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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to buy a brand new 18’ deep V boat in the coming days for Erie. My budget is 30-40k, but open to better deals cheaper. I’m really interested in a Starcraft renegade 178 DC. I have also contemplated the cheaper side for a tracker targa. Let’s hear what you guys have or are believe are durable, well built, boats for the price.
 

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If it works well for what you need, cheaper can be better. I have no idea what your going to get for your budget brand new. Are Aluminum boats that much less expensive then a fiberglass? I think that for Erie, being the Old Man that I am, I want something that will give a smoother ride when Erie acts up. So that would be Heavier boat, so Im thinking Fiberglass. But, Im curious as to the outcome of your thread.
 

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I'm quite biased in that I've had aluminum hulls for going on 4 decades. I've been on Erie with both, the pros for aluminum far outweigh the cons. Let's face it there are very few times anyone pulls up to the ramp and fishes because he has a comparable sized glass boat rather than a tinnie. The higher sides of a starcraft provide a good bit of safety when it gets nasty out there. The high end glass boats may handle much better but I've seen guys run forward while trolling in a following sea when a Hawaii 5-0's sneak up behind them. I fish a 35 year old starcraft mariner and never give it a thought, it gets me out and back safely in stuff I have no business being out in. It's your dough buy what you feel your comfortable with, starcrafts are very good hulls. The newer ones are surely way better than what I have. I know a number of peeps that have the trackers and are quite happy with their boats too.
 

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I have a tracker pro guide deep v, only smaller and I am very pleased with it. I got caught in a storm one day and thought I'd have a rough time coming in, but it amazed me how well it done. They are welded now and much better than the older ones.
 

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Something you may want to think about too is wait time. I'm not sure how much of a rush you're in to get the boat on the water but I've heard multiple manufacturers have very long wait times and back logged orders to build depending on who you go with. If you're hoping to get it out this spring I would be sure to ask when looking, I've noticed even if not ordering there isn't much on the lots to look at.
Good luck in your search.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Something you may want to think about too is wait time. I'm not sure how much of a rush you're in to get the boat on the water but I've heard multiple manufacturers have very long wait times and back logged orders to build depending on who you go with. If you're hoping to get it out this spring I would be sure to ask when looking, I've noticed even if not ordering there isn't much on the lots to look at.
Good luck in your search.
That’s the problem I’ve been seeing. The wait time to have a manufacture get a boat is about 6 months or so. Looked at an alumacraft (was not a fan of them) but they advised me the quickest I could get one atleast from that dealership was about august or September. I’m heading to vics sports center to look at Starcrafts and probably Cabela’s later in the week to see if they have any targas on show
 

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Would do yourself a serious favor and really research some of the issues some various popular models of boats are having. There are a few popular models out there with 'listing' issues from the factory due to the way they are laid out...some others that overflow livewell water when running in choppy water.
Of course your dealer is not gonna get into those issues but there are boat forums chalked full of these issues.
Research well...
 

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Would do yourself a serious favor and really research some of the issues some various popular models of boats are having. There are a few popular models out there with 'listing' issues from the factory due to the way they are laid out...some others that overflow livewell water when running in choppy water.
Of course your dealer is not gonna get into those issues but there are boat forums chalked full of these issues.
Research well...
Great advice, I will say as someone who enjoys reading about boats and motors even though I likely won't switch out again anytime soon, with such access to large public forums you're going to see complaints from most manufacturers. Keep an eye out for the same issues popping up, it seems quality of fit and finish is a common complaint these days across the board for new aluminum boats.
I think looking at the less popular name brands may get you into a boat sooner and for less money. The starcrafts, G3, polarkrafts, maybe some of the crestliners could be better options for you.
 

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I have a crestliner authority I bought used off of here. In the short season I had it out in the fall I really liked it. It rides very well, seems fit and finish is good and compartments stay dry and is made for big water fishing but still family friendly. The boat shownis starting so you may be able to jump on an instock deal but you better be ready to go quick

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Save some money and buy a good used boat,there are a lot out there.I would get at least a 19' or bigger.I have been fishing out of my 19' Sea Nymph great lakes special for almost 30 years and never looked back.If I had to do it over I would have gotten one a little bigger.I would look at a Sea Nymph,Starcraft Islander,Sylvan,Lund,Crestliner....etc.The used boats usually come with all the gear,fish finder,radio,ship to shore,safety gear,and sometimes fishing tackle.30-40 thousand dollars can buy a very good used boat.
 

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I also agree used... I bought mine used on here in your price range with every option I would of loved to have for a fraction of the price. But you have to be ready to jump on it. Inseen it as soon as it was listed and committed and did a deposit the next day and several others were also interested.

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If you want a new 18' boat for Erie check out the Starweld 18 Fusion Pro.
 

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Have you checked out the Fusion? I like my Starweld Fusion 20 for Lake Erie fishing. Big deep cockpit, excellent stern with high sides and great access for netting fish. I installed 60" tracks for rod holders and eventually downriggers. Bought it last year from Town Marine at a great price, well worth the drive.
 

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Yes I checked it out, but I didn’t like the back end near the transom. The two seats were too narrow. What I liked about the victory 20 was that it has the bench seat that also folded down into the deck and front cushions on the front deck. More of a fish & ski that I can utilize with the family for boating or tubing when the ol lady wants to go out.
 

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The high wall across the stern on the Fusion is definitely not great for tubing/skiing and would be awkward to climb over. I believe the Fusion and Victory 20's are same hull. With my Yamaha F150, it goes a little over 45 mph (2 people plus T9.9 kicker, Terrova 80, four batteries total, some fishing gear, full tank of gas) so plenty power for water sports.. Good luck with victory!
 
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I should note that I have a port side list while under power on my Fusion which has been reported by others, but attributed primarily to130# kicker hanging off the stern on the port side so I'm planning to move some batteries toward the starboard side and install trim tabs eventually.
 
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