Life En Route

Year of the Boat

I’ve been looking at boats for years, but for many reasons, prioritized RVs over them. And I stand by that. But this year, I believe, is the year I will be getting a boat. I want the most versatile boat possible, but also don’t want to spend a fortune on it. I want to avoid financing, so need to stay under $15K, and preferably closer to $10K to comfortably make that purchase this year. Additionally, I decided that I want something made in the last twenty years. That means 1997 or newer. That price range and age requirement definitely limits options.

I mentioned that I want a versatile boat, so lets start with what I intend to use it for:

  • Cruising/ Entertaining
  • Skiing and/or wake-boarding (goes with the above)
  • Freshwater fishing
  • Saltwater fishing (including deep sea)

Previously I looked at fish/ski combos, because I mostly anticipated freshwater fishing on small lakes and skiing. But now, I’m personally more interested in the fish I can catch off shore, and have spoken with a few friends who would love to go deep sea fishing with me. If I buy a boat, that is something I’m absolutely taking into consideration, thus making some changes to my requirements. The boat I buy needs to be something with a very large fuel capacity, be extremely reliable, and preferably have twin engines. If not twin engines, at least something modern, reliable, and easy to work on. Also, I’m making a head an absolute requirement, and a berth if possible. After looking at the various types of boats, I’ve decided that a 21′ – 27′ walkaround is going to be my best option, preferably with twin outboards or a single inboard.

Most of the walkarounds in that size range have a small aft cabin with a double berth for sleeping two people and a porta-potty. Some of the nicer ones have a separate head with a marine toilet, sink, and shower. I’ve seen a few with small kitchenettes. My requirements are, at minimum, the first of those options. The walkaround design has dedicated fishing space, in fact, the design is primarily marketed for bay and offshore fishing. But that doesn’t limit it – you can easily add some folding chairs to the deck to entertain, and use the tower for wake-boards. Skiing is also a given. Most of the boat is fiberglass and designed to be washed down from top to bottom with a hose, it’s the epitome of easy to clean. Most of them are set up to travel both long distances in rough waters, and be able to come in close to shore in shallow water. Altogether, they look like the most versatile boat to me. Some of them may be small enough to comfortably tow behind Kelly’s Frontier. If so, that’s a bonus because I could take the RV, and she could take the boat. Or we could have a friend tow the boat and share both accommodations.

I’ve found a few that really interest me so far, but I’m not ready to make the purchase yet.

I really like Shamrock 220 boats, but the few I’ve found are at the upper end or slightly out of my price range. They have inboard motors that are powerful and relatively inexpensive to repair, and have a great layout. Here is one with an asking price of $18K. I found another one for $9K, but worry it is “too good to be true”.

I found this boat locally, which looks like a great candidate. It doesn’t have either an inboard or twin outboards, but that looks like it might just have to be a concession I make if I want this price range.  This 24′ model needs some new upholstery, but the cabin has room for a RV-style toilet and sink. Going a little older, I found this really clean 1992 with an inboard.  This boat is older than I am, but I’d consider it since it looks well maintained and has two 2001 year model engines.

This is a nice one for under $10K, and another just under $12K. So there are a fair amount of options out there, just none that have sold me yet.


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