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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With Southampton boat show looming I am thinking about treating myself to a new boat for next season (I feel the need for speed) and it strikes me that there may be a few 'specials' on offer at the show. Has any one any experience of buying at the major shows? With the high cost of attendance for the exhibitors I would guess it must be tempting for them to offer some attractive packages and come away with a full order book. Any more reviews in the pipeline on the forum ??? Warrior 165 - Predator - Endeavour - Pilothouse 500, any more news on Explorer ? Basic remit is Trailerable - sub 18' for use with a 50 - 75hp fourstroke - Open cuddy would be fine - as much as we love the Strikeliner there is a fair bit of unusable space as the cuddy starts quite a way from the bow and as ours has the full locking bulkhead which is useful - you cant actually use the space for anything other than storage. All thoughts and musings welcomed as always.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers Mike - always nice to know that you can go straight to the top ;)
 

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I've just been through the process of buying a new boat, I ended up with a pilothouse 20. After looking at loads of them, then I'd have to say, if buying an open wheelhouse design I'd go straight for the Leeward 18. Fantastic boat with more fishing space than any other I looked at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cheers Fish - I had not considered Leeward and know nothing about them, - dont suppose you have a link to a site do you. What I would like to do is get myself a shortlist of possibles to view.
 

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So that's what it is, a Leeward 18. I've seen one in Port Solent. A real little ship! Looks a bit heavy for regular trailering though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
:eek: She looks H U G E - I think the family Fiesta might struggle a tad pulling that puppy up the slip. Thanks for the link but I think she might be a bit too much of a boatasaurus for me. (I don't really use a Fiesta).
 

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Very well built and therefore a little heavier than most but should be easy enough to tow. The open wheelhouse version is a good bit lighter / smaller than mine and I've not had any problems with that. I've launched off slipways and quite flat beaches with no bother so can't see the Leeward would be any different.
Any boat is going to be a bit of a compromise, just think of what you could do with all that space......... and the handling / sea keeping abilities are great. Almost talked myself into buying one now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am sure that you are right - however one of the things that I like best about the Strikeliner is the ease of towing and single handed launch and recovery. Just looking at the ambleboat site brought about an unplanned laundry change :eek: !! I think that I want something with about a 7' beam and comfy at 20 - 25kts with the economy of a 60ish motor. It's usually just my wife and myself and we like the ease of smaller boats - check - hitch and go. It worries me that the bigger the boat the bigger the headaches. Bigger motors - trailers - tow cars - insurance - expectations?? Our Strikeliner is a great boat - Cheap - tidy - easy to run - good looking (well I think so) just a bit slower than I would like and possibly we could get a fraction more space with a beamier albeit deeper V hull.
 

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I did have a few trepidations with everything being on a larger scale, I had an alaska 500 and it's like going from a motorbike to a minibus, but it's all worked out fine. I can launch on my own in decent weather and recovery is actually easier with the new trailer. The only drawbacks have been minor things like having to buy a heavier jack and heavier fuel consumption but all these were forgotten about the first time it rained heavily!
Let me know what you end up getting.
 

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Choice of boat is yours to make, whatever suits your needs. Try to get out on them on a rough day, no good having a demo on flat calm, they will all handle well. It is how it handles in the rough that gives you confidence. I demmo'd mine in a force 7, way over what I would consider safe for a small boat but it handled it brilliantly, says something if the boatyard was prepared to let me take it out in such weather. That was what sold it to me.

Please check out the trailer that comes with your boat, when a demo is arranged most places have the boat on the water ready for you. You really want to launch and recover it yourself to see how deep you need to go, how easy it comes off and goes back on. A good trailer will carry the boat low so you need less water to get it off and it will be self guiding when it comes to recovery so it is possible to recover on your own.

On the subject of trailers, I would avoid a trailer with ALKO or KNOTT axles, IMHO they are not suitable for boat trailers. Even though they are advertised as sealed for life, sounds good. What it actually means is that means cannot regrease them and they last an average of 2 to 3 years in my experience before they collapse usually in the worst place possible.

They use a special type bearing that is not replaceable roadside. If a bearing goes you are faced with a lowloader and they are mega expensive to repair, last time I enquired over £150 per hub. A normal bearing, Indespension, Snipe, some Hallmarks etc.will cost you £20ish and can in an emergency be done roadside in 15 min with handtools. It is allmost the same price and quicker to replace the complete axle with an Indespension(for example) than get a pair of Alco or Knott bearings replaced. Some of them also use an odd rim for the tyre which is not easily available so if you kerbed and damaged the rim you are again stuck unless you carry a spare. ( Always an extra when you buy a trailer and amazingly not everyone carrys one. Anyone who needs a spare for Alco or Knott I have about 10 here from trailers I have replaced axles on.)

I have just ordered a Rib for my son and the standard trailer it came with was one fitted with Knott hubs. I paid extra to have it on a Snipe Rollercoaster for him to save grief in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Chris - your right about choice - however as I work 6 days a week and only have Sundays off I would like to narrow it down to a handfull of boats that are going to be pretty much close to the mark to start with. As far as trailers are concerned it always amazes us how deep into the water some people stick their rigs in - we even see exhausts under water!!! Our Bramber Roller coaster does not even get the tyres wet when we launch. It is 12 months old and the hubs have never been wet. So as you can imagine a decent trailer is high on my priority list. Have to be honest though I dont know what axle it has.
 

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You have got Alko axles unless you have the smallest siz trailers they make. I would put money on their web site not giving details on axles and bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Now you have got me worried - Our trailer is the single wheel unbraked basic rollaglide with 10" wheels - and yes we do carry a spare wheel. However like I said the hubs have never been damp. Benefit of having an all tide slip I suppose.
 

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The Alco will have ALCO on the hub grease covers and usually a plate on the centre of the axle with axle details on it. May be worth ringing Bramber and asking how much bearings are for your trailer.

May make up your mind to get a new one soner rather than later ;)
 

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As requested boats to go on in the not too distant future...

Raider 18
Swift 165
Azura 570 W/A, 600, 650 W/A
Merryfisher 625, 635, 805, 580
Pilothouse 500, 540, 630
Scapasport 510
Sea Hawk 17
Terhi Big Fun
Arvor 23, 250
Orkney 520
Warrior 165
Explorer Fast Bass 22
Orkney 20

Ones to go on much later...
Drago Olympus 540
Drago Sunday Fisher Cabin Cruiser
Linder 440 Alloy Dinghy
Offshore Pro Charter 25-35
Offshore Pro Charter 35-40
Campion Explorer 582
White Shark 225

Mike Jnr

P.S As always there are a few others in the pipeline
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Mike - there are a few models there that look interesting pilothouse 500 warrior 165 - Drago Sunday is nice but might be a tad over budget Terhi big fun sounds like an adult toy - Orkney 520 is probebly brilliant but a bit too close to what I have plus they will say it does 30kts and when you load it up you will get 15. Eagerly awaiting test results. Steve - Any news ref Explorer boats ??
 

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hi csx i bought my new boat begining of the year its a predator had a strikeliner before which was also a great boat,
i have a 60 big foot mercury on the back with power tilt all in all it's a great boat and goes like a rocket when needed only trouble i have is getting in amnd out as it is quite high up on the trailer and off had a ladder made but is still a bit of a problem.
its ok on a jetty where you can bring the boat round the side and just step in ,
but to fish out of its brilliant,
loads of room/ storage / and tows great , trouble is dont use it as much as i should .
have been going out on a few charters lately, but i recomend the predator 16 its a great all round boat i must start using it more if not will have to put it up for sale.
hope the picture comes out ok i am a novice at putting pictures up...

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cant see the images - would like to, any chance of sending them to [email protected] Really interested in your thoughts and comparisons with the Strikeliner. We Love our boat and my wife is a bit concerned that we might spend the extra dosh and not like the boat as much. (I just want a bit more poke). We have been out every weekend since we got the boat in March - I have recently put a new (2004) Tohatsu 4/ 25hp on the back. The boat with Charmaine, myself and our kit gives us a steady 11 - 12 knts (it has a full cuddy with bulkhead which adds a bit of weight) We generally use about 5lt of fuel per 10miles roughly 4lt per hour - How does this compare with what you had and what do you get now with the Predator. When you say that the boat is hard to get into does this mean in the water when launching as well?? Sorry for all the questions but as you have taken a similar route to what I am thinking about I am quite interested in your thoughts, possibly your boat if you fancied down sizing!!! :rolleyes:
 
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