How many of you enjoy a "Beater Boat?"

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thill

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I've had a lot of boats over the years. Some were very nice, others were complete junk. From a brand-new Grady White that I washed and waxed after every outing to an old scow that I never did anything to but let the rain wash it off.

When I had the new Grady, I fished a lot and caught a lot of fish when no one else did. After awhile, guys would follow me to see what I was doing, including some charter captains. As long as they didn't mess up the fishing, I didn't care. But if they couldn't catch fish while we were bailing them, sometimes they would get nasty, and rev their engines or even circle our boat at full blast before taking off, just to ruin our spot.

Once, a boat did that and almost crashed into us while fishing at night. I called the marine police, and they caught the guys. I think the driver got pulled off the boat for drunk driving and the boat got towed in, but I never heard anything else, so don't know the full outcome.

When we moved away from the Bay, I ended up selling the Grady after sitting for a year. Suddenly boatless, I found an old Bayliner with a Force 125 on the back that needed a transom for $1,000. I fixed it up, and suddenly, I was invisible! No one knew who I was. I could go and fish anywhere I wanted, and no one took a second look.

Now, living close to a lake, I've moved down to smaller boats. One day, I landed on my current tin boat, an old, dented up Princecraft Starfish from a college rowing team for $600. I pounded out some dents, added some platforms to keep the hull from denting in again, and put on several different motors. Eventually, I ended up with this:

OUTSIDE
Resized_20230207_160051.jpeg

INSIDE

Resized_20220902_193152 (1).jpeg

I've got to say, I really love this boat. Dents, scratches and paint missing all over, even on the motor. It's really ugly, but it is solid, comfortable, light, cheap on gas and it runs flawlessly.



One of my favorite things about this boat is that no one gives it a second look. I slide right under the radar. When I'm on fish and other boats come near, I put on a goofy smile, turn the rod upside down and reel backwards, and wave frantically, asking if they know where any fish are?

They usually pin the throttle trying to get out of there, HAHAHA!!! I love my beater boat!

I'm again, trying to decide whether to "upgrade" with the 18 Starcraft or the 17 Spectrum. I've faced this decision a number of times before. I've had some really nice bass boats. But so far, after 8 or 10 years, I still have this one. That says something about me, I think.

Now I'm curious... How many of you wouldn't be caught dead in an old, beat-up boat? And how many of you don't mind one bit?
 
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I've never had what I consider a beater, but I wanted the current aluminum boat because I didn't want to worry about waxing or keeping it looking nice and shiny. I feel a little guilty about once or twice a year and give it a scrubbing.
 
Personally I really don't care what other people think of my boat. Believe when I am done fixing it up it will suit my needs very well. Have no need or desire of impressing anyone at all. All I desire is a boat that is easy to get in and out of the water with but big enough to fish from. Don't care if it does 20 knots through the water just wish for a reliable outboard that will get me there and back with no issues. Believe the 1984 lonestar 14 foot mod-v bottom should work out for me.
 
Mine is an old fishing camp rental boat. I did give it a nice paint job a few years back, but it's an old rental boat. I can ground it, beach it, bounce off rocks. Let a slimy pike flop around and rinse it off with lake water. I sure admire the new fancy boats and maybe in retirement..... But for now I like it. I like your boat too.
 
I bought a flat bottom Jon boat in the spring of 22 and I consider it to be a plain Jane beater boat. I would consider a V bottom sometime, maybe. For now this will do just fine. I threw a racedeck floor into it, and a 9.9 HP Mercury and it's all I need. Until I win the lottery. New suit, new boat.
 
Well, here is something interesting... The Princecraft has some competition.

The Starcraft that I took on the lake today had a VERY nice ride. Much more solid than the PC, especially in a chop


The deck is flat, with no bunks, too, which is nice:

Resized_20230727_151814.jpeg
Resized_20230727_181154.jpeg

The only real negative I see is that this boat is getting kind of big and heavy. I have a nice center console, this one is approaching that in size and weight.

Decisions, decisions
 
I've had a lot of boats over the years. Some were very nice, others were complete junk. From a brand-new Grady White that I washed and waxed after every outing to an old scow that I never did anything to but let the rain wash it off.

When I had the new Grady, I fished a lot and caught a lot of fish when no one else did. After awhile, guys would follow me to see what I was doing, including some charter captains. As long as they didn't mess up the fishing, I didn't care. But if they couldn't catch fish while we were bailing them, sometimes they would get nasty, and rev their engines or even circle our boat at full blast before taking off, just to ruin our spot.

Once, a boat did that and almost crashed into us while fishing at night. I called the marine police, and they caught the guys. I think the driver got pulled off the boat for drunk driving and the boat got towed in, but I never heard anything else, so don't know the full outcome.

When we moved away from the Bay, I ended up selling the Grady after sitting for a year. Suddenly boatless, I found an old Bayliner with a Force 125 on the back that needed a transom for $1,000. I fixed it up, and suddenly, I was invisible! No one knew who I was. I could go and fish anywhere I wanted, and no one took a second look.

Now, living close to a lake, I've moved down to smaller boats. One day, I landed on my current tin boat, an old, dented up Princecraft Starfish from a college rowing team for $600. I pounded out some dents, added some platforms to keep the hull from denting in again, and put on several different motors. Eventually, I ended up with this:

OUTSIDE
View attachment 115754

INSIDE

View attachment 115755

I've got to say, I really love this boat. Dents, scratches and paint missing all over, even on the motor. It's really ugly, but it is solid, comfortable, light, cheap on gas and it runs flawlessly.



One of my favorite things about this boat is that no one gives it a second look. I slide right under the radar. When I'm on fish and other boats come near, I put on a goofy smile, turn the rod upside down and reel backwards, and wave frantically, asking if they know where any fish are?

They usually pin the throttle trying to get out of there, HAHAHA!!! I love my beater boat!

I'm again, trying to decide whether to "upgrade" with the 18 Starcraft or the 17 Spectrum. I've faced this decision a number of times before. I've had some really nice bass boats. But so far, after 8 or 10 years, I still have this one. That says something about me, I think.

Now I'm curious... How many of you wouldn't be caught dead in an old, beat-up boat? And how many of you don't mind one bit?

Must of really been hard to be you.
 
Nice clean boats don't catch more fish.
I spray mine off and put away wet.
 
Must of really been hard to be you.
Ha ha, that's pretty funny! And it does put things into perspective. Getting dogged every time you get on the water gets old pretty fast, but there are much worse things in life.

Going back to the subject, it's like having a new truck versus "old reliable." You get a scratch on the old truck, and it just adds character. Scratch your new, $64k truck, and it's a major problem.

I'm guessing most fishermen probably fall in the middle somewhere. They want it to look decent, but don't go crazy over it.
 
I almost sold my late 70s model 1436 polar kraft this year. Glad I didn't we are in a bad drought and some of the spots I like to go would be inaccessible with the 20ft center console. The 1436 with 5hp merc is light enough to drag over the low spots in river and continue on. One of the ramps I frequent is almost out of the water completelyb right now we had to carry the little polar kraft to put it in. Certainly couldn't do that with the xpress.
 
I have had a few nice boats that was garage keep and didn't really want to put a scratch on. Biggest fear was dock rash.
Present boat 1993 river jet 1654 with 90/65 jet. It is scratched up and it doesn't really bother me to much. Way less stressful owning.
 
I almost sold my late 70s model 1436 polar kraft this year. Glad I didn't we are in a bad drought and some of the spots I like to go would be inaccessible with the 20ft center console. The 1436 with 5hp merc is light enough to drag over the low spots in river and continue on. One of the ramps I frequent is almost out of the water completely right now we had to carry the little polar kraft to put it in. Certainly couldn't do that with the xpress.
That is something we might be able to do with the Princecraft that we definitely can't do with the Starcraft. But boy, does it have a nice ride.
 
You're not kidding about that ride. Nice Youtube. I am sorry to say I have not been on the water in an outboard in years -- far too long.
You should change that soon.

If you were closer, I'd take you out, but Texas is a long trip from VA.

Somebody give this man a ride!
 
Not that I'm over the hill, but I enjoyed beater boats in my younger days....not so much anymore....
My last Jon boat project I beat the ever loving snot out of it....busted ice in November, logs, stumps, shallow water...didn't matter....I've gotten out and walked it home from island to island when the motor failed and the TM battery died.....
I would not enjoy that anymore....although I miss the adventure. I play it safe nowadays
 
I've had some nice clean boats and some old faded boats but since they stay in the water all season at a dock, they all get a nice green layer of algae that has to be cleaned off at the end of the season. The nice boats I actually bought covers for to keep them somewhat dry but mainly to keep the sun from beating them up. That was a pain to remove and put back on each time I wanted to use it. Some of the boats would get mold/mildew buildup inside and you had to clean that off from time to time. My current boat is going on 9 or 10 years and it has some dents, scrapes, faded paint and it doesn't bother me a bit. The motor cover has a big crack in it from a branch coming down during Sandy and I haven't made an effort to fix that either. I figure it looks like a beat up boat so nobody will want to mess with it.Lowe_dock4.jpg
 
... I figure it looks like a beat up boat so nobody will want to mess with it.
View attachment 115970

That is an interesting statement that means more in some places than others, and it triggered a childhood memory...

When I was a kid, my parents had some very expensive racing bikes. My Dad had a Raliegh and my Mmom had a pearl Fuji that people were constantly trying to steal. It was a beautiful, expensive bike. Once, a man tried to steal it off our car's bike rack while at a red-light. Fortunately, the light turned green before he got it unlocked. It was crazy.

Tired of this, my mom, who was also an artist, decided to do something about it. She bought a variety of Testors model paints and painted on severe rust and grime. When she was done, the bike looked like it was falling apart. No one ever tried to steal it again.

I guess that left an impression on me. I don't mind if my boat looks beat up, as long as it runs flawlessly.
 
I also have beater cars to go with my beater boat. Same principle. Bought the truck cheap needing an engine rebuild. Makes a great "extra" vehicle. Good fishing combo! $3k each. Easy to transport 4 people and needed equipment.
 

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