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Buying a new boat turned into "a moment" for me

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 9:50 p.m. CST

There are certain moments that are memorable.  Weddings, births, graduations, the list is almost endless. The outdoors has its list of memorable events as well. Your first deer, first big fish, your first shotgun, these are all things that we look back upon with warm feelings. I was fortunate enough to have one of these moments last week. My wife and I bought a boat.

You may be thinking to yourself, a boat? Doesn’t this guy already have a boat?

I’ve had quite a few boats. I’ve owned the big flashy, expensive, fiberglass bass boats that grace magazine covers and I currently own an eight-foot plastic pond boat. Lately though, I’ve been in-between boats.

For quite some time I’ve been looking for a very specific model and size. I wanted to stick with the bass boat layout. I love the spacious, flat fishing decks and the low profile. I really appreciate the shallow draft and bow-mount trolling motors. 

I didn’t want another high-dollar fiberglass rig, I’m not hitting the tournament circuit right now so a 250-hp motor with a 54-gallon gas tank isn’t necessary for what I want to do. The gas pump prices also support this route. A large, heavy boat costs a lot more money to tow. 

At this point in my life, I want an aluminum bass boat. The type that is all-welded, built solid and can take some abuse. My boys are getting to the age where soon they will be taking the boat without dad. A solid aluminum rig can handle a few rocks and stumps.

I want a motor than can get up and run, but I don’t need to touch 70-mph on the water like I did before. Although, that is an amazing amount of fun, it’s just not practical for the water I am spending my time on.

I also wanted a boat a little shorter than the 20-plus footers I had been running. Some of the areas I like to fish are smaller lakes where the shorter length is appreciated.

I guess you could say I had very specific characteristics I was looking for. My search had been narrowed down to one brand, one size, and one model. Now the problem was finding it.

There are numerous units out there sitting at dealers that are brand new. The shine is perfect, the carpet smells fresh, and the instrument panel is pristine. Ahh, so tempting. Even though I would love to buy a new boat, the common sense part of me was telling me that a used boat is a better financial choice.

I’ve scoured the internet for this one specific boat on the used market. I would find one in Florida, one in Texas, and other distant locations from Grundy County. Everyone I talked to that knew of this particular boat said the owners really enjoyed them and didn’t put them up for sale. Good for me because apparently this was a good model, bad because they are hard to find used.

Last Friday I got a text from my wife. She was on a walk with a friend and they decided to take a different route than they normally do. Low and behold, the street they were walking down had a boat for sale. In her text she mentioned that she thought it was the very brand and model that I was looking for. My heart rate started to quicken.

She talked to the wife of the gentleman selling the boat. It was within our price range! 

I anxiously drove home from work and couldn’t wait to call the seller and see if we could come and take a look. As I rounded the corner in the neighborhood and spied the bright red color, I knew this was the one. The very boat I had been eyeing for a long time was for sale just a few minutes from home!

The owner and I talked. As he was explaining the features on the boat I was noticing what great shape it was in. Sure, there is a scratch here and there, but it was garage kept and in fantastic condition. He suggested that I take it for a test run over the weekend.

Fast-forward to Saturday afternoon. The family and I dropped it into Heidecke Lake for a little test. The motor started perfectly and purred like a kitten. It had nice hole-shot and ran on plane with four people in it. It handled nicely and provided the stable fishing platform I was looking for. In my mind, this deal was done.

A couple of days later, the price has been agreed upon and paperwork is waiting to be finished. I can’t tell you how excited I am, let alone the boys. My youngest one has spent hours cleaning, sitting, and standing on the platform. I can’t wait for the first cast and the first bass to come from the deck of our newest family member. 

The seller of this boat was so happy that his well-taken care of rig was going to a family that will appreciate it. We sure will. Many future memories are sure to be made from the casting deck of big red.

Thank you John!!

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