bottomed boats all have the same mission to take you to hard-to-reach fishing areas that have shallow waters. But, unlike flatboats, bays cant be propelled by oars or poles if you want a super-stealthy approach.

    Plus, theyre usually much larger and have a deeper V in their hulls, which allows them to navigate the open waters of the ocean in the appropriate conditions.

    A bay boat is essentially a hybrid a cross between a shallow-draft and a deep-draft vessel. It can cruise through shallow waters, and the stability to withstand deeper areas with choppier waters.

    Some are even designed for water sports, like skiing and tubing.

    So, what are the best bay boats, and how do you choose the best one? Heres everything you need to know.

    If youre looking for a high-performance forward-seating bay boat thats capable of handling both inshore and offshore water, then youll like what the Scout 251 XSS brings to the table.

    Its prominent bow, hull design, and 13-inch draft make it perfect for backwater fishing, as well as cutting through choppy offshore waves without getting you wet in the process.

    Standard features of the XSS include a high-performance leaning post that comes equipped with rod holders, lockable rod storage, an anchor locker, trim tabs, and a transom ladder. It truly is the best bay boat weve come across so far.

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