Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

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Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby fezmomasher » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:40 pm

I've read all the threads here on boat/motor selection and was wondering if someone could help me a make a judgement call on a motor for an 18' MV of some sort. Imagine I'll spend a good chunk of time on the snake so is it worth saving 2 grand to jump down to the 60/40 yamaha or will I be pretty underpowered.

Also - Any thoughts on whether it makes sense to try to jump into something a little bigger boat to do some salmon and steelhead fishing? I'm willing to be a little picky and watch the water levels, but it would be nice to be able to get out and do that a time or two a year if I wanted but have no idea how much I'd need to jump up in boat to be able to do that.

Really appreciate the help. Stoked to get out there; Arkansas is overrated. Love to get out there with some of you next fall.
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby birdhntr » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:31 pm

Are you looking at a till steer or a console boat? Weight is the killer so if you plan on 4 guys, decoys, dog etc... for an 18' I wouldn't go less than a 90hp especially if you want to go salmon fishing with it. I run a 115hp on my 18' center console and take it salmon fishing every year regardless of flow. I've had guys in those big thunderjets stop and check my boat out a few times as in heavy current they have a hard time anchoring. I don't run any rapids but there is no reason you can't take an 18' jet sled on the salmon if you stay out of the serious whitewater. As far as the Snake a 60/40 will work for a light till steer boat but with any weight you run the risk of not getting up on plane fast enough and constantly picking weeds out of the pump because of it.

As you will find when you get here there is no perfect boat for all the things you want to do but you pick what your main priorities are and figure out what will work best for most situations.
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:06 pm

I run a 'big' 14' with a 50 hp Merc tiller & jet foot .
I have yet to run it with two big guys and a 87 lb Lab, dekes and guns on a hunt, but it pushes two 230 lb guys up the Snake just fine at 25 MPH when fishing.
Dog's full grown now, so I'll test him out in it this summer.
Don't know if I'll need the boat this fall tho, got the sweetest little honey hole I can drive to within 20 feet of the blind in the truck, ..........but ya never know.
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby mtncntrykid » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:08 pm

Used to run a 18ft Lowes Flat bottom with a 90/65 Merc and 2 guys a dog and decoys, it would run plane ok. Put another guy and head upstream and your going to fight to get there but you can do it. 4 guys, no plane. The snake has been running pretty high the last couple duck seasons so current has been pretty stout. Here the snake "averages" 7 mph but high water in spots can run double digits. It is better to have the power and not need it than it is to need it and not have it.
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby blackrock » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:59 pm

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fez congrats on your decision to move to such an awesome state! As you pointed out, there are a lot of threads on here debating this point. Its interesting to discuss though. As birdhntr and I have posted, there is no ideal boat for all waters and circumstances out here. If you are living in southern Idaho, it pretty much means a jet boat unless you are mostly a water skier. There are a lot of kinds of jet boats that can run the Snake. Here's what I have. A lot of guys run what is basically a bass boat, like my Tracker, all welded green MVJon boat with a modified, beefed up transom to hold the jet at the right height. These can be tiller steer or a console. Advantages are light weight, relatively low cost and drab color. Disadvantages are long term durability, low sides and getting pounded on waves (like all jet boats). I would definitely recommend getting at least a 90/65 jet on an 18 foot boat, no matter the design underpowered jet boats blow. The big Thunder Jet is an awesome salmon, steelhead, big water party barge, but its not cool to get it stuck! As discussed you can definitely run most parts of the big Idaho rivers in an 18 foot sled, as long as you use your head and realize the limitations. Here I am referring to a real jet sled, like a Wooldridge or any of the other fine northwest style sleds. These are boats that are designed to be jet boats, thicker bottoms, better stringers and a transom designed to hold a big jet. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for. If I was just going to have one boat, and I might, this is the way I would go. Some will say these are not duck boats, but my experience in Idaho is that my jet boat gets me and a ton of crap to where I'm going to hunt. See the overloaded Tracker. The birds will see your boat, whether its green or silver. You just leave it a little ways away from where you hunt. I don't have much use for a boat blind out here, so that is not a consideration for me. I'm also interested in the Phowler boats. My suggestion is to ride in some when you get here, insist on test driving what ever you look at, with a load. Any of the boat dealers will allow this if you insist. Don't be afraid to buy a good used boat. Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby blackrock » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:01 pm

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Heres the pics that didn't load.
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby blackrock » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:04 pm

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Heres an example of a deluxe sled......
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby fezmomasher » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:41 pm

Thank you everyone so much for your help!!! Having done 4 moves in the past 10 years and searching for the same type of info, you guys have been more helpful than anywhere else!

Sounds like the decision is between a big jet sled and more of a jon boat. Given that a few salmon and steelhead trips a year would probably satisfy me as a "fishing is the next best thing to hunting" type of guy it may be more cost effective to hire a guide to do that stuff and go with something similar to blackduck's setup.

Anyone have any recommendations for boat dealers to talk to? On the off chance anyone bumps into a decent used boat I'm happy to chip $100 for a referral:)
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby blackrock » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:36 pm

fez, its definitely more cost effective to get the Jon boat converted for jet use . This is a pretty good time of year to start looking, as guys sell them after duck season. Won't take your 100 bucks but if I see one I'll send you a pm. Late summer, early fall may be the worst time. You may even be able to get a screaming deal on a hull and trailer back there, more Jon boats around. Then you could bring it out here and have the transom reinforced and put a jet pump outboard on it. Just get a good all welded one, no riveted hull. I would think about an 1860 anyway. There are some that are supposed to be tougher than others, I hear Sea Arks and G3 are good. Tracker gets a few knocks for poor welds. I would still call that guy named Paul at Phowler and see what he can do for you on a real duck boat before you buy a Jon. He says he can set them up for jets too. Might not be that much more, especially if you keep it basic. A few websites like boat trader or something like that too. River Rat Marine in Idaho Fall. Don't really know the Boise ones anymore. The motor with jet may be more expensive than the hull.
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby whiskerbiscuit » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:29 pm

Bigger the better as far as power goes.
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Re: Boat Purchase - Moving to Boise

Postby HaydenHunter » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:58 am

I have a Phowler with a mud motor hanging off the back. Great boat, and the owner of Phowler, Paul Willging is a straight shooting guy.
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