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Super Bass-O-Matic '76
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Looking at used boats - originally thought I might want a small center console or larger aluminum fishing boat, but I'm also considering a couple of Fish and Ski boats like the mid-2000's Skeeter 190 SL and Stratos 486 SF. Here's the rub ...

Criteria:
  • Needs to haul 4 people easily.
  • Should be fishing friendly.
  • Must be easily towable - prefer less than 2500 lbs total weight (loaded, incl. trailer).
  • Would like it to be able to fit in my garage. (Note: I have an alcove on one side of the garage that extends the length by 4-5 feet).
  • Needs to be able to handle Lake Erie on a fairly easy day (think: 2 foot chop). (I'm not walleye fishing in 4 footers ... too old for that.)
  • Needs to be shallower draft for use on inland lakes.
  • Would like enough power to get it to 35 mph so that I can possibly tow a tube or skier. A 40hp motor isn't going to get this done.
  • Want an outboard motor - no I/O's please. Don't have a preference between 2 and 4 stroke.
  • Budget is $20k tops - but remember I'm considering mostly used models. Would prefer something in the $10-$14k range.
I've been looking primarily at 16-18 foot center consoles (Triumph, Trophy, Sea Hunt, etc.) or 17-19 foot aluminum fishing boats (Lund, Crestliner, Alumacraft, etc.), but wondered if a Fish and Ski might be OK for most fair weather days on Lake Erie?

Does anyone have any experiences on the big water with an ~18 ft. fish and ski model similar to those I mentioned above? I'm an experienced boater, but my worry is the lack of freeboard and transom height on the fish and skis might make things dicey while sitting/trolling, encountering large wakes, or when the wind/weather kicks up.

Thanks in advance for your input!
1ME
 

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I have an old Seanymph 195 Great Lakes Special. The pic is to my left. Shallow draft, super high side boards, and very light. Mine has a 70HP Evinrude and it flat gets it, however one doesn't need that speed on Erie. Most of the time you must take a controled cruise in. (waves?)
For Erie, i run a 14 pitch prop for power, but you can pick up a 17 pitch for the speed on inland lakes. How i do it anyways. Good luck, i hope you find what your looking for.

If you get something with a Rude, i believe i have an extra 17 pitch prop that i would be more than happy to give you.
 

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Ohio State Alumni 05'
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I have an old Seanymph 195 Great Lakes Special. The pic is to my left. Shallow draft, super high side boards, and very light. Mine has a 70HP Evinrude and it flat gets it, however one doesn't need that speed on Erie. Most of the time you must take a controled cruise in. (waves?)
For Erie, i run a 14 pitch prop for power, but you can pick up a 17 pitch for the speed on inland lakes. How i do it anyways. Good luck, i hope you find what your looking for.

If you get something with a Rude, i believe i have an extra 17 pitch prop that i would be more than happy to give you.
I purchased a 19' 94 four winns fish/ski outboard model that I would take out perching on 2' or less days. It had a custom canvas bow cover just for that purpose. We would anchor from the bow, put the cover on and fish off the stern. You have to pick your days and realize your Erie speed in rough weather will be limited to how much of a beating you want to take. If it ever got too sloppy, we took it easy, tilted the trim up and rode home slowly with the bow up. Pay attention to the front end of the boats and make sure they have a good dead rise. A fair number of fish/ski boats look like a giant spoon in front.
 

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On the back 9 and loving it!
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I have an old Seanymph 195 Great Lakes Special. The pic is to my left. Shallow draft, super high side boards, and very light. Mine has a 70HP Evinrude and it flat gets it, however one doesn't need that speed on Erie. Most of the time you must take a controled cruise in. (waves?)
For Erie, i run a 14 pitch prop for power, but you can pick up a 17 pitch for the speed on inland lakes. How i do it anyways. Good luck, i hope you find what your looking for.

If you get something with a Rude, i believe i have an extra 17 pitch prop that i would be more than happy to give you.
My buddy had a fiberglass deep V with a 90 OB that he took to Eire, and his buddy had a newer 18 deep V with a 75 that had all kind of flotation foam packed into it. It bobbed like a cork! When the waves get close to 3' on Erie you can't run fast unless you have something really big, heavy, and powerful! You can get a smaller boat on plane for a while, then those 3 random waves will hit you and slow you right down! A controlled cruise in is your only way, which is why you have to keep such a sharp eye on the weather. The weather moves faster than you can!
 

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I have an old Seanymph 195 Great Lakes Special. The pic is to my left. Shallow draft, super high side boards, and very light. Mine has a 70HP Evinrude and it flat gets it, however one doesn't need that speed on Erie. Most of the time you must take a controled cruise in. (waves?)
For Erie, i run a 14 pitch prop for power, but you can pick up a 17 pitch for the speed on inland lakes. How i do it anyways. Good luck, i hope you find what your looking for.

If you get something with a Rude, i believe i have an extra 17 pitch prop that i would be more than happy to give you.
Does your boat do good on Erie I have the same hull I believe mine is a 195 fish n ski Sea Nymph I would like to come to Erie one of these days but have no experiance up there but Im running a 13.75 x15 prop which is to small because im taching 6100 so I GOT A 13X19 TO TRY OUT I have a 115 Johnson on mine I bought with a blown 88hp it had the 13x19 on it
 

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I have a Lund 1750 Tyee that I've fished Erie out of for a long time. We've skied, tubed, and done all the things you say are important to you. You can fish 4, but I prefer to take the back seats out and put one up front and fish 3. Lots more room that way with room for coolers. Mine has a 90hp outboard and will run 35 with way too much gear in it. Also have a 10hp kicker to troll with and an electric motor for inland lakes. I've said many times that the Lund will take bigger water than I want to be out on. It has cushions up front or you can take them out and put an insert in for a pedestal. Live well up front too. I've never found anything I liked better, so I'll keep it!
 

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Personally, I'd go with a 17-19 aluminum deep v of whatever boat manufacturer you prefer.
FWIW, my boat does everything you're looking for.
You don't need to hit 35-40 MPH to water ski.
I'd also favor fishing at the expense of water skiing. Tubing is easy. You'll likely be shocked at how little you or your family water ski.
You also need to be a realist as to how much gear you can store on a 17-19 foot boat, even a new one. Rod lockers have displaced ski storage as of late.....for good reason.
No boat can do EVERYTHING. You need to find a boat that will do what YOU realistically want to do.
p.s. - new four strokes are SO quiet.
 

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I've done quite a few days on erie near the islands on my brothers bass boat. He had a 17' alum with a 60hp. This year a 18' fiberglass with a 150hp. I would watch every forecast in advance and choose our days. Never a problem. Got rough a couple times but never any concerns. Yes we always wear PFDs while motoring the self inflating kinds.
 

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Does your boat do good on Erie I have the same hull I believe mine is a 195 fish n ski Sea Nymph I would like to come to Erie one of these days but have no experiance up there but Im running a 13.75 x15 prop which is to small because im taching 6100 so I GOT A 13X19 TO TRY OUT I have a 115 Johnson on mine I bought with a blown 88hp it had the 13x19 on it
It does just fine as i'm sure yours will. Just pay attention to what i and all these other guys refer to. Don't expect to get on top of 3 footers, aluminum will beat the hell out of you. Take a slower controlled ride in and negotiate the waves properly and you'll have no problems. Hopefully.....

I don't know about that 19 pitch, slimdaddy. I think you will loose too much emergency power, if you have to get up and go in a hurry. I think your better off with the 13.75.
These fellas here on this site know way more about boats than i.
What do you guys think?
 

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Like Berkshirepresident said..... 35 MPH isn't needed to ski or tube. In fact, for our tastes that is way too fast. Mine planes up nicely at about 18 MPH and we often kept it around 20 to tow. I just use the tie down eyes. The trick is getting on plane quickly to tow a tube or a skier. Enough motor and the right prop helps. The days you can run 35 on Erie are far and few between. If you get an open bow, make sure you have a cover for the bow. It isn't often needed, but if the waves get big quick, you'll be glad you have it.
 

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Like Berkshirepresident said..... 35 MPH isn't needed to ski or tube. In fact, for our tastes that is way too fast. Mine planes up nicely at about 18 MPH and we often kept it around 20 to tow. I just use the tie down eyes. The trick is getting on plane quickly to tow a tube or a skier. Enough motor and the right prop helps. The days you can run 35 on Erie are far and few between. If you get an open bow, make sure you have a cover for the bow. It isn't often needed, but if the waves get big quick, you'll be glad you have it.
I fished the western basin for a couple of yrs in a 16' boat. never got into trouble with it. just pick your days and you'll be ok.

I have a 21' glass open bow and i've been in 4' or 5' waves and the only time i've had any waves break over the bow was when we was going in. for the most part you control the water by going slow.
sherman
 

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HeWhoDiesWithTheMostToysWins
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Looking at used boats - originally thought I might want a small center console or larger aluminum fishing boat, but I'm also considering a couple of Fish and Ski boats like the mid-2000's Skeeter 190 SL and Stratos 486 SF. Here's the rub ...

Criteria:
  • Needs to haul 4 people easily.



I just made up a list for a friend of mine,,,,, of very nice 'fishing' boats that are FOR SALE, & FOR THE RIGHT PRICE,,, some of them look like $diesels$.
. i saved the list in an email.
IF YOU LIKE,,, send me a PM with your email, & I'll pass the list to you.

3 or 4 of the boats are exactly like $diesels$ boat,,, his pictured boat CHECKS just about all of your boxes, & is still light enough to tow around & store easily.


Now my .02,,,, after that's being said,,,, & why I said it,,,,
I bought my little 16' Mirrowcraft Lake Fisherman in '80. It's kinda wide, NOT DEEP,,, & it has an ENCLOSED BOW. (very important in my mind ) It only has a 40hp merc on it.
"IT IS the bare minimum for Erie,,, but I have no problem on the right day".
I taught both of my kids to ski with it,,, at Mosquito or inside of the Bula walls. It will NOT tow a raft or tube.
It will not do over 3'ers.
If you fish often enough,,,, You Will need a boat that can handle OVER 3'ers! Be it Erie,,, OR Mosquito.
Your list is right on.

Every year, I see or hear about those 'unsinkable' BASS & or ski boats getting ROLLED or SWAMPED up Erie. (lol,,, Erie 'GO-FAST-BOATS',,, I call them 'FLYING COFFINS'! ;>)
Just saying,,,,,,,,,,,, From experience.
 

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Remember tho,even tho you might not be able to go fast in bigger waves. It's still nice to have that power in the bigger waves... imo get the biggest motor what ever boat you decide on allows.
Good luck with your next boat!
great advice on getting more power. if you start small it wont be long until you want to upgrade to another bigger motor. so start with the bigger motor. if you need more power and don't have it then you want bigger it costs a lot more to upgrade. but if you need more its nice to already have it.
sherman
 

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I have the same boat as $diesel$ and love it
is great on erie big enough to get you in in any weather and waves
yet light enough to trailer easy and don't need a 4x4 to pull it.
use mine on erie, lake Ontario and various inland lakes...
fish and ski styles are a great all around boat...
I like the sea nymph and starcraft models the best, they are very deep and have a motor well with a high gunwale all the way around so its not as easy to take a wave thru the transom area.
 

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Also use it at Portage lakes.
Perhaps the ultimate boat challenge in NE Ohio: the need to handle Lake Erie but still have a shallow enough draft to make it through the Iron Channel at PLX. :)
 
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