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Help Picking First Boat

Thread in 'Nitro & Tracker Owners' started by Nluft2007, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Nluft2007

    Nluft2007 New Member

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    As the title shows I am thinking about purchasing my first boat. I would like a fishing/family oriented boat. Two that I have been looking at are the tracker pro guide v175 combo with a 115hp mercury, the second is a nitro z19 sport with a 150hp mercury. I live in Michigan so we have a big mix of small and large lakes. Would like something big enough to take in the bays of the Great Lakes but yet small enough for the smaller lakes. Also would like a boat that I could use for tubing. Any advise is appreciated. As I said, this would be my first boat so I am pretty clueless.
     
  2. Kerz

    Kerz Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum!
    Can't really help on a fish/ski type boat. I've always had fishing boats. Bought my first new bass boat last year, Z18 Nitro. 18 foot is plenty fine for two fisherman, at least in my case. For sport application you might consider something longer.
    The deep V design would have advantages in the rougher water.
    Vic
     
  3. carlyle2

    carlyle2 Member

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    I owned a Tracker V175 with a 90hp for a couple years and really liked it. I presently own a Tracker 195 TXW bass boat, but seriously looked at the Targa 18 and Z19 Sport before deciding on a pure fishing boat. I think you can ski or tube behind either the Z19 or V175 and the family will be comfortable in either. If you are going to be bass or crappie fishing often, I personally would prefer the Z19 over the V175 just because the decks are more flush with the top of the boat
    so it will be easier to cast and retrieve and the heavier fiberglass will give you a smoother ride and won't blow around as much in the wind. You won't be disappointed with the V175 for fishing either if you prefer something lighter, slightly cheaper, and higher sides.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  4. CDN Z19S Owner

    CDN Z19S Owner Member

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    I can't speak at all to your Tracker option, but I am the proud owner of a 2018 Nitro Z19 Sport, which I have been enjoying for the better part of 2 seasons on the water.

    Your post doesn't specify what family-oriented features you are looking for in addition to fishing (e.g. water skiing, tubing, swimming, etc.), but the Z19S is, in my view, the best all-around choice for all of that. You won't get all features for all such activities (e.g. full fishing storage, huge casting platforms, deep-v hull for tubing, permanent tow anchor, etc.), but the trade-offs are worth the all-in-one combo. For example, the swap out of the rear fishing seat for the ski/tube pylon is sweet, you still get forward and aft casting platforms (the forward platform is much smaller than a pure fishing boat of equivalent size) with a large deep-set seating area for 5 that is spacious and comfortable, you still get some fishing gear storage (nothing like a pure fishing boat) while also getting custom storage for the ski/tube pylon, nav lights, seat posts, etc., there is an large insulated cooler and 2 livewells and there is a full on swim ladder pre-installed on the starboard side of the stern.

    In addition to my comments, carlyle2 makes some good points as well.

    A couple of final words/cautions:

    If you decide to go with the Z19 Sport, when ordering, ensure that you choose a trolling motor that is at least 80lbs thrust. If the 70lbs thrust is your highest option (it was for me), buy your TM separately. I spent my first year going crazy with the 70lbs thrust MinnKota that I bought with the package, as it lacked power. Over this past winter, I upgraded to a 105lbs thrust TM and am much happier.

    Also, if you want to put PowerPoles or Talons on your boat, make sure that you consult with a qualified professional about the appropriate size of jackplate and mounting brackets BEFORE YOU BUY. I went through some pretty annoying times in getting my Talons installed due to the size of the sponsons and the depth of the transom. I have a thread in this Forum about it. The issue eventually got resolved and I am loving my Talons, but the process of sorting everything out was frustrations galore.

    I hope that this helps and good luck in your search!

    C
     
    Kerz likes this.
  5. Larry Williams

    Larry Williams Well-Known Member

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    Once you are in the water, on small lakes, the size of the boat does't matter too much only the draft or how deep it sits in the water. That said, if you have to use unimproved launch sites then the weight will make a huge difference in what you can do. It's all about deciding on what's important to you in compromising because that's the game you have to compromise- no one boat does everything well- especially when you consider a play boat with capacity for family riders and gear and trying to set up a well equipped fishing boat. That's a tall order for one boat.
     
    1MrToes likes this.
  6. Kirby Wilson

    Kirby Wilson Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you check the weight capacity and number of persons. Compare this to what you are planning to use the boat for and the amount of people you plan on having in the boat.
     
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