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What say you? What is the best vintage of a west coast performance boat?

Sportin' Wood

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@angiebaby and I are shopping after a long break from boating. We have been having some deep discussions on which model years might be considered the best? Yes, Angie knows a lot more than me about boats. She's been on the river her whole life.

What say you RDP? after all you all might offer the best judgment on this topic. Power train, hull design, and construction, floorplans, etc. This is not necessarily a brand conversation, but if you feel the need, you can cheerlead all you like. We have been having some fun today talking about which years produced the best boats, I thought it might be fun to expand our discussion.

Vintage is not meant to define old, more like wine, which years no matter how old produced quality.

Thanks in advance.

Jeff
 
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A 21' River Cruiser is the timeless classic boat. Not practical for weekend water conditions these days though. GM power all the way. What are you looking for or boat needs?
As far as what years produced the best boats there's positives and negatives. I had a 2001 21 Commander that had a nice gel coat but what felt like a thin hull. My 1990 Howard doesn't have as nice as gel the Commander but the hull is definitely thicker and straighter. Meaning the Commander and other brands have a bow when you looked down the side.
 
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spectras only

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My boat, a 1990 Mirage 257 Trovare could be called vintage. It's not a well known boat in the south but worth checking one out if you find them locally. They came with single big blocks, 24 degree deadrise, hand rolled laminate process and 10 yr hull warranty while was in production. Mine is rare with twin engines that's preferred if running in the ocean, further from shore. I've used them in poker runs running the ocean, lakes. Very solid boats.
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angiebaby

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My boat, a 1990 Mirage 257 Trovare could be called vintage. It's not a well known boat in the south but worth checking one out if you find them locally. They came with single big blocks, 24 degree deadrise, hand rolled laminate process and 10 yr hull warranty while was in production. Mine is rare with twin engines that's preferred if running in the ocean, further from shore. I've used them in poker runs running the ocean, lakes. Very solid boats.
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That's a beautiful boat.
 

Sportin' Wood

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Updated the question. Vintage is not intended to signify older boats, rather the year. Much like wine. The intention is to identify the perfect combination of supply, vs demand and the method in which the boats were produced. if 2021 is your choice, feel free to make a case. Does powertrain availability play into it? I suspect yes.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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@angiebaby and I are shopping after a long break from boating. We have been having some deep discussions on which model years might be considered the best? Yes, Angie knows a lot more than me about boats. She's been on the river her whole life.

What say you RDP? after all you all might offer the best judgment on this topic. Power train, hull design, and construction, floorplans, etc. This is not necessarily a brand conversation, but if you feel the need, you can cheerlead all you like. We have been having some fun today talking about which years produced the best boats, I thought it might be fun to expand our discussion.

Thanks in advance.

Jeff

Since you mention the river, I'll assume thats where you plan on boating.

Depending on the needs, I'd either go with a 19-21 foot jet boat, either a Daytona style hull, or something in a v like a sprint boat, early 80's are pretty nice. The boats are cheap, plentiful, easy to find, easy to wrench on (and the engines dont have to be big for decent performance), maintenance is low and it doesnt take you an hour to clean it. And you can pretty much drive them anywhere and not worry about a prop.

If a prop boat is your thing, then I'd look at a 20-21 foot v-bottom like a Schiada, Hallett, Howard, Eliminator, etc. from the 80s-90's. Depending on how much interior room you want, you can either go v-drive, or an I/O. V-drive is more fun and maybe a little less maintenance than an I/O, but hit something with either and your going to lose something.

Either way, keeping it smaller makes it more affordable which is sort of the point of a river boat.
 

Sportin' Wood

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Since you mention the river, I'll assume thats where you plan on boating.

Depending on the needs, I'd either go with a 19-21 foot jet boat, either a Daytona style hull, or something in a v like a sprint boat, early 80's are pretty nice. The boats are cheap, plentiful, easy to find, easy to wrench on (and the engines dont have to be big for decent performance), maintenance is low and it doesnt take you an hour to clean it. And you can pretty much drive them anywhere and not worry about a prop.

If a prop boat is your thing, then I'd look at a 20-21 foot v-bottom like a Schiada, Hallett, Howard, Eliminator, etc. from the 80s-90's. Depending on how much interior room you want, you can either go v-drive, or an I/O. V-drive is more fun and maybe a little less maintenance than an I/O, but hit something with either and your going to lose something.

Either way, keeping it smaller makes it more affordable which is sort of the point of a river boat.
Our last boat worth mentioning was a Hallett that was really happy on the Parker Strip. Maybe I used @angiebaby and River too loosely? We need to navigate big water in Montana and Northern Idaho as well as Havasu. The size and style are not what I am after, the years that the manufactures produced the best boats regardless of size.
 

DILLIGAF

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A 25' Shockwave would be a good choice for larger water but still not too big. I always felt mine could handle pretty much Mohave very well. The 29' Shockwave was a beast for me across the ocean to Catalina and the basin of Mohave.
 

angiebaby

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Since you mention the river, I'll assume thats where you plan on boating.

Depending on the needs, I'd either go with a 19-21 foot jet boat, either a Daytona style hull, or something in a v like a sprint boat, early 80's are pretty nice. The boats are cheap, plentiful, easy to find, easy to wrench on (and the engines dont have to be big for decent performance), maintenance is low and it doesnt take you an hour to clean it. And you can pretty much drive them anywhere and not worry about a prop.

If a prop boat is your thing, then I'd look at a 20-21 foot v-bottom like a Schiada, Hallett, Howard, Eliminator, etc. from the 80s-90's. Depending on how much interior room you want, you can either go v-drive, or an I/O. V-drive is more fun and maybe a little less maintenance than an I/O, but hit something with either and your going to lose something.

Either way, keeping it smaller makes it more affordable which is sort of the point of a river boat.

I think he failed to mention something pretty important. We spend the summers in Western Montana and N. Idaho where the water is kinda big. Coeur d'Alene, Pend O'reille, and Flathead. If you are not familiar with these waters, think Lake Tahoe and Mead. A 20' boat can get into trouble really quick on those waters.

3b002e2f7f6183f28f216e1b739372f4--flathead-lake-montana-surfs.jpg


He's looking to see what years are the best for boat builders as far as quality.
 

azsunfun

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Our last boat worth mentioning was a Hallet that was really happy on the Parker Strip. Maybe I used @angiebaby and River too loosely? We need to navigate big water in Montana and Northern Idaho as well as Havasu. The size and style are not what I am after, the years that the manufactures produced the best boats regardless of size.
if you made the decision on motor home that you work on like a boat or motorcycle frequently! you should let, angiebaby ask the questions.;)
 

Sportin' Wood

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Let me throw a bone as an example.

Was 2004 the best year? Lots of demand, lots of supply, lots of money. You could get a stock 525 EFI, the manufactures were selling boats like crazy. Hell, I think we got wasted at the LA boat show that year, all jacked up on RedBull and Vodka.

OR

Was that a bad year because the manufactures were overwhelmed and selling shit like crazy and people were jacked up on Redbull and Vodka and spending money like drunken sailors? Slapping boats together?

Could be either I guess? Hence the question.
 

DarkHorseRacing

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Our last boat worth mentioning was a Hallett that was really happy on the Parker Strip. Maybe I used @angiebaby and River too loosely? We need to navigate big water in Montana and Northern Idaho as well as Havasu. The size and style are not what I am after, the years that the manufactures produced the best boats regardless of size.
Well then in that case nothing smaller than a 26 v-bottom. I run a 26 on a small but extremely rough lake and the hull really handles it well. Before I bought it, it ran Havasu for years and going up to the City from the Springs, it was never an issue.

Now we have a 30' v-bottom for Havasu, and I've not encountered any conditions on Havasu (or Mohave) that it didnt handle like it was nothing. I've even run it to Catalina and while I'm not running it in storm conditions, the hull handles the usual swell and chop great.

About my only suggestion would be to step up to something with twin engines (even outboards). Big water you should have twins so should something happen to one you can limp home on the other.
 

Sportin' Wood

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if you made the decision on motor home that you work on like a boat or motorcycle frequently! you should let, angiebaby ask the questions.;)
Bravo, nice touch. 2008 was not a great year for RV manufactures. I can tell you that. Damn DPF. :)
 

Sportin' Wood

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I think he failed to mention something pretty important. We spend the summers in Western Montana and N. Idaho where the water is kinda big. Coeur d'Alene, Pend O'reille, and Flathead. If you are not familiar with these waters, think Lake Tahoe and Mead. A 20' boat can get into trouble really quick on those waters.

View attachment 1068407

He's looking to see what years are the best for boat builders as far as quality.
@angiebaby your not making a great case for boating on the flathead. Surfing maybe, but boating? I dunno? Unless we employ the Bluetop legends, girls, to ferry us around?
 

DarkHorseRacing

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I think he failed to mention something pretty important. We spend the summers in Western Montana and N. Idaho where the water is kinda big. Coeur d'Alene, Pend O'reille, and Flathead. If you are not familiar with these waters, think Lake Tahoe and Mead. A 20' boat can get into trouble really quick on those waters.

View attachment 1068407

He's looking to see what years are the best for boat builders as far as quality.
I dont think its what years are best for boat builders as far as quality unless you are talking about the smaller manufacturers that popped up and got passed around in ownership using other manufacturer's designs (bottoms, mainly, usually with their own tooled deck to set it apart).

Some manufacturers were, and remain to be, quality no matter what year you want to pick. Eliminator, Howard, Schiada, Hallett, DCB, Outerlimits, MTI, etc.
 

azsunfun

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agree with 25' or a 32' v- hull my little 22' hauls ass, but the comfort level non existant in the 2' and above chop, hold on.
 

LakeMead Boater

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I think he failed to mention something pretty important. We spend the summers in Western Montana and N. Idaho where the water is kinda big. Coeur d'Alene, Pend O'reille, and Flathead. If you are not familiar with these waters, think Lake Tahoe and Mead. A 20' boat can get into trouble really quick on those waters.

View attachment 1068407

He's looking to see what years are the best for boat builders as far as quality.
What lake is this?!

And I’m partial to Hallett. From a 210 and up, they were all built for Lake Mead. That can arguably be the roughest lake in the Colorado River system.
 
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RiverDave

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For me it’s Hallett 240 / 210 - Schiada 21/22/24 - 24 Spectra / 20 for smoother waters.. for something newer but affordable considers maxed out marines 21 which is the Howard cruiser mold
 

ka0tyk

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Hallett 240, Schiada 24, Vaughn 24, Howard 22 offshore, Warock 23.

All deep V cutters.
 

Nanu/Nanu

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When you say vintage did you have some years in mind?

If your running big water 22' would be the smallest I would go. My father in law Has a 2006 22' advantage citation mid cabin open bow with a 496 HO and that boat handles well although tabs would help a lot more. I have a 1994 eliminator eagle 250 that was converted to a mcob with a carbureted 454 lightly massaged to approximately 400-450 HP. And that boat handles very well and my tabs make it a very comfortable ride.

For what it's worth I boat at Powell only and there is a long canyon that is extremely brutal. To those who have run the gauntlet you know what I'm talking about. When asked about handling rough water that's where I'm drawing my experience from

So I gave you 2 boats from 2 different eras and my experiences with them hope it helps. Happy to hear you're getting back on the lake!!
 

Sleek-Jet

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I still think that anything bigger than a 21-23 foot boat is overkill for the water I boat on.

My old Eliminator would just eat up the afternoon chop on some "big" lakes.

So for my money, a 70's vintage 21 foot(ish) day cruiser with a nice sharp bow entry and a deep-v bottom would do the trick. A Howard Offshore would be up there on the list.
 

Sportin' Wood

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When you say vintage did you have some years in mind?

That's what I am trying to understand. In the Jeep world, I could tell you which years have which drivetrains, aftermarket support, suspension, etc. IMHO a 2005 LJ is pretty hard to beat. With Ford SuperDuties one could argue the 99-2002 models have a great balance of form and function.

I'm looking for the model years that produced the right circumstances to yield exceptional boats. Maybe it was the years Sammy Wizznuts was laying up hulls, or Joe Schmo was doing gelcoats, or whoever was rigging boats? Is there a window that we had the right powertrains and build quality that outperformed other years, or do custom boats not have this type of model year changes?

I'm pretty sure a 25-27 MCOB with an EFI motor from a reputable builder mentioned in this thread is the right path, just curious if there is a nugget hiding in a specific year?

Thanks

jeff
 

Gelcoater

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That's what I am trying to understand. In the Jeep world, I could tell you which years have which drivetrains, aftermarket support, suspension, etc. IMHO a 2005 LJ is pretty hard to beat. With Ford SuperDuties one could argue the 99-2002 models have a great balance of form and function.

I'm looking for the model years that produced the right circumstances to yield exceptional boats. Maybe it was the years Sammy Wizznuts was laying up hulls, or Joe Schmo was doing gelcoats, or whoever was rigging boats? Is there a window that we had the right powertrains and build quality that outperformed other years, or do custom boats not have this type of model year changes?

I'm pretty sure a 25-27 MCOB with an EFI motor from a reputable builder mentioned in this thread is the right path, just curious if there is a nugget hiding in a specific year?

Thanks

jeff
On an outdrive boat I’d be skipping Bravo 1 outdrive. Meaning find something with an XR
 

707dog

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That's what I am trying to understand. In the Jeep world, I could tell you which years have which drivetrains, aftermarket support, suspension, etc. IMHO a 2005 LJ is pretty hard to beat. With Ford SuperDuties one could argue the 99-2002 models have a great balance of form and function.

I'm looking for the model years that produced the right circumstances to yield exceptional boats. Maybe it was the years Sammy Wizznuts was laying up hulls, or Joe Schmo was doing gelcoats, or whoever was rigging boats? Is there a window that we had the right powertrains and build quality that outperformed other years, or do custom boats not have this type of model year changes?

I'm pretty sure a 25-27 MCOB with an EFI motor from a reputable builder mentioned in this thread is the right path, just curious if there is a nugget hiding in a specific year?

Thanks

jeff
that size range i believe would work out great wont need a dually or f150 to tow with either. there is a year/ model with every manufacture that has it issues like stability at high speeds, ride quality, turning...ect. the other question would be main purpose of boating, what do you spend 80-90% of your time on the water doing? and going forward the purpose of boating to know if your spending the right money on the right boat or will need to change boats in a year or two.
 

angiebaby

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What lake is this?!

And I’m partial to Hallett. From a 210 and up, they were all built for Lake Mead. That can arguably be the roughest lake in the Colorado River system.
All of the pictures I posted are from the same lake. Flathead. Largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. But Pend Oreille and Coeur d'Alene are nearly as large and about 3 hours from this one.
 

Outdrive1

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Weekends in Havasu? 270 Hallett. They are timeless, they ride good, and they have that classy look.

Parker or weekdays in Havasu? 21rc. Nothing else has the proper proportions. Not the Howard, not the Spectra, not a 22 Schiada. The 21’s lines are perfect. You can do an I/O if Vdrives aren’t your thing.

Those two models are the classic look imo.
 

hallett3

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Best all around lake boat boat open bow 240 Hallett with 525 mercury racing. Lots of room and seating. For River 21 Schiada 210 Hallett or 21 vector. If I had tons of money my dream boat would be a 24’ Schiada with a Teague 1050 scx Drive.
 

Runs2rch

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All of the pictures I posted are from the same lake. Flathead. Largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. But Pend Oreille and Coeur d'Alene are nearly as large and about 3 hours from this one.
You're gonna need a bigger boat haha. What is your price range?
 

Runs2rch

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Best all around lake boat boat open bow 240 Hallett with 525 mercury racing. Lots of room and seating. For River 21 Schiada 210 Hallett or 21 vector. If I had tons of money my dream boat would be a 24’ Schiada with a Teague 1050 scx Drive.
Twin engine 27 is the best all around lake boat. Hands down. Followed by the 30. Now that I am older and wiser I would take the 30 all day.
 

Sportin' Wood

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You ever see Tahoe when it is rough? You could surf the shoreline.
LOL, yea, we lived in Reno for 8 years. Big lakes can turn to sh!t quick. We have been on Mohave with some pretty rough water in our old Hallett and it can get scary.
 

Runs2rch

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LOL, yea, we lived in Reno for 8 years. Big lakes can turn to sh!t quick. We have been on Mohave with some pretty rough water in our old Hallett and it can get scary.
Oh yeah. I have been in more bad storms than I can remember on Mead and Powell. The Basin on Mohave gets nasty as well.
 

hallett3

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Twin engine 27 is the best all around lake boat. Hands down. Followed by the 30. Now that I am older and wiser I would take the 30 all day.
They probably are but when they get past 24 feet it’s to hard to clean for me lol. I’m getting old lol . You can’t beat the ride of Bigger boats, they are nice that’s for sure.
 

rush1

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Make your life easy commit to a 27' Hallet you'll be happy you did .Cadillac of boats
 
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