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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
all-

fished last yr on the lake in my Lowe 165 Fishing Machine....had a blast. am looking to upgrade a few feet to sneak on a 3rd adult....the 165 just seemed to work best with 2 of us...

LUND vs Alumacraft...any suggestions? these are the 2 brands i saw the most, and seemed to be the sharpest aluminum boats on the lake.
 

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Flip a coin..... then go look at Starcraft......

Budget? Length? Erie only or will it be used lots of other places?

Buy the boat that has the interior layout you like best.....

If you want an aluminum boat to fish Erie a 196 Fishmaster is hard to beat.
 

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Hehe... Really? Ford vs Chevy....
I have a Lund, I bought it as it has a decent reputation and most importantly it fits my needs and is set up in a fashion that works for me and my fishing style.
If you are buying new don’t sell yourself short, lots of other good brands out there. I would look hard at Starcrafts, Rangers and the other Popular brand names.
As you already had a boat I’m sure you understand the importance of having it rigged the way you want. I have not had any experience buying at boat at Vic’s but have heard nothing but good about them. Knox Marine has done a great job servicing my boat.

It’s really tough to make any recommendations without knowing how serious you are about fishing, your budget, what species you target, do you fish inland and on and on and on.

At any rate, have fun picking it out. Don’t be in a hurry and find someone that will take care of you after the sale as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
appreciate the feedback. Lake Erie, mostly. Never had a need to go anywhere else last year, if the weather was crap, just stayed home. i will look into the starcrafts, is it because the price? value? what sold you on the 196?
 

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appreciate the feedback. Lake Erie, mostly. Never had a need to go anywhere else last year, if the weather was crap, just stayed home. i will look into the starcrafts, is it because the price? value? what sold you on the 196?
PROS
High sides (31" interior depth)
easy access to transom area for netting fish (no raised platform to balance on in 3 footers),
rides well in choppy waters for an aluminum boat.
can fish 4 people easily, 5 can be done

CONS
rod storage sucks
its light weight and high sides make it apain in the butt to get it on the trailer on very windy days


Had mine for almost 6 years now - don't regret it one bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Deep sides and fishing 4 would be great.. Reason to upgrade is to be able to take more than 2 adults that are comfortable in the 165 I have.
 

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I believe you can have your choice of engines on the StarCraft? Whereas your Lunds and Alumacrafts will be married to a certain brand. Those new Crestliners are darn nice too, you might want to add those to your list
 

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All of the aluminum boats have been upgraded over the last 10 to 15 years. I used to sell Crestliners and the all welded hull is very nice. The biggest thing you want in having more room in a boat is wideness. How wide the boat is has a lot to do with having room. Also how the inside is designed. A boat can have a wide beam, but the inside design has the sides coming in toward the middle of the floor taking up floor space. You want sides that come straight down with maybe a side deck for rod storage of regular storage. Something you can stand on to fish or sit on as well. I would go with a 98" to 104" beam if you want to fit 4 adults comfortably.
Lund, Alumacraft, Crestliner, StarCraft and even tracker all have really good boats now. I believe that the Trackers have an all welded hull now as well. I believe in the welded hull, they normally have a longer warranty with them. At least they did back when I sold them in 2000.
You could buy an 185 size boat with a 100" beam and have really good room. And you could buy a 20' boat with only a 90" beam and feel like there is no room at all in it. I would say the beam width is the most important part to having a good aluminum boat on lake erie. And also the heavier the boat the better as well. It will allow stability in the water. I have an Alumacraft 185 and have been in 6' to 7' waves in it. Got caught out of Geneva 10 miles out with it. Not at anytime did I feel like I was in any trouble. You just have to learn how to drive a boat in rougher waves. It was only 2' waves when I went out. Sometimes you just get caught when the weather guys get it totally wrong. lol
 

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DammitDave
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I agree with GottaGoFishn. Ford vs. Chevy. I've had 3 Alumacrafts over the last 30 years and now have a Lund Tyee 1800. While I liked my Alumacrafts, I love my Tyee! I also agree with Man64. Get the "layout" you like best!!!

If you're going to use it primarily for trolling, a larger back area with smaller front deck makes sense. If you're going to be casting a bunch, you probably want a larger front deck...

I think storage is great in the Tyee! 10 rods in center floor and each side can easily hold another 5-6 rods each, all in lockable storage. Plus there's lots of other storage. Also love the jump seats in the back.

Also, my 18 footer gets by great with a 24 volt trolling motor. I'm guessing for a bigger boat, you would want/need a 36 volt. - More money for trolling motor and batteries plus storage taken up by another 12 volt battery.

Trailer might also be something to consider. To get my boat in my 2 1/2 car garage and off to the side, I need to push it in by hand. I wouldn't be able to do that with a tandem axle trailer. So a bigger boat might need a tandem. My 18' Tyee works great with single axle.

Lund has a bunch of different layouts; "for me", the Tyee is the best! Good Luck!

DammitDave
 

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I bought a Alumncraft Trophy 18 new in 1992. Never had the urge to look at another new boat since. As mentioned nice high sides that I appreciate a lot now that I am in my golden years, ha ha. The one thing I would encourage you to compare all the boats you are looking at is the "capacity rating plates". Capacity matters-lots of pretty great things about all the new ones, layout, storage etc. but some of them may surprise you on that front. I too was once out in a big blow out of Geneva....still puckered 20 yrs. later
 

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I will say again. Buy the layout you like best.

I purchased a Starweld 18 Pro from Vic's a few years ago and really like it. I had an Alumacraft Competitor 165 prior to this......in my opinion there is not a comparison. The Starweld planes easier and rides better, but it is also a bigger boat with more HP.

I would have liked to purchase the 20 foot boat but it wouldn't fit in my garage.

I liked the high sides and the way the height is maintained all the way around. That to me was one of the biggest selling points to me..... I have a 10 year old son with Down Syndrome., I was afraid of him falling out of the boat with my Alumacraft. I reccomend this style of cockpit area if you will fish Erie almost exclusively, but you will hate it if you want a rear casting deck....

A big thing you need to do us decide on budget.

Do you want new or used?

I would look at as many different boats that you can.....don't get in a hurry, but when you find the layout you like at a price you are willing to pay- buy the boat. Worry more about the layout and your own budget more than the boat brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
New VS used is another different hurdle.. It seems like most warranties are best for original owner, that some dont transfer to the 2nd buyer. Looking into that as well
 

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If you can afford a new Lund... check out the 2075 Tyee Magnum, it has a better interior layout for big water fishing (my opinion)
As to an Alumacraft, they're owned by BRP - BombardierRecreationalProducts so Etec will be the motor factory paired to the Alumacraft, their 20' Trophy model is nice, but less storage than the Tyee Magnum. "My" thing about the Etec,, it trolls without needing a kicker.
 
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