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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The gf and I have been spending almost every weekend on the water, and have been discussing buying a used boat. I really like the Parker pilot houses, either the 2120 or 2320, but damn they are pricey. What we are looking for is 23'+/- walkaround with hard-top and enclosure or pilot house. Outboard. Cuddy has to be big enough to at least crash in. I prefer to have no wood, or as little wood trim as possible. I want a boat that is solid and going to last. Looking at used boats, some brands seem so expensive(Parker, Grady, BW, etc), and some seem so cheap(Angler, Polar, etc). Which brands are a safe bet to focus on?
 

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In that size range, look at Eastern... it's not going to be as fast as a Parker or Grady, but will burn less fuel (semi displacement vs. planing hull) and you will use it more as it's more stable.
 

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I was in this position last year, looking for the same type of boat. I ended up with a 21ft. SeaSwirl Striper WA cabin with an outboard 150 Johnson. Absolutely love the boat. Went a little bigger this year and now have a 26ft. Sport Craft WA cabin with twin 150 Merc's. In terms of my experience you are in the best realm of boats already, WA's are fishable, and versatile. That said, my recommendations are to look at a lot of boats. I didn't want to go as low as a Trophy (which some people love) and didn't want to spend parker and grady money. I looked at mainly well crafts and seaswirls because there weren't bad reviews, and they have a reputation for strong lasting boats. Older grady's are still worth the money, but they do look like an older style boat (not sure how concerned with style you are). No matter what you go with, just look through the boat as much as you can, step on every part of the floor to check for soft spots, and check the transom for rot or signs of deterioration. In terms of your outboard, I like sticking with Mercury, Johnson or Yamaha (four stroke fuel injected being the preferred). But my experience with two stroke johnsons and merc's has been amazing. In all honesty, the biggest thing to remember with boats is maintenance, stay on top of it, especially the outboard, and you will reduce your chances of a catastrophic issue. You're going to get the people who tell you that boats are just holes in the water you throw money into, which is true in some sense, but the reward of boating is more than worth it in my opinion. Treat the boat right and she will treat you right.
 
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You Are the Resistance.
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Parker
Parker
Parker
Parker.
I worked for WhiteWater for years. Nothing, nothing holds its resale like a Parker. Might make them hard to buy, but really awesome to sell when you want to trade up.

I drive security patrol boats for Navy Ships in commercial shipyards here in Norfolk. We use Parker boats- they run 168 hours a week, one week on, one off. Some of our Parker Boats have 70k hours on them, and they're still going strong.

Parker.
 

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I owned a Seaswirl dual console for almost a decade and it was an excellent value compared to the competition. I took great care of it and sold it last September for 60% of what I paid (at around 500 hours). Grady and other top tier boats supposedly have better fit and finish, but I never had any major issue with the boat at all during that time. The Yammy outboard (F225) did get the dry exhaust corrosion issue but insurance covered it completely. There are many other things to consider that add up quickly - I docked the boat at a marina by my house and it was quite expensive for winter and summer, not to mention the annual maintenance, winterization/covering, fuel, cleaning and bottom painting (virtually all of which I did myself). I logged every expense, part and fuel fill - when all was said and done at the end of my ownership I calculated it cost about $140 per hour of operation. After three seasons of low usage - alone - I finally sold it because I could not justify the expense for the amount it was being used, especially when I had 2 kids in private school and college costs were only 2 years away. I loved the boat, but unless you are prepared to throw a lot of money at it, it is a lot of work (alone). Trailering would lower that substantially, but would also lower the willingness to take the boat out for a short trip which I used to do often. Think long and hard - it is a commitment. You know what they say - "if it flies or floats you're better of renting" - YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Parker
Parker
Parker
Parker.
I worked for WhiteWater for years. Nothing, nothing holds its resale like a Parker. Might make them hard to buy, but really awesome to sell when you want to trade up.

I drive security patrol boats for Navy Ships in commercial shipyards here in Norfolk. We use Parker boats- they run 168 hours a week, one week on, one off. Some of our Parker Boats have 70k hours on them, and they're still going strong.

Parker.
In the case of a Parker with such great resales, is it almost better to just buy new?
 

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Parker
Parker
Parker
Parker.
I worked for WhiteWater for years. Nothing, nothing holds its resale like a Parker. Might make them hard to buy, but really awesome to sell when you want to trade up.

I drive security patrol boats for Navy Ships in commercial shipyards here in Norfolk. We use Parker boats- they run 168 hours a week, one week on, one off. Some of our Parker Boats have 70k hours on them, and they're still going strong.

Parker.
They are by far the most stable and rugged boats for the size/money.
 

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Azimut
 

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In the case of a Parker with such great resales, is it almost better to just buy new?
Exactly what I did. No regrets, all in and never looked back. Its a tank that rides dry and has lots of room.

23 pilot house SE with a bracketted 200 Yamaha

DO your homework on electronics!!!

I wound up spending another 13K 2 years later getting what I really needed, to do what I do fishing wise.
 

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In the case of a Parker with such great resales, is it almost better to just buy new?
Pretty much.

Due to Linwood Parker's* insistence on maintaining quality in his boats, demand for new boats often outstrips supply. Several years in a row while I worked there, Whitewater sold out of new Parkers by May!

I'd advise the 23 over the 21- the extra bit of room makes a big difference when you're out on the water, and it's a big step in seaworthiness as well.

*One of my basic bits of advice for buying anything- if you can call the factory and get the owner on the line, it's a good sign.
Mr. Parker once pointed out that his name was on the boat- and it was in the phone book, too!
 

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When you talk about used boats in the 21' - 25' range, there are a ton of choices. From Grady White to Bayliner you will find plenty of boats to choose from. Think mostly about what you want to accomplish. If you are going to be fishing ealry and late season, a center console can be cold, so the pilothouse you are speaking about is a nice feature. As far as bang for your buck, you will find 1000's of people with varying opinions. Grady White is an outstanding boat and you pay going in and get more on resale. If you go to a "lower" perceived boat you will pay less getting in and get less on exit. Personally, I look for a clean boat. A clean boat usually indicates a well taken care of boat and thats what you want. If you can find one "lightly" fished again that is a plus. Hardcore fishermen use their boats far more than the recreational user and put more wear and tear on a boat. Avoid Florida boats and areas where they can be used 12 months a year as they "may" have more use on them, but not in all cases. Get the motor checked by a mechanic as that will be the single most expensive item on the boat. Brands are brands, so do your HW and pick a boat that will serve your needs well.
 

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GW.

I miss my 86 Grady 24' Offshore model with twin 225 Mercs. It was a speedboat/ fishing machine. Lol.
I sold it a couple years ago and still regret it every spring, summer and fall. The glass in the older Grady's were Hand laid and very think. I would look for an older walk around or newer. They are expensive though and hold value well.
 

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Sorry if i missed it in a previous post...but beyond the boat itself you will need to think about how its powered. Outboards, 2 stroke or 4? I/O? How many hours on them and depending on how old...any warranty remaining. As an example Evinrude was offering 3 years on their 2 stroke outboards not to long ago.
You cant go wrong with a Grady or a Parker, but as stated they are pricey. Cobia, Mako are also good boats and Striper's can be a solid economical option. Check out Great Oak Marina in St James
BTW...A boat that needs to be re-powered (replace outboard) can cost around 15K to 30K depending on HP
 

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just noticed there is discussion here about 2 strokes and 4 strokes.

i maintain a fleet of motor boats for a rowing team. i fought to keep the fleet of 7 motor boats all 2 strokes but gave in to a single 4 stroke engine and now i love it. hate it because of the weight on the back of the boat, takes longer to plane on the water, and the weight is a pain when i will have to bring it to be serviced, and it is slower to overall despite being the same HP and now i got to do oil changes. but i love it because if there is 4 stroke fuel at the end of the season i can put it in my car and not have to figure out how to dispose of it. you do not want to keep fuel around for more than 2-3 months max, the carbs get clogged and the 2 stroke fuel cant be used for any other power equipment as far as i know. plus you can top off the 4 stroke tank easier without guessing how much additional oil you need to add
 
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