I don't see anything wrong with Tracker boats. I will tell you that the more expensive boats like Triton seem to have more creature comforts and it seems that the attention to detail is better. Tracker was some of the first "package deal" boats you could buy in the days of yore. I've never heard anything bad about them. They are a good buy for the money. If you have shopped around you'll see that feature for feature, they are kind of hard to beat for what you pay for them.
I bought an '04 PT 175 in Graphite last August and fish it hard any chance I get. It was my first boat after years of renting and I love it. Should have taken it out this morning but after these storms I figured it would only be a joy ride on the boat. Nothing bad to say about the boat itself but I will say the dealer you buy/service it from makes the difference. If you have bought any other recreational vehicles then you should know what to expect as far as service goes thereafter. For a first boat, I would say it fits the bill, although I know my next boat will definitely be a step up for more creature comforts and "Power" (I just can't help it, my other addiction) I live in Akron and made an attempt to buy at Buckeye Sports Center before buying the boat in Columbus at Paul's Marine. Like I said, the dealer makes the difference. I somewhat upgraded to a 25HP BigFoot 4 Stroke with PT in order to be able to fish Atwood and had them put a Minn Kota Anchor Mate on it. As I begin to fish Mosquito even moreso than Atwood, I am seriously thinking about trading that 25HP in for a 60HP 4 Stroke with PT. Boat actually planes with that Big Foot but I am in the need for more speed!! LOL
if you need/want the power always get to within 75% of the max hp rating. the boat package is inexpensive because of the underpowered boat. i had a 17.5 lowe w/a 40 hp that was just about useless on lake erie unless i was by myself. you will never regret more power than you need.
I bought a Pro Team 175 SE in 2000 from Paul's Marine. They took very good care of me. I have yet to have a complaint with them. Tracker boats are made to be good first boats or boats that are used by the "weekend" fisherman. I guess I fit into that category so my Tracker works just fine for me. I put a 50 hp on mine. It moves pretty good but I'm no speed freak.
If all you want is a weekend boat, then tracker will do. I've had mine for 11 years now and it's finally wearing out. Got the 16ft deep vee. I've had to replace both fenders twice already as they aren't made to last long. 3 winches and 3 sets of boards on the trailer, new set of lights and wiring, and now the right fender bracket has broken off. The rivets on the boat have broken off and leak severly. I've inquired about that problem with no response from tracker. So if all you want is a weekend boat, then tracker will do. THE ONLY TIME YOU WONT BE WORKING ON IT IS THE WEEKEND.
i bought a pro 165 in 98 never had any problames out of it id say get the bigest moter u can tho i fished it 4 days a week for the first 5 years moter and boat did great if its your first boat take a long look at what u fish for and how the boat meets those needs
Just a note to all!!! I purchased my 18' Tracker Tundra from Pauls Marine. You would think when you buy a boat and spend the money I did, you could expect better treatment than I have. I have owned the boat for two years now and they still can't seem to get the darn thing propped correctly. Their latest efforts left me 300 plus miles away at lake barclay with a prop that wouldn't even get the boat on plane. They gave me a prop for a small gear case instead of the large one my 150 hp Merc has. My only choice was to putt, putt around the lake for the weekend or buy a new prop down there at the lake. When I returned, Pauls wasn't sympathetic to the fact I had to buy a prop due to their service. VACATION RUINED!!! I have tried for two years to refrain from badmouthing these folks at Pauls where I bought the boat, but the truth is what it is. I could relate a whole lot of horror stories about this dealership and the way they have treated me, so if anyone is interested, PM me and I will share more than just this ranting and raving. I told Jerry (owner) himself that his lack of service for me would cost him dearly as I would spread hate and discontent to everyone over the way I have been treated to the tune of far more moneys than it would cost them to make me a happy customer, but they don't seem to care. You would think that spending $25 thousand on a boat would get you at least some sympathetic response from the vendor, but nooooooooooo! Obviously, I am not happy with Pauls Marine and they way they have treated me. I have a co-worker I sent up looking for a boat and they got bad treatment right away before they bought. I only wish I had a way to send them a copy of this. My first public outcry over the poor treatment, but all can rest assured that the many people I know in this world will know and understand they don't take care of their customers.
if your going to be around this weekend come on over by the house and ill show you all the things that I found with mine that i dont like about the tracker. most of the things i dont like about the boat are cosmetic or convieniences that i would rather have. as far as the quality and construction i dont really have too many complaints. bring the pup over and we'll turn them loose in the back yard and we can talk boats and drink a few cold ones. wanna go fishing, ill see if rainbow dave gordon wants to go and we can have a hoot of a time, just like the last time....
I had a 95 TX17 with no problems. I didn't keep it long before upgrading though. General opinion is that if you are going to spend that kind of cash for a new one, you're better off getting a gently used fiberglass rig. Usually more power, better ride, and you won't have to worry about depreciation.
This is going to be long. DC Fisher, I would buy my boat from Paul's Marine. I would buy it from Fred though. I don't know who Creek Floater dealt with besides the owner at Paul's Marine and I certainly believe and understand what he is saying as I've had some similar dealings with Buckeye Sports Center up here and other motorcycle dealerships in the area but Fred will treat you right. I will say that I have a customer who deals with the same guy at BSC and he told me that the guy was great but you do have to tell him what you want and not to let him get over on you. Well I had already been doing that in a polite manner and I still couldn't get the right kind of service from anyone in there. So I think everyone has their own experience with any individual, especially, for some reason, when it comes to recreational vehicles. I could tell a really, really long story regarding the purchase of my boat involving numerous phone calls to BPS in Cincinnati, Paul's Marine, BPS in Detroit, and one other dealer I cannot remember at the moment before I bought it over the phone trusting Fred's genuine description, as there were no brochures or pictures on the internet at the time, but that would be worse than this already long sentence. I will say that I did not buy the boat from either BPS because the BPS in Cincinnati lied and tried to sell me an 03 Pro Crappie 175 when I was looking for an 03 Silver Anniversary edition PT175 at a higher price than Fred gave me on the 04 PT175, and the BPS in Detroit could not have the boat "prepped" and ready by Saturday for me to pick it up(4 days later at a higher price than the 04 from Fred) Fred was the second person I talked to and actually encouraged me to try and find an 03 at a cheaper price and gave me a name at the BPS in Detroit as well. I called him back after trying very hard and picked it up that Saturday. As I said in an earlier post I have, er had been thinking of trading my 25HP 4-stroke BF in on a 60HP 4-stroke EFI and decided to do it. On Monday, I called Norton Marine b/c I have heard and read good things about them, spoke with a guy named Don, who I must say seemed to be a really nice guy and very helpful for someone just calling over the phone, and got a price of $5k, which was around what I expected. I called Fred on Wednesday as I had completely forgotten about trying them till my chick mentioned a trip she wants me to take to Columbus and he gave me a price of $4770 without even knowing what Norton Marine had quoted me and said they could do it in one day--could pick it up in the afternoon if I got it there in the morning whenever I wanted to do it.
As for the boat itself, I have heard a lot of horror stories about people with the older models and leaks from the rivets but I sure do see a lot, and I mean, a lot of them still out on the water for some reason. It is not laid out like your higher end model boats but they only cost about the price of the motors on some of those higher end boats. LOL The newer models have all welded hulls with no rivets and my boat is the smoothest riding aluminum boat I've ridden in ever and I'm not just saying that cause it's mine. Others who have fished with me have said that without me saying a word. By the way, I was out right at the causeway on Mosquito this past Sunday in those 1-2 footers someone was writing about in an earlier post with no problem. Certainly wasn't the best fishing day or conditions and boat control was surely an issue, but I remember thinking about how well the PT175 was handling while trolling at 1.8 MPH and riding back at my top speed of 22.6 MPH that day. I'm sure I will have my problems over the years but for a first boat I can't complain. As a matter of fact, after I get this engine switched out and depending on how it does, I might decide to "rough it" for many, many more years than I planned. If I do have it longer than expected, it is gonna be a real durability test for Tracker and Mercury as I am known to "lose" the honey do list, race to the lake anywhere between 45-70 MPH and stay out longer than anticipated, trolling for Saugeyes or Walleyes and completely forgetting about my beloved Largemouth, my chick, and my dog. Then race back home anywhere between 45-70MPH for some reason. Sometimes, I look down and I've gotten up to 80MPH
So, I guess what I'm saying is Tracker boats aren't the "Yugo of boats" as Mr. Creosote put it on a post from the other site but they aren't the "Bentley of boats" either. They're more like the "Cavalier of boats", or the "Civic of boats" (we'll see), or the "Saturn of boats". Yep, I think that's it, the "Saturn of boats". After I become a good enough angler to own one, and get tired of playing around with this 60HP on an aluminum 17 footer, I already got my eyes on some type of 18-21 foot Skeeter somethin'. First, I gotta get back to how this hobbie became an addiction, those fiesty Bass. Nothing like those Largemouths, except a Smallmouth that is. Those Eyes and trolling have somehow bit me in the hiney!!
CreekFloater, I feel for ya as I know how it feels to drop some serious coin on something and get treated like a stepchild. As a matter of fact, I read your post earlier at work and went to mercurymarine.com to use their prop selector and get an idea of what should be going on my new motor. Thanks for posting your experience, and I'm serious than a heartattack on that one.
DaleM, I know from your posts you seem to be a wise one and I envy your trips to Canada. Maybe going into the BPS store in Cincy would have made a difference in price but I couldn't drive all that way and take the chance of them not having what I wanted.
Thanks for reading and sorry to be so long...worded, I guess.
sowbelly: sounds like a plan. did you get my e-mail?
fishingaddict: thanks for taking the time to respond. I was at Paul's on Tues. and talked with a guy named Randy. I'm not totally sold on the Tracker yet,but from some of the other boats I have looked at the PT 175 has some nice features.
Although I have not been happy with Pauls Marine, I can honestly say the reason I ended up at Pauls was because when I bought my boat, BPS really wasn't much help to me. Granted, when I boat my Tundra, it was the first year it was made, but the folks at BPS didn't have any literature, didn't know the product and frankly treated me like I was stupid for some of the questions I asked. Even if I am not the brightest bulb in the pack, a customer should be treated more appropriately. I too, have had a few minor, cosmestic issues with my Tracker, but over all, my boat looks good, fishes fine and has been mistaken for being a fiberglass boat because of the lines. That is not something I saw with most aluminums. At the time, the offered the most boat for the moneys with the most equipment. I think it comes down to whether you have had a bad experience or not. They sell an alwful lot of boats for them to be as bad as some would portray. Anybody who wants is welcome to check mine out to see what they think.
i hear ya. you would think when you are spending over 20 grand on something you would receive decent treatment and a good product. i had a similar experience with buckeye sports up here in akron. bought a nx 882 with a 150 merc from them last year and when we went to pick it up the boat had mud all over it and rust on the wheels. they didnt even have a pin or lock for the latch on the trailer to hook it up to the ball. in addition the throttle wasnt hooked up correctly. we trailered down to alum to take it out to break in. we got on the water, started it up fine, and when we went to put in forward it didnt go! anway...we discovered just skip the salesman and the owner and go straight to the mechanic there now. buckeye does have a great mechanic. but i will never buy another boat from them.
CreekFloater, I was going to mention you had a really nice boat in my other post, but it was already long enough. I even told my girlfriend, before I decided it was gonna be a Skeeter for other reasons, that my next boat would be the bass boat version of that Tundra or the Tundra itself. I forget the name of it, but, I remember they had two versions of those molded aluminum puppies. I am sure yours gets mistaken for a fiberglass boat a lot as I thought they were at first until I remembered whose website I was looking at. I even had a couple old friends arguing in the parking lot at Atwood one day over whether mine was fiberglass or aluminum. I had seen, spoken to, and fished around one of them many times and he knew for sure it was aluminum but his friend wouldn't believe him till he asked me himself, and mine only has the painted graphite sides.
UDBasser thanks for posting your experience with BSC as I had thought for a moment of going there to have my motor switched out before I remembered Fred, even though I knew it would be frustrating. Now, I will never make any major purchases from there. I'll tell ya, fishing sites are good for all kinds of information as a bonus to information on one of the best hobbies in the world.
dont leave it sitting outside, i know where you live. after that joke about the canoe trip ill be keepin an eye on whats sitting outside and come over with my cordless drill an install some hull vents for ya......
I had a TX17 for 8 years, sold it to a buddy and he has had it for 2 more. No issues with the boat. The motor did give me problems once, took it to Hern Marine in Cincy and got the complete shaft. Lost a whole season of fishing and then they tried to sabotage it to create other issue. I will not even go into Hern to buy any thing. BPS\Tracker did not help, but the Mercury people did.
If anyone is looking to buy a boat from Hern Marine, run as quick as possible to some other dealer. They are crooks and snakes in the grass.