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Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by quack head, Aug 23, 2017.
Bass tracker boats post 2005. Please do not include "if priced right i would buy one"
Hi occasional lurker here I purchased a 16ft tracker v-hull last year new. It’s been a great boat no issues at all; seems very solid.
I looked at Lund, and Alumacraft also when the Lund/Alumacraft sales guy thought I might be getting a higher end boat he emailed me prices promptly.
I decided to go with the 16ft boat he didn’t bother to respond to my price request. I decided why would I want to deal with them if I bought a boat and had a problem with it.
I ended up getting my boat at D&R Sports can’t recommend them highly enough took the time to answer all my questions sales staff and boat riggers where top rate.
As far as the boat goes the only thing I don’t like is there is limited rod storage, but that is what you get when you buy a 16ft boat.
Hit "n" miss on quality. If you get a bad one, good luck with customer service.
They have been known as an "entry level" boat for quite awhile. Not saying that is good or bad. Many people love the price point of the boats for what they feel they are getting. They package their boats with lots of options and usually have middle equiped power on the boats. Hence the reason for the decent price points. Plus, their dealer network allows for zero haggle pricing. They are all the same price.
The options tend to sell the boat to some just entering the boating world or looking to upgrade to a larger boat without breaking the bank. When looking at them subjectivly, they are decent boats for the money they are asking. But, when you put them next to other boats in the same class, there is very little comparison.
Yes, some boats are sold on name alone. Others are sold on loyalty. Some are sold based on keeping up with the Jones. Fit and finish, quality of craftsmanship, service after the sale, and longevity play a key function. The other one is asking the boat owners IF they would purchase another one. As I said, entry level. Many owners do not regret their purchase (don't know many guys that would rip on themselves for spending the money on something) but when asked, most are looking to upgrade and it isn't to the brand they own (IE tracker).
In the end, find a pricepoint you want to stick with, look at all the boats, find what you like and don't like about them, and spend "your" money. Don't let other people influence your purchase. Some guys want a 17 foot boat to be able to troll Saginaw but cannot spend 28k to do it. Tracker has an option that will get them on the water for far less.
I have many personal opinions on them but most are irrelivent to the question.
Without a doubt, Tracker has led the way to prepackaged boats way before 2005, and many other boat manufacturers have followed suit. Having gone through the experience, I've found that these companies build to a price rather than building for performance.
It may seem easier to have a package right there on the showroom floor, but too many times you'll find an outboard well below the maximum allowed. That's going to cut down on performance like hole shot, time to get on plane, and top end speed. Up front, the trolling motors are usually less than you can get which hurts once you are in heavy current or winds. Fish finders are usually smaller and not the latest in technology.
To get a true picture on value, start swapping out package items with upgrades, and then compare that to other models where you buy the hull and then start equipping them.
The three things I consider when boat shopping is: Boat layout, price equipped the way I want it, and the location and reputation of the dealer.
You nailed it on the head with those three. I would put some emphasis on the reputation of the dealer you purchase it from.
Here is my 2 cents that I learned when purchasing a boat in 2015. This is only my opinion and i respect that others might feel differantly.
1) Spend as much time researching your dealer as you do the brand boat you decide to go with. When I purchased my Lund Rebel 1650 XL in 2015, I purchased it from a large dealer in Jackson. It would have saved me a lot of head aches if i had done my home work and saw that the sales department was outstanding, but the Service and Installation was the terrible. Lesson Learned.
2) LUND Boats- These are not the boats that your dad and my dad had in the ol' days. They have cut some corners since they were bought out several years ago.
What i will say about Lund is that they do a great job on the engineering and design of their boats. They ask for feed back to improve their product and from what i am told is they really depend on consumer feed back.
My issues with my boat are with the quality of paint and the some of the parts they go the cheap route with. Like the Steering controls and the seats and the shallow live well. Those are minor and i can fix those, except the Paint issue.
In Lund"s defense, They can have a good product, but the dealer can screw it up fairly quickly with the installation of wiring, electronics, Trolling motor, Outboard motor installs ect. ect.
3) Ranger, Crestliner SmokerCraft, are where i would look if i was looking for a boat in the 16 ft plus range. Trackers are about the same quality as the the Lunds economy boats like mine. Lund will have the edge with the quality of hinges and engineering.
Again, this is just my opinion.
I got a 161 pro mag smokercraft and couldn't be happier I almost bought a tracker but more storage and better quality in the smokercraft
Tracker's goal is to be the lowest price point in the market. To do that they source the cheapest possible components to build the boats - navigation lights, bilge pumps, wiring, deck screws, compartment lids and hinges, carpeting, aerator system, seating hardware, often smaller built in fuel tanks, etc. Aluminum boats area basically a hull and stringer system with a bunch of other stuff bolted and screwed to the structural part. All of these other pieces can be quite nice when new, but will start showing much more wear and tear if you keep the boat for 10 years or longer. The next time you go to a boat show, compare all these little things and you'll find a lot of the top Aluminim boats (Lund, Crestliner, Alumacraft) use a lot of the same parts, while middle tier builders like Smoker Craft are a little cheaper here, but the Trackers just straight up look cheap (because they are).
After being in my friends 16’ lund I personally felt my smokercraft was more stable and just as good of quality if not better but that’s my opinion
I have a 17ft starcraft superfisherman. Great boat for St. Clair River or The Lake. Starcraft has a lifetime warranty on hull and 6 year on everything else. The boat is both deep and wide. My 3 buddies have 17ft Monark, 17ft whaler and a 15ft smokercraft. When we fish together they all want to go in my boat there is just more room.
I recently purchased a ranger aluminum boat. Yes you heard that right Ranger does make Tim boats. I had a check list of things I need out of the boat. And I shopped that checklist for a good 5 years before I bought it. I had some unique needs that made my perfect boat harder to find. The fit and finish, price and ride is what made me pick this boat over a lund. Yes the ranger was less then the Lund.
The few tips I I can give guys whole are looking to buy a boat. Make a list of your needs. Settle in on a price point or a payment a month you are ok with. Then ask for a test drive. Don’t be in a hurry.
If I’m correct I think smokercraft owns Starcraft
Smoker Craft makes both Starcraft and Starweld.