Finding The Best Bass Boat For The Money
Now that a semblance of normalcy has crept back into our daily lives, it’s time to focus on the more important things in life once again- Bass boats. Are you looking for a new boat or perhaps a few upgrades for one you already own? Do you have a specific model in mind? What is the best way to see a wide variety and get good information at the same time? How do you go about finding the best bass boat for the money?
Depending on your location, you may need to travel a considerable distance to put your hands on a model that piques your interest. You can see plenty of specs and pictures on the web, but if you want to see one up close and personal or set up a test drive, it can require several phone calls and maybe a few road trips.
If you’re lucky to live close to lots of water, you likely have several marinas within a reasonable driving distance. Sometimes though, you might have only one local dealer with limited inventory, and you’ll need a game plan to get you up close enough to do a slow walk around on a model that might interest you.
Boat Shows/ Fishing Expos are a great place to see a large variety of bass fishing boats, motors, and accessories under one roof (although larger shows can utilize multiple buildings.) Often boat dealers from near and far bring several models to exhibit, and their staff can also answer almost any question a prospective buyer might have. Additionally, when several marinas are present, prospective buyers can see practically every make and model currently available in one visit and take advantage of “show specials” and favorable pricing options.
There is no substitute for a hands-on, up-close, and personal inspection of a boat that catches your eye. Sometimes a prospective buyer can even arrange for a test drive during the show or at a later date.
Sheila Bunch and her husband Curtis own and run the upcoming Alabama Fishing Show & Expo, (also the East Tennessee show in Knoxville) which begins March 10th and runs through the 12th at the Venue at Coosa Landing in Gadsden, Alabama. She is an experienced show producer having coordinated the annual Expo held in Knoxville, Tennessee since 1990 and is into her 14th year planning and putting on these types of events.
The Gadsden show is a full-blown fishing expo with boats, kayaks, tackle, marine electronics, custom lures, apparel and more products presented by hundreds of vendors all under one roof. That consolidation of so many different fishing options and brands offers the perfect “One Stop Shopping” for both anglers in the market for a product and those who just want to have fun seeing the “latest and greatest” stuff and what is out there in the marketplace.
“Often manufacturers use our shows to introduce a new line of boats, motors, or accessories, so it’s a great place to see and gather the information that can help a prospective buyer make an informed decision in a family-friendly environment,” Bunch said. She also mentioned that her shows include various seminars on water safety, innovative new products, demonstrations, along with seminars for different species presented by professional anglers.
Bunch emphasized that the show is an all age, family friendly event and features prize drawings, door prizes and a special Junior Angler and First Responder/Military Day.
Companies often offer dealer incentives in conjunction with these boat shows and can include upgrades, accessories, or special financing. In addition, it’s a great way to meet dealers from other areas, see various setups under one roof, and find out about servicing and maintenance issues.
When it comes to finding the best bass boat for the money, there are a few things to consider:
- Your budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend on a bass boat.
- Your needs: Consider what features are important to you, such as the size of the boat, the type of motor, the number of seats, the storage capacity, and any additional accessories you may want.
- Brand reputation: Look for reputable brands known for quality bass boats.
- Reviews: Research reviews from other boaters to get an idea of the reliability and performance of the boats you are considering.
Best Bass Boat For The Money: Aluminum vs. Fiberglass
Aluminum and fiberglass are both popular materials for bass boats, and each has advantages and disadvantages.
The best aluminum bass boats are generally more affordable than fiberglass boats and are also lighter in weight, making them easier to tow and launch. Aluminum boats are also known for their durability and resistance to corrosion. They can withstand harsh weather conditions and are less likely to suffer from damage caused by rocks or logs in the water.
Fiberglass boats, on the other hand, are generally faster and smoother in the water, making them more desirable for serious anglers. They are also more rigid and can provide a more stable platform for fishing. Fiberglass boats can be more expensive than aluminum boats, but they are also known for their sleek, stylish appearance.
Ultimately, choosing an aluminum or a fiberglass bass boat will depend on your individual needs and preferences. For example, an aluminum boat may be better if you are on a budget or plan to fish in shallow or rocky waters. On the other hand, a fiberglass boat may be the way to go if you prioritize speed, stability, and a stylish appearance. However, just remember fish don’t have a preference, and many limits of bass have filled the live wells of both.
Dan O’Sullivan is in Marketing at Buck’s Island Marina and keeps his finger on the pulse of the current boat market. In addition, O’Sullivan helps ensure their inventory of boats and accessories has enough variety to satisfy everyone from the weekend angler to the tournament pro.
Ultimately, finding the best bass boat for the money will depend on your individual needs and budget, and how determined you are to find that elusive deal. It’s a good idea to locate the nearest boat show (Gadsden March 10-12) to do a walk around and, if possible, test out different boats and read a few reviews of various models before making a decision.
But don’t forget, Dan O’Sullivan and Buck’s Island are just a phone call and a short drive away. Check their website and see their extensive inventory and call for pricing. They can answer any question and arrange a test drive once you zero in on your new fishing rig.