my first boat

hi all,

i soon will be in the market for my first boat. ive been doing a little research and dont really know what im doing. i would like a boat for fishing and general leisure and im willing to spend about 20k. my problem is i see some larger boat like leeder cabin cruisers wich would be nice but im guessing the running cost and repair bills would be unacceptable so ive looked at smaller boats like 1998 HAINES SIGNATURE 520C. im also undecided on fiberglass or aliminum and types of engines good or bad plus running costs and up-keep. Basically im asking what i need to consider when buying and what to stay clear of, plus is it better to buy from a privet deal or a boat yard.

thanks in advance for any infomation

Posts: 2925

Date Joined: 27/12/06


Sun, 2012-11-25 10:35

in general yes the bigger the boat and motor the more $$ when things need servicing or repairs plus running costs.

are you keen to get right out offshore or happy with inshore  and river trips? this is a major factor

do you want to beach launch? or offroad alot? if so ali would be a much better option for this

what car are you going to tow it with? ali/glass

as for private or commercial sales generally you get some sort of warranty from a shop but in both cases it could be well worth getting an independant pre purchase inspection done.

commercial sales you may pay a little bit more also but in the end most people hang onto boats for quite a while so its better to get something you will be happy with regardless where it comes from

gone fishin's picture

Posts: 95

Date Joined: 09/02/10

um yer would like to get off

Sun, 2012-11-25 10:51

um yer would like to get off shore like out back rotto and boat launch suites me, usaully offroading=beach fishing dont wanna take away from that, im my car is a 2001 jeep cherokee 4ltr and the pros and cons of ali/glass are hard to weigh up for eg ride over weight or style over robust basically i like fiberglass for the ride and style but ali for its light weight and durabilty and as for yards vs privet i would agree with you so i think you made my mind there cheers lol. ive seen some older hulls from the 90s paired up with new engines at resonable prices my guess is because the age of the hull but from what ive read the hulls of that time were pretty good. um yer like i said so much to consider

Posts: 9

Date Joined: 03/01/11


Sun, 2012-11-25 19:02

Also depends on what you're primary use is. I'm in the market for a centre console, having fished in one (for a few years) before I know the benefits. They're often not as kind to the passenger or easy to ride in but when hooked into a big fish they can be make or break!

Olliej's picture

Posts: 155

Date Joined: 27/08/12

Do the math to see what you

Sat, 2012-12-01 17:45

Do the math to see what you can afford including when things don't go well and use that to inform what you buy. Factor in trailer maintenance, insurances, rego, servicing, fuel etc as it adds up.

If you're wanting to do it on the cheap a smaller ali with a small late model etec/4 stroke would be better. If you can afford the on costs a circa 5.5m - 6m fibreglass with decent horses is going to be a far more useful tool.

The 90's signatures are ment to be a good hull. Two guys I know swore by them one with a 1750LE and the other a 550BR, both made trips to rotto. Curiously both have since traded up to bigger setups.

As for private vs dealer. I never buy anything from dealers anymore. I'd rather find a genuine seller and have an independant inspection than deal with the blood suckers.




fish4dan's picture

Posts: 27

Date Joined: 29/04/12

My 2 cents

Sat, 2012-12-01 20:20

 My list of tips after 5 years on the water is:

  1. Cabins are overrated. Deck space is everything.
  2. Make sure you can stay dry. Enclosed wheelhouse if possible.
  3. Two small engines rather than one big engine. So you get home if one breaks.
  4. Buy something older but longer. Trade age for length. I'd want 6.5-7.0m minimum for offshore.
  5. You can never have enough storage space on board.
  6. Remember your EPIRB, GPS, Echosounder, PFD1s, ropes, anchor etc. will set you back $2k
  7. I agree that private sounds better, but it depends on the warranty and follow up offered.
  8. A boat is a money pit. It will always cost more than you expect - especially the annual outgoings.
  9. A live bait tank is worth it's weight in gold
  10. Get your VHF licence. Don't rely on 27 Meg radio
  11. Make sure you can reach the anchor so can recover it safely when it's fouled
  12. Buy a big bait board
gone fishin's picture

Posts: 95

Date Joined: 09/02/10

 Cheers for all the info it's

Wed, 2012-12-12 08:42

 Cheers for all the info it's been a big help specially last post a lot to think about will keep ya all posted on the out come

Posts: 2

Date Joined: 04/02/13

Aluminum Boat Guide

Fri, 2013-02-08 14:17

Recently one of my friend also bought a Aluminum Fishing Boat, he took help from Aluminum Boat Guide. They gives him each detail about budget, loan, maintenece and help him to choose the best Boat according to his needs!



MasterBruce's picture

Posts: 3

Date Joined: 03/06/13

Style and comfort matters!

Tue, 2013-06-04 16:39

I bought this AMM 7000. Designed to run shallow and tough enough to withstand hitting some rocks.


One of the best among aluminium plate boats:

LENGTH: 6.1M / 20FT – 10.0M / 33FT | LOA: 6.3M / 21FT – 10.50 / 35FT | HORSEPOWER: 140 - 700 HP

carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8650

Date Joined: 24/07/07


Tue, 2013-06-04 16:53

I learnt to drive a boat so I wouldn't hit any rocks

The_Wanderer's picture

Posts: 735

Date Joined: 24/09/08

 ahahahahaah Well Said

Tue, 2013-06-04 21:24

 ahahahahaah Well Said

Posts: 2946

Date Joined: 03/03/10

ali vs fiberglass

Tue, 2013-06-04 18:02

you are always going to get a softer ride out of a fiberglass boat when compared to an ali boat but in saying that my last 5 boats have all been ali and all but 1 have been centre consoles the earlier C/C were wet and you needed to put on spray dodgers but the way they are made these days they are heaps dryer (reverse chines ect ect) if you want a pure fishing boat get a C/C or a centre cab if you want family comfort and pretty good fish ability boat think about a bow rider you lose to much boat with a cabin cruiser but that is just my opinion P.S rockingham boating
are selling my old 2008 ali stacer bowrider for 27k I traded it on my latest boat it has all the fruit a 90 opti max on the back that has done 120hrs great for tubing and cruising with the family and great for heading out wide with some mates fishing

Mark Fogerty's picture

Posts: 13

Date Joined: 10/06/13

First Boat

Mon, 2013-06-10 14:53

 For what it's worth. Don't buy a cheap boat. It will only lead to tears! I have owned seven boats over the years. I sold them from time to time to fund Investment projects. 

I once bought a cheap boat when I couldn't afford a reasonable one and paid the price. A fried Yamaha cost me $7,600 to rebuild! A real ball buster for a so called cheap boat. If you do decide to buy a boat pay the money to get it independly checked out by a reputable boat mechanic and serveyer. A small upfront cost could save you thousands. In my case the so called reputable guy reccomended to me turned out to be a close friend of the seller who rebuilt the motor on the cheap! So unlike he led me to believe it was not covered by the dealer he worked for. Buyer beware but a good lesson to learn. Save you noney until you can afford a good boat.

All the best



 Boating Tragic!

psion's picture

Posts: 424

Date Joined: 15/05/12


Sat, 2013-06-22 12:18

Nice boat mate,

driving slower and buying a sounder may help to keep you off the rocks

Sea Hunter's picture

Posts: 148

Date Joined: 04/07/13


Tue, 2013-07-16 16:53

 Dont forget the option of importing. it could save you thousands and get you into a rig that you really want rather than settling.

As for the Ride, you can never underestimate the importance of a good ride, your boss wont care less if you are sore from being beaten to death on the ride home and if you are beaten and sore when you get to your fishing spot, it can make for a really hard day.