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STRIKERTHREE wrote:
25-30' i think is to big to be a first boat personally, I would suggest starting out in a 19-21' range just to get your feet wet and the feeling of how a boat handles just my opinion

Um, yeah, I would have to agree with this 100%. Handling a boat is not like driving a car. There are no brakes, and they do not maneuver as well. Better to start on a smaller boat and work your way up after a year or two.

Reading a navigation book and taking a coast guard class are B.S. Good things to do, but there is no substitute for experience. Hire a captain to take you out a few times, and teach you how to handle the boat. If you dont, please call me when you put the boat in the water, and attempt to dock it for the first time. Ill be there laughing at you. For an hour.

There are a lot of captains right here on Noreast, and I am sure a few of them would be willing to sell themselves to you (like a cheap hooker) for a couple of days to get you on your way.

Most important thing, is make sure that you have all of the necessary safety gear. You might even want your wife to go along and take these classes and go out with the captain and you. God forbid something happens when you are out there with your family, someone else should know how to drive the boat, at least the basics.
 

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makobob wrote:
There is a lot of advice here, most of it bad.
If your taking a family out you want at least a 25 footer. Something left out, where are you boating? North Shore in the sound and eastern GSB and ocean travel requires a decent hull under you. On most days in Patchogue Bay, where I live, a 19-20 foot boat will make you wish you never bought it in the first place! The afternoon southwest wind will eat you alive! Same for Northwest/north in the Sound. To even think about ocean fishing, even on a calm day you need a 23, at least. It may be flat outside but the inlets can turn nasty in a flash! No place for smaller boats. A thirty footer is a small boat, period.

Rob - I fish out of Bay Shore, and fish where you are talking about, and I have never "wished I didnt buy my boat." I have a 20' C/C, and very rarely are there conditions in the bay that I wont go out in. Occasionally it can kick up and get real bad, but you have to watch the weather and know your way around a boat.

I have been 25 miles off in my boat, 3-5's when a 25 knot NE wind kicked up. Sure it was hairy, but rode the waves and got home fine. Not even a scare. I also fish in the ocean regurlarly all year long. So to say you need a 23'er to even think about going out in the ocean, your dead wrong.

To touch on the inlets turning nasty, your bound to get caught out there when they do, and the only thing you can rely on is experience to get you in. Again, pick and choose your days, and watch the weather. If a wind kicks up, get inside before the inlet turns to slop. If it is really really bad, and you have to wait it out, do it.

A smaller boat for someone looking to learn is the way to go. Unless you want to bang the crap out of your new boat while docking and maneuvering. A trained monkey could drive a boat out in the middle of the open bay, its in tight where you need to learn certain things that are much easier to learn on a smaller boat.

I am sure he is going to do whatever he wants to do, judging by the boat he is looking at, but all we can do is offer advise from a perspective that we have all done it before.

That Wellcraft he is looking at is a lot of boat for a beginner. Plus the engines are 7 year old Eveinrudes, and if they have any use, are probably almost ready for replacement. Depends on the hours. Oh, and that Wellcraft will pound the crap out of you. My uncle has one, and it is a rattler. Actually tight for a 26'er, real narrow (8'6" on a 26'er?????), and did I mention that it pounds. Test ride it first!!!
 

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Honestly, reading any book does nothing for you if you do not understand what you are looking at out there. There is nothing to compare to experience.

A smaller boat equals less, draft, more maneuverablilty, and less wind resistance while operating in a tight area.
 
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