Advice on a first boat

 Hi Guys, joined a while back when I was just starting to fish although dont join in I read a lot. Great Forum.

So now iv been going out with a few friends on their boats, all around 6 - 7m in length, perfect for shooting across to Rotto. Now I have a bit of a bug and want to get my own boat.  I have a few questions I cant get answers from google.

A bit of info on what I expect, I have decided on a half cab, protection from the elements, somewhere to store things dry possible sleep overs with the misses, I can’t afford the lovely 7m boats iv been on so im looking at 5-5.5m. Pacemakers have my attention. Now as I live in east freo the boat will mostly be on the river, and taking down to mandurah. I know they will be great for that but will they take me to rotto? (tagging along with experienced mates who know the ocean fairly well) I seen the convoy has a 5m min so am I right in assuming they deem that a safe size to go over and therefore good enough for my needs?


Now a question about the pacemakers. Iv seen ads that say 16ft, 17ft and 18ft. Tried searching for this but cant find deffinate answers on if the pacemakers had these 3 different, but same looking, molds. I assumed that they would of only had 1 mold around that size, and then another for larger 21ft and so on, or did they actually have 3 molds a foot apart in size?

How do they handle chop?

how do they handle when stationary ( do they rock'n'roll more than anyother type or are they solid)?

Aaaaaaaand finally, are any of these owners on here, and has anyone any positives, negatives, recommendations about the following:


Thanks Guys, hope I will see some of you out there sometime!





clogwog's picture

Posts: 265

Date Joined: 01/02/11

Hey mate, I have a pacemaker

Wed, 2014-12-31 05:22

Hey mate, I have a pacemaker trendsetter 18 footer, we have had the boat in our family for over 40 years. They are a great solid hull that performs well in the ocean, I have taken mine to Rottnest twice in the last week, I noticed yesterday another 3 pacemakers trendsetters also fishing the Southside of rotto.

They handle chop extremely well, the hull prefers going across the wave rather then straight into it, I have a 90 hp on the back and it pushes the boat at approx 60 km/hr at wot, it cruises comfortable in rougher seas at 3400 rpm and 35 km/hr. The only thing that I can say negatives is that when running across the waves it can throw up a wave that slaps you in the face, a good set of clears will sort this out though, they are a pretty dry boat though, I run mine as an open runabout.

They have a deep v which in turn creates a little rock when stationary but again pretty good though due to the weight of the hull.

 I believe that they made the spectre 16 foot, the trendsetter 18 in runaboat and half cabin, the 21 footer and also a 23 footer. Someone may be able to clarify on the 23 footer.

i have taken my boat up north and driven it from denham to steep point, from monkey Mia to Cape Peron and it has performed well on all occasions, the 90 hp pushes it along well and best of all makes it an affordable boat to run. The hull and trailer can also be towed easily.

i have thought about upgrading but cannot see the point in spending 50k on another boat. Find yourself a good hull with a newer motor, you will be very happy with your choice. Good luck with it.

Just checked the adds, I like both pacemakers listed, the one in Byford is in original condition and will

allow you to thoroughly check it over, the only issue is the boats you are looking at have pretty old motors that may come with issues, be prepared to have to re power which will set you back 10 -15 k on a new motor.

Posts: 10

Date Joined: 14/01/13

Thanks for the great reply

Tue, 2015-01-06 12:26

Thanks for the reply mate! I’ve been busy with the festive season.

Your review was exactly what I was searching for. So as far as you know they only made a 16ft, 18 ft and then bigger, this means the people stating 17 foot could be measuring the 16/18 wrong?

I’m glad you commented on the 90hp because that was another thing I was researching, what hp motor is necessary to tackle some sea and maybe pull a biscuit in the river. So seems a 60hp would be underpowered for a 5.5m boat, 90 seems a decent size?


The misses gets back from the UK in a week so I am preparing a shortlist to show her to convince it’s what she wants :)


So far I have in mind:

The "17ft"?? pacemaker

looks nice - Just because it’s had a bit or refurb work (but i could be blinded by shiny paint and a bit of clean marine carpet), comes with a few new things (INCLUDING CUP HOLDERS!), mercury blackmax 135hp motor is an old girl so that’s a bit of putting - but I know nothing so maybe the age doesn’t matter (mechanical check may indicate its good/bad)


Voyager LTD (size not indicated)

I really like the look of this boat too, nice front section (bow?) for the misses to on, dangle feet, bathe etc and should be larger inside maybe to spend the night?? owner claims the engine was rebuilt 2 years ago and runs very well - Johnson 115 age unknown - again this concerns me.


and third is

Chivers Thunderbird MK5

This isn’t the prettiest of the 3, but is the cheapest and has a inboard 2008 135hp mercruiser TKS with power steering. Now not knowing much, the year of the engine to me sounds the best (newer is better?) but it seems strange that its so cheap with such a new motor? other than aesthetics it seems a good size boat for me.


If anyone has opinions on the three would be great. are the engines on 1 and 2 areas of concern and should consider replacing?? 

I’m going to view the Voyager LTD either today/tomorrow as its close by work - anything I should be asking for-looking for that I may not think of? Ill ask for receipts of work etc look for cracks/fractures, engine movement, spongy floor


mjohns's picture

Posts: 337

Date Joined: 11/01/07

Tue, 2015-01-06 16:25

My dad has just put his swiftcraft explorer up for sale

Ashen's picture

Posts: 1042

Date Joined: 22/03/13

 You should really consider a

Tue, 2015-01-06 16:37

 You should really consider a Voyager LTD. I owned one with a 150hp johnson motor. Extremely versatile boat that is quite stable at rest. The ride is also very good!  When I buy a boat again i will seriously consider another LTD or its bigger brother/sister, the Marquis.

Good luck, and choose well!


A fish in the hand is worth 10 in the water!

Posts: 10

Date Joined: 14/01/13

 Thanks for the heads up.

Tue, 2015-01-06 21:53

 Thanks for the heads up. thats good to hear because i really like the look of the LTD too. Is the cab big enough for the misses and i to spend the night in? I'm going to check it out this week so ill soon see for myself. 

Ashen's picture

Posts: 1042

Date Joined: 22/03/13

Sleeping in the cabin might

Tue, 2015-01-06 22:36

Sleeping in the cabin might be abit of a squeeze depending on how big/tall you are. 

The LTD is 18.6ft or 5.5 metres. The LTD that you are looking at has been on gumtree for a couple of months so theres room for haggling on price!

The motor is an old school 90degree johnson. If you think the boat and trailer are in good nick and you buy it at a good price, i would suggest you sell the motor and replace it with something newer.


A fish in the hand is worth 10 in the water!

glastronomic's picture

Posts: 892

Date Joined: 16/02/11

My opinion on the 3 First 2

Tue, 2015-01-06 16:41

My opinion on the 3
First 2 with egg beaters from the 1980ish, The engines are not worth anything and are sadly to old!
Corrosion has taken place over 30+ years!
The 3th one is also an old boat and has to be propperly inspected to see what condition the hull, engine and trailer are in.
The inboard engine needs to be inspected and looked at by an expert but a better chance that it could be OK and serviceable.

So, buyer be aware what you are buying as repairing or putting a replacement engine in or a new trailer makes a "Cheap" boat a very expensive boat.




Posts: 10

Date Joined: 14/01/13

thanks for your opinion

Tue, 2015-01-06 22:26

 Thanks mate. Yeah i feared what you say, that they are all too old and cheap. Maybe I should look at the best hull and the cost of a relatively newish outboard to be installed and factor all that into the price. 

So generally the motors are too old to be considered even with a good serviced life.

Posts: 5776

Date Joined: 18/01/12

maybe not

Tue, 2015-01-06 23:40

maybe not

Just factor in the cost of a good used 4 stroke motor and if the 2 stroke gives you a few years, BONUS!


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


glastronomic's picture

Posts: 892

Date Joined: 16/02/11

2 area's where it can cost

Wed, 2015-01-07 06:46

2 area's where it can cost much more than the $$ paid for these boats.
1, engines; to renew engines on a craft like that factor in $16000 by the time you move again with a new replacement.
2, Hull; if the deck,hull or transom needs to be repaired bar doing it yourself, you are looking @ $10000 for it to be redone and put back.
Similar figure if the old trailer has got the rust cancer in it and is not road worthy.
Buying the boat is the cheap part, making it to your standard and maintain it so it does not give you (major)trouble is the expensive part.
The electronics is another item that can be a bonus or a money trap.
Unless you do not want the the "good" stuff.
Good luck finding a decent boat that is what you want it to be.
They are out there but hard to find and most of the time not a bargain at the first instance.

To determine for yourself the value, you need to look what you are going to pay for to get it as you want.
If the hull is sound and the motor 30 years old then the hull is what determines the value, and you factor in the $$ to be spend by YOU at a later date to go fishing!
then throw in the trailer value and the auxiliaries like electronics, fittings and other bits that are of value.

Remember all this is second hand value.
Some of these boats are past their resurrection, you over capitalise by throwing all the extra $$ at it unless you see the value in having it and willing to pay and live with it.




Posts: 10

Date Joined: 14/01/13

 Thanks again for your

Wed, 2015-01-07 16:53

 Thanks again for your advice... this is not as easy as buying a car haha 


I would obviously get it checked out by a qualified marine mech so I had confidence in the hull, but I guess you can never tell if the motor decides to give way on the next run and leave me stranded. So could all cost up to +20k if the motor blows on me in a month or two


Maybe I need to reassess the situation and my boating future as 10k was the budget at the moment really... maybe a kayak for now 

Paul H's picture

Posts: 2104

Date Joined: 18/01/07

Have you considered a tinnie

Wed, 2015-01-07 17:10

Have you considered a tinnie around 4-5m mark would fit your budget better and better than a kayak. pretty hardy and easy to launch/drag away on trips and as long as you get a half decent motor.

Also easy to do add ons such as a floor,storage if you get a open tinny


Youtube Channel  -  FishOnLine Productions

Posts: 10

Date Joined: 14/01/13

Hi Paul

Thu, 2015-01-08 10:12

I have considered a tinnie, I have been out and about a few times on mates tinnies. They are good but I know that I (read misses) would want that little bit extra comfort that a 17-18ft fiberglass offers - small cabin at the front, ability to have front clears for a bit of wind/spray protection, possibility to head to rotto, have a couple of people on board more comfortably. 

There is currently a 2008 130hp Evinrude Etech with 87hours, gauges and harnesses -workshop test on gumtree

It could be worth considering that if I can get the Voyager LTD at a good price and the hull is in good shape too...maybe I will see if the bank (misses) would stretch the dollars that little bit more.


glastronomic's picture

Posts: 892

Date Joined: 16/02/11

Looks like that is Hi Tech

Thu, 2015-01-08 11:35

Looks like that is Hi Tech marine where these pics were taken.




Posts: 10

Date Joined: 14/01/13

 The address is Uppill place,

Thu, 2015-01-08 11:59

 The address is Uppill place, Wangara so you are probably right.