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Boat buying advice 1550

Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote M4ster0fNone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Boat buying advice 1550
    Posted: 10 Oct 2019 at 3:59pm
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Looking to buy a boat and as I have a youngish family (11,8,3) it needs to be a "safe" boat. Fishing will be mostly around Hauraki Gulf, Firth of Thames etc.

Have been considering Stabicraft 1550 frontier as I think I can handle it with my sons and don't have to upgrade my car as it should be able to tow it fine. 

Anything else out there that you would rather recommend?

Appreciate the feedback Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote ofthesea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2019 at 5:28pm
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There are no safe boats, just safe captains Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Roofless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2019 at 8:52pm
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Have a look at frewza boats a f16 or f18
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Joker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2019 at 10:22pm
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Or the FC 465 to 535 range for a safe, stable, dry and roomy boat in the same price range. I had a FC500c/c that we went everywhere possible around Auckland and much more in. The lo-rider trailers on these make towing and launch/retrieve a breeze.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rozboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 3:22am
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There's a lot of very good boats in this size bracket.

My 2c, with the following to note:
We ended up with a 1550 so I'm biased, and we were looking for a runabout, but many of the observations still apply....

Commonly considered boats in this space...
Frewza F14, F16
Stabicraft 1550
FC435, 535
Surtees 495

Here's some various observations about each:

Stabicraft 1550:
Assuming the Frontier is the same up to the gunwales as the Fisher, has really good high gunwales at, off the top of my head, 720mm. This makes it feel very safe, helped by a full-height transom.
Optioning the boat, some things are very good value and no-brainers, some are ludicrously expensive.
Needs some grunt on the transom, 60hp is a good place to start.
Wing-style coamings are really good. With the stability of the boat you can sit on them, clamber around the boat when you're launching/retrieving, blah blah.
The Frontier gets the very cool transom setup with the full bait station with livebait tank blah blah blah. I wanted a Fisher with this setup but they wanted silly money to build one like that.
The tackle trays under the seat.... ehhh, take it or leave it. We got our Fisher built without them, same setup as the port side (with a hook for the IcyTek). I figure in 10 years when then trays are all cracked/smashed and Shimano/Plano don't make them any more it would be really annoying. I would seriously consider asking if they can built it with some dry(ish) storage with a hatch under the seat instead.
Extremely confident handling in a following sea. In a (reasonably big) head sea it's either very wet if you drive too slow or spine-ruining if you drive too fast. Staying in the sweet spot requires attentive driving and playing with throttle, trim, and heading a lot.
Also, the Frontier is ludicrously expensive, you'll probably be in to one for 50k+ by the time you option it up.

Surtees 495:
Oodles of space on the runabout, CC presumably the same. Very practical layout.
Lower gunwales at 600mm.
Stability is good compared to a traditional deep-vee tinny, but nowhere near that of the pontoons or gullwing hulls.
Full height transom, nice wide gunwales. Best baitboard setup in its class, especially if you pay the cash and get the enormous 900mm option.
Options were surprisingly well priced, you can really "pocket battleship" the boat without spending outrageous money.
Also requires some grunt, deep-vee with no chines means it doesn't lift itself super well, 60hp+
Probably the best ride into a head sea.

Frewza F14:
Way narrower beam than the others at 1.75m. Very limited flat floor space as well; the bottom of the hull intrudes significantly into the floor. Internal beam of only 1.2m means it's a 2-person max fishing boat, even in the side console.
Great value for money, highly customisable.
Unsure of the gunwale height.
Regular (narrow) gunwales.
F16: Way more boat than the F14, still slightly narrow in the beam but much more usable space.

FC435:
Wicked little harbour boat, arguably the best value. Base boat includes plenty of features, like the passive livebait tank.
Lowest gunwale height at 580mm.
Easily towed/handled, tow weight nearly 200kg less than the 1550. Also means it will go well with as little as a 40hp.
Low transom with outboard cutout, no outboard well.
Beamy for the length, fair bit of room, although you would need to be careful on the forward casting deck due to extremely low gunwales up the front.
Basically a sheltered waters/pick your days carefully boat. Probably very safe but they have no height in the bow so it would be pretty easy to put a few over the front and you would be very very wet.
Nice wide gunwales.
Probably great for kids on a good day, and miserable on a bad one.
535:
Way more boat. 6.5m on the trailer so won't fit in a standard garage. 
Relatively low gunwales at 640mm for a boat this size.
Comparable tow/handling weight to the 1550 and 495 at 750kg BMT, I imagine it would go ok with a 60 but better with a 70+hp motor, especially if you want to tow a ski biscuit or anything like that.

EDITED TO ADD:
I have only talked about Centre/Side Console boats here, rather than cuddy options. It's a shame that FC no longer seems to make a middle-ground between the 435 and 535 in a CC.

My 2c anyway :)
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JustAnotherSpearo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 6:47am
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My 5 cents.

In 4 years time 3 kids + the wife + you (assuming theres a wife) the 1550 will be getting a bit small for a family outing.

Go the next size up into the 5.2-5.5m category.. so its comfortable and you don't have to upsize later on.

Unless you have an injury you should be able to handle this size no dramas on your own (obviously takes a little time to get used to it but it ends up becoming like clockwork)

More horses the better, can never have too much grunt a along as the skipper is responsible and aware of whats going on.

Goodluck!

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote M4ster0fNone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 7:27am
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Very true :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote M4ster0fNone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 7:39am
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Thank you Rozboon for your 2c. I agree in that I would go for the fisher if only I could get the full bait station like the frontier. Having fished with friends and different boats I really like that setup.

JustAnotherSpearo; I have considered the boys growing up and is something I constantly think about??Disapprove
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2019 at 9:28am
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For a young family I'd consider a fibreglass boat. You aren't bar crossing or going out in storms with young kids. The glass boat will have a better cuddy so the kids can sleep and more comfort. 

Just get a recent one with a good motor and make sure that it has VHF and beacon. 
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