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I went to the Boat Show yesterday and it was anemic compared to previous shows. Clemen's display was next to Stevens Marine and it made it easy to compare Alumaweld against Hewescraft, Bouton, and NW Jet Boats. So.. is a boat a boat or is there really any performance difference between these different manufactures? Or is the price difference just paying for the brand name?
 

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I think it's safe to say that most of the major aluminum boat mfg's are comparable concerning durability/sea worthiness. This would be especially true in the outboard models.

The devil is in the details. What starts to stratify the field is finish work. Boats like NR are great boats and finished exceptionally well, but you pay for that. Boats like a Hewescraft a great boats, for a great price.

You could put my Hewescraft Searunner next to a NR Seahawk and have 100 people climb all over them, then ask them a few questions. Which boat is nicer?...most would say the NR, is it 10K nicer?....most would say no.


Things to consider is your intended use. Heavy seas, skinny rivers, ect. Most of the manufactures have their niche that they are best at and have expanded to capture other markets. Look at things like hull thickness, and grade of aluminum used, warranties, resale value and try your best to compare apples to apples.

Joe
 

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I almost bought a hews craft , but while looking at the aluma welds I asked a question to a coustomer about the hewes craft he was tradeing in, he told me he was getting a alumiweld because of the chines on the hull he said it trolled way better than the hews craft. I wond up getting a 26 ft searay the wife bought me. I can't wait to get it paid off and get a alumiweld. its just to big and hard to fish out of.
 

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I've been pricing boats out myself. Frankly I don't see how you can say the NR's are more expensive. You can buy a NR Mariner for less than 20k with a 75hp Yamaha. A Hewescraft 18' Sportman with a 75hp Johnson (I think) goes for 19,945. A 176 90hp Yamaha SeaRunner sells for 23,674 compared to a 18 Seahawk with 90hp Yamaha goes for about 23k. Compare that to a 18' Duckworth with the same engine for just over 24k. Finish work on the Duckworth is so far superior imo to the NR that there is no comparison though. NR seems very rough in the Revenge, Mariner and Seahawk models. I actually thought the Hewescraft was better too. Jetcraft also seemed much nicer. As was Weldcraft. Matter of fact I was surprised at just how rough the NR boats were.

Interesting point on the Alumaweld and it's tracking while trolling. I've also heard that about boats that don't have the chines on them.
 

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Don't overlook Boulton. Looked at them at the Boat Show and they offer a lot of BOAT! Maybe not a lot on the amenities but there seems to be a lot of boat there. IMHO.
 

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I don't know. I've trolled for two seasons and can't say I've had a problem trolling striaght. Sometimes the wind pics up and I still seem to go straight. Whenever I hear people talk about the Hewescrafts lack of chines, I was always at a Alumaweld dealer's lot..... :smirk:

I got a great boat the way I wanted it for an excellent price! I have caught 17 Chinook, 4 Silvers, 25 trout, 1 Sturgeon and a squaw fish. Trolling a straight line has never been a problem.

Tom
 

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I'll say this , they are built great and you may be right about the dealer thing. I wanted one bad. And I would love to sell the beast I have now and get one but I had to make a deal with the wife about keeping this pig for a few years and then get one :argue: On the brite side I got 100gal of fuel and halibutt season is just around the corner
 

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I wandered around the boat show today, thinking I might sell my boat soon and had better be ready to buy a new one.

I have talked myself into thinking the Hewescraft searunner would be a good bargain. Talk to a Hewescraft owner and you would think you are talking a walmart employee, they think they have the cats meow going. :shrug:

I crawled all over that 20 foot searunner at the show and the more I looked the more I disliked about it. :depressed: So many things were just not user friendly. I would like to see one of the alaskan models but I was told I would be lucky to get one by December if I ordered it today :whazzup: The washdown pump connection was turned into the boat and would get broke off probably on the first trip. The open bow storage did not have recessed doors and looked like trip hazards up front. The lockable rod storage bulged into the boat. The controls were not a comfortable reach from the seat. You have to either get the offshore bracket or waste a couple feet in the back of the boat with a splash well which I dont like.

The boat I liked the best at the show was the Boulton W/ offshore bracket, those 36 inch sides are nice. The boxes under the seats were probably twice the size of the Searunner. The fishing area was a more vertical wall which is easier to lean against in rough water. Lots more storage, and I liked the layout. The one thing I thought was lacking was the flimsy top. I bet at 60mph it would fold like a cheap kite in a hurricane. :smash: Besides for the top, I didnt like the latch on the fish box and the latch on the front door, they should rethink their latches IMO. I would have liked a little bigger than 40 gallon tank, but with the 4 stroke it might be enough I just dont know. I didnt like the price tag ($39500)on the Boulton with the 150hp Honda but I liked the boat the best at the show.
 

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The top on the Boulton is weak and would need to be upgraded. Roy, how long a boat were you looking at? At the January show I thought the 21' w/ bracketed 150 was around $34K. :rolleyes: Don't forget they have a 102" beam too. The Boulton will be my next boat. Although today when running in 2 feet of water I really liked my jet. :shrug:
 

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Rich - It was the 21 foot boat I was looking at. Yes, the 102 inch width, 36 inch sides make for a nice boat. I dont know the correct term :shrug: but I also liked how they flared up the front rather than just run it flat all the way from the stern to the bow like most alum boats.

Nice to know it was $34 a couple months ago. Maybe I need to make an offer :wink:
 

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Before you make up your mind, come and take a look at my boat, Roy. The entire hull is .250, not just the bottom. The chines are a weak point on most all the boats you mentioned. For 2/3 the length of my boat the first (and only) weld is at the keel. No two-point-welded extruded chines.

Mine's 23'8" plus the offshore braket and 8'5" wide, enclosed cabin, not soft or even hard top, dual helm, hydraulic steering, scuppered decks, water washdown system, air seats, rocket launchers, 105 gal fuel capacity, color GPS chart plotter, color Lowrance fishfinder/GPS, VHF radio, fuel computer, 140hp Suzuki and 9.9 hp Honda 4-strokes, both electric start and tilt, stereo, and a tandem axle galvanized trailer with stainless disc brakes. Oh yeah, and I paid less for the whole shootin' match than they are asking for the Boulton.

The finish work is attrocious. Ever look at the finish work inside a tank? :shrug:
 

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The finish work is attrocious. :shrug:
Roy would like this feature that way no one would be able to tell which "options" are "Roy Built". :smirk:
 

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BO(E) knows "As-Builts" :laugh: :laugh:
 

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I dont know how this thread got turned around to pick on me :shrug:

But, I tried to call Ed today to talk about a little welding project :wink: Maybe he will answer his phone tomorrow :shrug:
 

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There are no ugly boats - just some are prettier than others.
 

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So Crabbait,

What does a set-up like your's cost? :whazzup:
 

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Skipper - PM your email and I will send you the invoice. About 10-15% more than shown (last years prices...I ordered in Jan '03).

Easy answer - About $15,000-20,000 less than you would guess.
 
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