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Looking to buy boat

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We currently have 2 boats. I have a 19 ft Crestliner fish and ski boat (2002), which we use once a season when we take a 1-2 week annual fishing trip to Minnesota. We love the boat and it is paid, free and clear....not trading.

 

I also have a 2004, 1900 Galaxie Ultra with minimal hours....under 90 hrs.. it is a great "runabout", with a 5.0 Mercruiser (chevy 305 engine)... We love it, but would like to move into a little bigger boat. We have 2 kids (16 and 13) . We still owe about $3k on this boat. It great condition and have been offered 12k on trade..

 

Now that I have set the table with useless information, here is my delima... While looking to move up into a bigger runabout (which tend to get pretty expensive), we found that we really can't get anything we want for the price range that fits our budget. We don't want to finance anything more than 30k, so with the 12k trade, we can look at a boat with a tag of approx. 40k..

 

A lot of dealers have told us that if it weren't for their pontoon sales, that they would be out of business. I am talking BIG dealers in the Omaha and Lincoln area. I have never wanted or thought about a pontoon. Always viewed as the mini-van or retirement boat. But the more that I listen, research and read, I have found that most pontoons, especially the "tri-toons" are great for skiing, tubing, knee boarding, etc....along with being a great entertainment boat, seating 10-12 people.

 

Problem... I don't want to buy a boat without getting one on the water first. I am trying to find a dealer on water to go visit. We have looked and currently have a 22 ft. Bennington (cruise / fish) model spec'd out for us.

 

Does anyone on HB have a pontoon? If so, have you also had a runabout, and how do they compare? Looking for honest opinions, you aren't going to "burst my bubble" by telling me a 'toon is not the way to go. Thanks for the input.

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I wish I could help but I've never been on pontoons for tubing or skiing. I've been on a couple Benningtons and they're really nice but we didn't push them at all as we were just out for leisurely cruises. I think Valley may have a small pond to test something out, but I think all they carry are Sun Tracker and South Bay pontoons and I don't think their pond is big enough to haul ass with a pontoon or to do any meaningful testing.

 

There are some dealers in Wisconsin and Minnesota that will let you lake test a boat, but I'm guessing you don't want to go that far. 19' is a pretty good sized boat, so if you're looking to go bigger, good luck getting a new boat. They run a lot higher than pontoons and a 20' will push past your budget no problem. You get a lot more for your money with a Pontoon so you're probably on the right path based on what you've said. Sorry I couldn't be much help.

 

BTW, which area of Minnesota do you visit each summer? I hit a lot of lakes in Ottertail County as my family has always vacationed in that area but I've recently started expanding to different areas for some variety.

 

Good luck with your search!

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I wish I could help but I've never been on pontoons for tubing or skiing. I've been on a couple Benningtons and they're really nice but we didn't push them at all as we were just out for leisurely cruises. I think Valley may have a small pond to test something out, but I think all they carry are Sun Tracker and South Bay pontoons and I don't think their pond is big enough to haul ass with a pontoon or to do any meaningful testing.

 

There are some dealers in Wisconsin and Minnesota that will let you lake test a boat, but I'm guessing you don't want to go that far. 19' is a pretty good sized boat, so if you're looking to go bigger, good luck getting a new boat. They run a lot higher than pontoons and a 20' will push past your budget no problem. You get a lot more for your money with a Pontoon so you're probably on the right path based on what you've said. Sorry I couldn't be much help.

 

BTW, which area of Minnesota do you visit each summer? I hit a lot of lakes in Ottertail County as my family has always vacationed in that area but I've recently started expanding to different areas for some variety.

 

Good luck with your search!

 

 

Thanks for the input. We have looked at Valley and like the South Bay. They couldn't order one in for us this year though. We go to Perham, MN... very close to Ottertail. We used to go to Rush Lake and Lake Lida in Pelican Rapids. Both are pretty close to Ottertail Lake. Did (do) you fish at Ottertail Lake or another area lake?

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I wish I could help but I've never been on pontoons for tubing or skiing. I've been on a couple Benningtons and they're really nice but we didn't push them at all as we were just out for leisurely cruises. I think Valley may have a small pond to test something out, but I think all they carry are Sun Tracker and South Bay pontoons and I don't think their pond is big enough to haul ass with a pontoon or to do any meaningful testing.

 

There are some dealers in Wisconsin and Minnesota that will let you lake test a boat, but I'm guessing you don't want to go that far. 19' is a pretty good sized boat, so if you're looking to go bigger, good luck getting a new boat. They run a lot higher than pontoons and a 20' will push past your budget no problem. You get a lot more for your money with a Pontoon so you're probably on the right path based on what you've said. Sorry I couldn't be much help.

 

BTW, which area of Minnesota do you visit each summer? I hit a lot of lakes in Ottertail County as my family has always vacationed in that area but I've recently started expanding to different areas for some variety.

 

Good luck with your search!

 

 

Thanks for the input. We have looked at Valley and like the South Bay. They couldn't order one in for us this year though. We go to Perham, MN... very close to Ottertail. We used to go to Rush Lake and Lake Lida in Pelican Rapids. Both are pretty close to Ottertail Lake. Did (do) you fish at Ottertail Lake or another area lake?

 

We used to go to Big Pine every year when I was young. I've bought both my boats at Hoot's in Perham. Love that town. We now go to Otter Tail every summer as sorta a family reunion. I prefer Big Pine, but our resort got demolished so some rich folks could have their huge lots on the lake. All my great memories as a kid torn down. Still pisses me off every time I drive by where the resort used to be. We visit the Little Pine Zorbaz every summer at least once while we're on Otter Tail. I love that place.

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I wish I could help but I've never been on pontoons for tubing or skiing. I've been on a couple Benningtons and they're really nice but we didn't push them at all as we were just out for leisurely cruises. I think Valley may have a small pond to test something out, but I think all they carry are Sun Tracker and South Bay pontoons and I don't think their pond is big enough to haul ass with a pontoon or to do any meaningful testing.

 

There are some dealers in Wisconsin and Minnesota that will let you lake test a boat, but I'm guessing you don't want to go that far. 19' is a pretty good sized boat, so if you're looking to go bigger, good luck getting a new boat. They run a lot higher than pontoons and a 20' will push past your budget no problem. You get a lot more for your money with a Pontoon so you're probably on the right path based on what you've said. Sorry I couldn't be much help.

 

BTW, which area of Minnesota do you visit each summer? I hit a lot of lakes in Ottertail County as my family has always vacationed in that area but I've recently started expanding to different areas for some variety.

 

Good luck with your search!

 

 

Thanks for the input. We have looked at Valley and like the South Bay. They couldn't order one in for us this year though. We go to Perham, MN... very close to Ottertail. We used to go to Rush Lake and Lake Lida in Pelican Rapids. Both are pretty close to Ottertail Lake. Did (do) you fish at Ottertail Lake or another area lake?

 

We used to go to Big Pine every year when I was young. I've bought both my boats at Hoot's in Perham. Love that town. We now go to Otter Tail every summer as sorta a family reunion. I prefer Big Pine, but our resort got demolished so some rich folks could have their huge lots on the lake. All my great memories as a kid torn down. Still pisses me off every time I drive by where the resort used to be. We visit the Little Pine Zorbaz every summer at least once while we're on Otter Tail. I love that place.

 

 

That's funny that just by chance, you went to Big Pine. We began going to MN about 25 years ago....started at Rush, then Lida for about 10 years, and now we have been going to Big Pine for the past 12 years. We love it, and yep....Zorbaz is a must at least once during the week. Have a good trip to Ottertail this year.

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I wish I could help but I've never been on pontoons for tubing or skiing. I've been on a couple Benningtons and they're really nice but we didn't push them at all as we were just out for leisurely cruises. I think Valley may have a small pond to test something out, but I think all they carry are Sun Tracker and South Bay pontoons and I don't think their pond is big enough to haul ass with a pontoon or to do any meaningful testing.

 

There are some dealers in Wisconsin and Minnesota that will let you lake test a boat, but I'm guessing you don't want to go that far. 19' is a pretty good sized boat, so if you're looking to go bigger, good luck getting a new boat. They run a lot higher than pontoons and a 20' will push past your budget no problem. You get a lot more for your money with a Pontoon so you're probably on the right path based on what you've said. Sorry I couldn't be much help.

 

BTW, which area of Minnesota do you visit each summer? I hit a lot of lakes in Ottertail County as my family has always vacationed in that area but I've recently started expanding to different areas for some variety.

 

Good luck with your search!

 

 

Thanks for the input. We have looked at Valley and like the South Bay. They couldn't order one in for us this year though. We go to Perham, MN... very close to Ottertail. We used to go to Rush Lake and Lake Lida in Pelican Rapids. Both are pretty close to Ottertail Lake. Did (do) you fish at Ottertail Lake or another area lake?

 

We used to go to Big Pine every year when I was young. I've bought both my boats at Hoot's in Perham. Love that town. We now go to Otter Tail every summer as sorta a family reunion. I prefer Big Pine, but our resort got demolished so some rich folks could have their huge lots on the lake. All my great memories as a kid torn down. Still pisses me off every time I drive by where the resort used to be. We visit the Little Pine Zorbaz every summer at least once while we're on Otter Tail. I love that place.

 

 

That's funny that just by chance, you went to Big Pine. We began going to MN about 25 years ago....started at Rush, then Lida for about 10 years, and now we have been going to Big Pine for the past 12 years. We love it, and yep....Zorbaz is a must at least once during the week. Have a good trip to Ottertail this year.

 

I guess we'll have to compare notes on where to find the fish then. I'm probably going to head up there the weekend of 6/22; I'll let you know where I find them.

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cant really help you... wish i could... this is what a small (18') trolling in boat in hawaii should look like!! though i wish i had a 23'

 

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I think maybe I should come to Hawaii to get a closer look...lol.... Never been there, but it is on my list.

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