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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Come spring time, I will be in the market looking for another bass boat. At this current time, I would really like a ZX200 Skeeter. However, they are pretty expensive. I know you get what you pay for, but what about other boat brands??? Every once in a while a good priced ZX18/zx19 will pop up but how do they run with the 150 Vmax on them?

Javelin, Stratos and Triton's seem to be on the cheaper priced side. Pro craft is right there as well. I am all about getting a good product, for cheap. I am easy to please. I have read online that alot of people talk down to Javelin, but those who do, have never owned one...and the ones who have, never say anything negative about them....I can get a nice boat, for thousands less then a skeeter. Triton TR19's and TR20's seem to be on the cheaper priced side as well.

For those of you that have any experience as a boater/co angler in different brand bass boats, tell me what you liked, and what you didnt.

All I know is this time around I want a 19-20 footer...200-225hp motor on the back. Dual cockpit and a wide front deck. I will also consider a 18 footer, if the price is right.
 

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I have a Stratos 294xl with a 200HO Etec and love it. Great fuel economy, fast, plenty of storage, and handles rough water well at 19'. I would not say the front deck is extra wide though compared to a 20' boat. For a 20' boat the Stratos 201 is a very nice ride and even more storage. Also rated for a larger motor.

I have rode in some Javelins and absolutely loved them. My favorite one was the 20' 400TE, but the 389 are nice too.

I rode in some Champions that I liked the ride in, but because they are narrow, they have a lot of side to side tilt.

I rode in a couple Basscats and really liked them as well, one was even an 18 footer.

I have ridden in a bunch of Rangers and never cared for the ride in all but one, I just can't remember what model it was. It was a wider than normal Ranger from the late 90's or early 2000's.

I have ridden in some Tritons, the one that I really like is extra wide, the model may be 19X? It came out 3-5 years ago and is a real nice fishing platform. You gotta love those Triton seats!

I was in a couple Skeeters and did not care for the rough water ride or the speed.

I owned an older Nitro that was a good boat for what it was, but would not own another. I have ridden in the Nitro 901 and 929, was not impressed. I will never own a Gambler either after riding in one.

I was a non boater for a while so I had the chance to check quite a few out on the water. The best thing to do is get into some of the ones that interest you. Just because I did not like the ride of a particular brand, does not mean you won't. I don't know how much you want to spend or how new, but have also heard many great things about the Phenoix boats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
great. Thats what I was looking for. Input like what you listed.

I am looking for a mid to late 90's model to a early 2000's model. The Javelin 389's are good priced and most have good power plants. I am looking for the best bang for the buck.

I was rather impressed with my 17' skeeter. Thats why I wanted to jump into another skeeter. For its size, it handled great and would not want to roll at all with 2 people in it.

I know Triton's are famous for having a nasty chimewalk that is hard to tame.
 

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huge question SS... In the time frame your looking at, Skeeters were put together different... My buddy ( 4Reel, snowball) has a year?? 90's?? skeet with a 200 yam and it is one of the best boats I've ever been in... ( for sale by the way). A bass cat pantera another great boat... Stratos 201 was a classic that guys just hang on to... Ranger 461, 481 are great smaller boats for the northeast... bad news is these boats pushing 20 yrs old with 20 year problems... good news is they will be going at a good price. Avoid stealerships... you are very handy with a wrench so grab some beer and start shopping...
My project boat would be an old Skeeter 2000 SX?? center sonsole... impossible to find... Also stratos and champion had a great walleye boat early 90's... I looked, none...
 

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WackyRig Making Toolmaker
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I own a 2004 TR-196 w/ a Yammy 200 on it, great ride and good in ruff water, ask Release on this site who was on Hopatcong with me on a summer weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
huge question SS... In the time frame your looking at, Skeeters were put together different... My buddy ( 4Reel, snowball) has a year?? 90's?? skeet with a 200 yam and it is one of the best boats I've ever been in... ( for sale by the way). A bass cat pantera another great boat... Stratos 201 was a classic that guys just hang on to... Ranger 461, 481 are great smaller boats for the northeast... bad news is these boats pushing 20 yrs old with 20 year problems... good news is they will be going at a good price. Avoid stealerships... you are very handy with a wrench so grab some beer and start shopping...
My project boat would be an old Skeeter 2000 SX?? center sonsole... impossible to find... Also stratos and champion had a great walleye boat early 90's... I looked, none...

well I know starting 95 and newer, the skeeters went from a solid wood transom to a wood/fiberglass transom. 95 has mixed solid wood/wood and fiberglass transom's depending on the models....96 was the first year they all got the new transom setup. My skeeter had the new one.

So pretty much I am looking for a 95 to early 2000's...and from what I have seen/read online, there really isnt a big enough difference from the late 90's to early 2000's skeeters to justify the big price jump. Really any of the ZX models will not bother me. Even another SS model in the 18' with the Yamaha 150 Vmax on the back. I will actually looking for something that is mechanically sound, but needs some work so I can get it cheaper. I can do anything myself besides fiberglass repair so thats what Im going to stay away from. There is actually a nice 95, 150zx on ebay right now with a merc xr6 on the back. Nice boat.

Is your buddies a 1990? Or more around the era im looking for? Either way, more details on it??

yes I am strongly considering a stratos 201...there are a few on bbc.com right now forsale that are great priced. They are 94-97's which doesnt bother me. I am all about a good fishing platform without breaking the bank....after all, the boat isn't what makes you catch fish!...this 94 stratos 201 xl In Virginia beach with the 225 evinrude for 7 grand really catches my eye. Come spring time, if that boat is still around, im taking a road trip.

http://bassboatcentral.com/boats4salestratos.htm

ebay Skeeter zx150...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1995...2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&forcev4exp=true

just to give you guys a idea of what I like. I really like the styling of the skeeters.

another thing I really liked about my skeeter was, no matter how fast I came off plane (literally I could be WOT, then shut the motor off)...the boat would NEVER swamp over the back. I never once took in water over the back no matter what I did. Granted it wasnt a fast boat, but 49mph on the GPS would be enough to swamp the back on most boats.

I will just tell you guys my budget so you get a idea of what I am looking at. I am looking at spending $10,000 AT MOST. Cash, no financing and no dealerships (unless I can buy it cash for a good deal) ....and honestly I would like to stay around the 6-8 grand mark...give or take a grand. 7 Grand seem's to be the sweet spot to jump into a really nice boat. I bought my first skeeter as a project, beginner boat with plans to just upgrade in less then a year. I ended up liking it so much I kept it. I am not afraid to drive 800 miles to get a boat come spring time.

I do not care about electronics. It would be nice if they had updated ones, but im going to put whatever I want on the boat anyways. Same goes for trolling motor.....any money I can save under budget = money towards boat upgrades.
 

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Tinman
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Take a look around for a 2000 - 2001 Xpress X-18 or X-19. Lifetime hull warranty, transferable. Rated for 150 and 200 respectively. Usually rigged with 10" jack plates. Fast, durable as hell. No wood, no fiberglass. Very wide beams and lots or storage. Finding them can be tough sometimes but there are usually some around. Happy to take you for a spin in mine if you wanted to see how they ride and fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Take a look around for a 2000 - 2001 Xpress X-18 or X-19. Lifetime hull warranty, transferable. Rated for 150 and 200 respectively. Usually rigged with 10" jack plates. Fast, durable as hell. No wood, no fiberglass. Very wide beams and lots or storage. Finding them can be tough sometimes but there are usually some around. Happy to take you for a spin in mine if you wanted to see how they ride and fish.
im not familiar with them but are those aluminum boats?
 

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I have owned my 2004 201 Stratos since it was new Great boat. The Stratos has a huge front deck with alot of storage up front. I have never lost a fish because the livewells wre Huge I think 25 gallons a piece. I also have a 250 Yamaha on it and honestly I think the 200 would be a little underpowered my opinion never been on one with a 200 but that.s what I have been told.s a dual axel trailer because I believe 2003 and below had single axels and they had alot of problems with them. Compared to the TR19 the Trition has less deck space up front but the Back deck aout the same size because of the location of the cockpit. The Triton has a huge advantage with battery compartment space in the rear the 201 is real tight to put the 3rd battery in for a 101 you have to move the oil tank. As Far as chime walk I run a 4 blade prop on my Stratos because of the extra bite in the water. I would think if you do not care about giving up a few mph on the Trition a 4 blade prop might make you feel a little more comfortable.One other thing The 201 sacraficed some cockpit area for more deck space and the Trition has a little more room in the cockpit area. Have have been on a TR19 quite a few times so that whuy I am comparing the 2. My opinion is you can't go wrong on either one. Although I am Stratos bias handles like a dream on the water. If you want to go for a ride let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
good input Bernie. I appreciate it. Cockpit space doesnt bother me. I am more concerned about getting bigger front and rear decks. After all, thats where we spend 80% of our time on the water.

I have read about the tight battery locations on the stratos 201's. Thats kind of a bummer, but not a deal breaker. I have alot of looking around to do. This buy needs to count for a while.
 

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Tinman
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If you want glass, then I'd research any boats made in the late 90's to early 2000's that were wood free. Buying a 15+ year old boat is risky of course. Why not limit your risk and only consider boats that won't have any surprises like rotting transoms or stringers. That will be a very costly repair. Imagine paying $4k or a new transom on a boat you paid $9k for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you want glass, then I'd research any boats made in the late 90's to early 2000's that were wood free. Buying a 15+ year old boat is risky of course. Why not limit your risk and only consider boats that won't have any surprises like rotting transoms or stringers. That will be a very costly repair. Imagine paying $4k or a new transom on a boat you paid $9k for.
I am fully aware of whats going on, and what to look for/sign's of bad stringers/transom/floors.

BTW, 96 and newer skeeters had fiberglass transom's..
 

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The one thing I'm not seeing suggested is if your going to get an older carb motor, make sure you have a boat with big enough gas tanks if you are going to tourney fish this area. It's easy to put 80-100 miles on when running out of South Bay, or Mossy Point. I actually did 80 miles one time in a tourney out of Ti, and ive done nearly that on Sacandaga too. You would be surprised at how much fuel even a carbed 150 will suck down when running full tilt and loaded down. I've had a couple of tourneys where even 40 gallons left me worried on the ride home and taking it easy to make sure I had enough. I can't imagine fishing tourneys around here without that.

I haven't seen a suggestion yet but anything 87 or newer from Ranger had composite transoms. I'm very happy with my 461vs and think you would be happy in any of the 4xx series boats. I don't see myself getting rid of mine until we are done having kids and all have started school and my wife is back to work. Then I'll consider upgrading when I can swing getting into a newer 20-21' boat with a newer 250.
 

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Hey SS, my buddy's Skeeter with the 200 yamm is a 92... was for sale... I'm gonna get ahold of him and pass on some info... last $$ I heard was under your cap... located in johnstown... FYI... If I sell the Tuffy, I would go straight to his house and talk...
 

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Its funny that you would be speaking Javelins. I have had one for years, a 1999 Renegade 19. No complaints from me, it gets me from point A to point B, solid ride in rougher waters, cuts thru chop like a champ, and reaches 62-63 loaded (solo) according to the GPS pushed by a Johnson 150. Plenty of storage and big decks. If you can find one you won't be dissapointed. I have been in "better" boats that don't offer what the Javelin has IMHO. Message me if you wanna "shop talk" about Javelins.
 

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I'm sure you're aware of it, but keep in mind the problems with the early Merc Optimax's since that's the time frame you're looking at. 2001-2003, 3 liter, 200 and 225's. Class action law suit, etc...
 

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I just bought a 185VS Ranger with a 175 E/Tech... this is not what I was looking for. I was looking for like you a 19 to 21 foot but it had to be a Ranger, I looked at all the other boats on the Market, have been a co Angler in most... but nothing rides like a Ranger, not the fastest hull on the Market(Bullit and Allison have the fastest now, i believe) but super stable fishing platform.Now the reason for buying the 185 was... I knew the guy that owned it and he owned it from new, it has a 2011 motor on it... with a 2 year waranty. The trailer axle assembly was replaced by Ranger(new hubs whelels,brakes..etc) plus brand new Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 sonar and a so for the money he was asking it was a no brainer. Now that being said, this boat is a 62 MPH boat the way its set up, slower than I wanted. I was looking for 70 to 80 MPH. The fuel that I'm saving over the 200 or 250 (and Oil) is substanutial . a quick rule of thumb to work out fuel consumption on any motor... take 10% on the HP... like mine is a 175 so WIDE OPEN I use approx 17.5 gallons per hour... this is NOT EXACT just a kinda guide line .The casting deck is a little small.for my partner and I... but My partner is 6.4 and about 400 pounds :eek:mg:.. I'm 6 foot 240 but I have no problem sharing the deck with a normal size fishermen. Like I said the 175 and with full tourment load and with my extra large co-Angler we move across the water at 59.5 MPH. so what I'm getting at here is that a Smaller boat will work in almost all situations I'm more than happy with the Smaller boat. Skeeter was my second choice for a bass boat, they are built well and are another good Stable plat form... and was looking , I liked your boat... but needed the duel Console . Bass Boat Central is kinda of my bible when looking for bass boatts and prices. Its Hard to choose I love them all... if I ever win a lottery... the will be 3 Rangers in the Garage... a 621 for Salmon and Waleyte... a Z22 for Erie and lake Ontario ..and a 18.5 for small inland lakes...:laugh::laugh::laugh:
 
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