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Old 08-12-2022, 02:07 PM   #1
Momofthreema
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Default Boat suggestions??

We are planning to buy a boat to keep at the lake. We would like to be able to have up to 12 people on board. Activities would be tubing, cruising and fishing. What's your favorite boat in the 100k range for making the most of your time on the lake?
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Old 08-12-2022, 03:12 PM   #2
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Default You'll get lots of opinions on this one...

I'm partial to a big bowrider with a big engine. Always good to have the power in case you need it, (especially if you're going to be hauling lots of bodies around). Also good to have the length, weight, and power to get through the occasional rough water on this lake. Over the last 9 years I've had a 25' Cobalt and presently have a 27' Formula. Both are excellent brands with top-notch quality, (and also hefty price tags). I would also suggest trying to find a gently-used higher end brand, rather than a brand new down market brand.

I have also found it invaluable to have a great rapport with the marina where I bought the boat.

Happy to answer any specific Formula questions too...just PM me.

Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2022, 03:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MeredithMan View Post
I'm partial to a big bowrider with a big engine. Always good to have the power in case you need it, (especially if you're going to be hauling lots of bodies around). Also good to have the length, weight, and power to get through the occasional rough water on this lake. Over the last 9 years I've had a 25' Cobalt and presently have a 27' Formula. Both are excellent brands with top-notch quality, (and also hefty price tags). I would also suggest trying to find a gently-used higher end brand, rather than a brand new down market brand.

I have also found it invaluable to have a great rapport with the marina where I bought the boat.

Happy to answer any specific Formula questions too...just PM me.

Good luck.
Thank you so much! We have primarily been looking at Sea Ray, so we will check out Cobalt and Formula. We are new to these brands and for some reason I was under the impression that Cobalt was lower end, so I’m happy to hear that’s not true!
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Old 08-12-2022, 07:00 PM   #4
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I would lean toward a bow rider as above. As mentioned above Cobalt is nice but rediculously priced. Look at a Monterey. Pretty solid boat.
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Old 08-12-2022, 08:01 PM   #5
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Default Boat Suggestion

We have a Formula 280BR we seat 10-12 easily . I purchased it at Paugus Bay Marina and my daughter has learned to drive it even with the twin engines. We have been thrilled with this boat. PBM has one for sale now at the marina. Formula and Cobalt you are great boats. Lakeport has two used Cobalts as well
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Old 08-12-2022, 08:21 PM   #6
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For 12 people you would do well to seriously consider a pontoon. Bow riders are great, we have a 27’ Cobalt, but it would need to be considerably larger for 12. Especially if people are going to have any space at all. And don’t forget the needed room for coolers, toys, towels, and all the rest. Also, when you go larger you’re more likely getting into twin engines which increases maintenance costs. Larger also equals increased costs for storage.

It’s important to know that when looking at a boat’s stated capacity it is listed as number of people OR total weight which includes gear, coolers, etc. So you can have up to x number of people or up to xxxx pounds of people and gear. Unless you’re carrying a lot of kids it’s quite likely the weight limit will be reached first.
(The exception is with larger boats which may be “yacht certified”. On these it is the captain’s responsibility and liability to determine a safe number of passengers and weight.)

Conditions can be a factor as well. A rough windy day, or typical weekend around the Weirs, and a loaded up boat may not be comfortable, or in some cases safe.

So perhaps think about how you plan to use it, and how often you’re likely to have 12 aboard, as that may help you refine your choice.
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Old 08-12-2022, 08:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofthreema View Post
We are planning to buy a boat to keep at the lake. We would like to be able to have up to 12 people on board. Activities would be tubing, cruising and fishing. What's your favorite boat in the 100k range for making the most of your time on the lake?
I’ve had a sea Ray 270 SLX and now have a 310 SLX bow-riders. Both fit 12 very comfortably. Couldn’t be happier.


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Old 08-12-2022, 08:26 PM   #8
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Secure dockage first!

New or used?

Many, many new boats were sold during the pandemic.

The free money and perhaps a brush with mortality had non boaters buying boats.

I predict that next year there will be many lightly used boats on the market at "just get me out of this loan" prices.

Narrow your search and be ready to pounce.

Don't be shy about making offers well below the asking price.

You never know how motivated the seller may be!
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Old 08-13-2022, 07:12 AM   #9
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I am strongly considering a big tritoon, 25-27’ to replace our 24’ Four Winns deck boat. Our current boat is rated at 13 people or 1850lbs. We typically rent each year with 4 families. This year there are 8 kids between 4 and 10yrs old and 7 adults and it started to get really cramped as the kids are getting bigger!

I have looked at jumping up to something like a Formula 270br, a sea ray 270SD or something similar, but the market is still crazy for them. A new formula that size is close to 200k and the sea ray isn’t far behind, MarineMax out of Boston quote me 167k at the start of the season with an 8% increase on all incoming stock.

Used Formulas hold their value well and there aren’t many that I have found on the market, especially locally. A coworker scored one out of TX at the end of last season, a 2007 w/200hrs for about 50k plus the cost to ship it here.

At any rate make sure you secure somewhere to keep it on the lake unless you plan to trailer like I do. My family has a place on Upper Suncook we also boat at so we go between the two lakes often. If we go bigger than 24’ I’ll be looking for a spot to keep it on the lake as well.
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Old 08-14-2022, 07:37 AM   #10
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27' Tritoon with a 450 or maybe twin 300's will do the trick
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Old 08-14-2022, 08:45 AM   #11
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You might find this out in a few years, but I bet you end up with 2 boats. A boat big enough for 12 doesn't end up being a very good platform for even tubing, and if the kids get into any more serious water sports (skiing, wakeboarding) they won't be satisfied with a big boat like that. So a big bowrider or pontoon to handle the crowd, then a smaller boat more suited to dragging kids around works really well. Just a thought.
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Old 08-14-2022, 09:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by LikeLakes View Post
You might find this out in a few years, but I bet you end up with 2 boats. A boat big enough for 12 doesn't end up being a very good platform for even tubing, and if the kids get into any more serious water sports (skiing, wakeboarding) they won't be satisfied with a big boat like that. So a big bowrider or pontoon to handle the crowd, then a smaller boat more suited to dragging kids around works really well. Just a thought.
I was leaning here too, or maybe just one smaller boat. I don't think you want to be piloting a boat for 12 all that often. A lot easier and less stressful (and cheaper!) to handle/dock 21-23'
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Old 08-14-2022, 09:51 AM   #13
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Default Use?

I think it depends on use. If you are keeping a boat at home, my bet is smaller is better. If you are valet or keeping it a slip, bigger is better. My rationale is if the place to “hang out” is a dock, deck, or shore, how often are you going to spend the day on the boat? On the flip side, if the boat is valeted or at a slip away from the home, my guess is you will be more likely to load up coolers and toys and spend the day on the water.
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Old 08-14-2022, 11:19 AM   #14
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To get some real insight on BOAT PRICES without leaving home, go to craigslist-NH-boats and adjust your search to owner or dealer, and then to pontoon or bow rider or deck boat or center console or whatever.

Nice thing about looking at craigslist is the PRICE is easy to see which is not always the case at an individual dealer's website plus it makes it easy to look around to see what's out there for available boats.

One hour looking at craigslist-NH is like seven days of driving around to individual NH boat dealers plus craigslist also has used boats for sale by private person owner. Walking into a boat dealer armed with a photocopy of their boat ad from craigslist gives you a good place to start as well.
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Old 08-14-2022, 02:03 PM   #15
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Keep in mind that if you buy a place at South Down you may be limited on overall size for a rack in their marina. You have more leeway if you can buy a slip.

For 12 people you pretty much need a bow-rider, as any type of cabin boat that can fit 12 people in the cockpit would likely be too large to be as practical as you want.

Formula, Cobalt, and SeaRay, in that order, would be where I would look. A 27' with twin engines would give you a lot of options. A $100K budget won't open up a huge world of options, but you should be OK if you are a little bit flexible.
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Old 08-14-2022, 04:44 PM   #16
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Call me crazy, but I wouldn't even be looking at a boat without having a place to put it, which will depend directly on the home you purchase. That's totally putting the cart before the horse, especially if the $100k can get you a substantially better home/boat storage.

That being said, that many people onboard blows. It's cool once in a while, but I don't see it being fun ongoing—wayyy too many things to balance: food/beverage/clothes storage, bathroom breaks, kid/broken couple tantrums, different goals/expectations, etc.

THAT being said, if you're hosting consistently, tritoon with the absolute best sports package and biggest possible motor and just accept that rough days with the whole crew may be spent in Paugus Bay while a smaller crew could go to the main lake mostly whenever.

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Old 08-14-2022, 06:03 PM   #17
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I would go with a 25 ft tritoon, 200 hp or more will give you plenty of room for hosting guests. just my thoughts, we looked at bow riders vs tritons, felt at our age we would do more cursing, plus you can pin the grandkids inside for safe keeping.
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Old 08-14-2022, 07:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
That being said, that many people onboard blows. It's cool once in a while, but I don't see it being fun ongoing—wayyy too many things to balance: food/beverage/clothes storage, bathroom breaks, kid/broken couple tantrums, different goals/expectations, etc.


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Excellent point...and all the stress of that situation falling on the captain
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Old 08-14-2022, 08:00 PM   #19
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And that my friends is why keel hauling was invented!
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Old 08-14-2022, 10:07 PM   #20
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And the beauty of being in this situation, is you get to go boat shopping!

So many really good boats out there, new and used!

But what you must remember most of all, is that there is no such thing as the perfect fit boat, there are just too many variables. More than one model or even style may fit your stated needs but with some compromise, and personal preference will play a big role in the final selection.

Pontoon boats are VERY different than fiberglass boats, and in both cases the prices vary a lot depending on the features you end up wanting. Power and speed are not the same thing, and comfort and function and beauty are different for any group of people you will ask about their preference.

The best thing you can do is to look at a lot of boats and test drive a few of the ones you narrow the list down to.

In the end you will struggle to define what you need vs what you like/want.

So if you can figure out a few things right up front, that will help.

You state you need to seat 12 people; is that just for a short trip, or a longer trip, or all day on the boat? And what will they do on board, just ride, or do you expect to haul 12 people and hit 50 MPH AND pull a tube, or even harder, teach a grown full size human man how to water ski on inexpensive generic skis, and then have space to store drinks and towels and snacks for everyone AND store fishing gear??? Its tough to get a boat that can do all these things at the exact time. If you can do some of this some times and others at other times you will find more options to fit your budget.

Also dont forget you need to think about if this boat will mostly live on a trailer, on a dock in the water, on a dock out of the water (on a lift), at a marina, or at a valet marina. And what about winter storage??? These are all issues each boat owner deals with and there are many different combinations each boat owner here has to make it work for them.

After some consideration, if there are models you would like to look at closer and not get the dealers pitch, just post something here and I feel certain you will get answers to your questions and offers of rides. I sure did when we were last shopping, and so I will happily offer a tour of a Formula 270 Bow Rider and test ride should you have any desire.

Enjoy the shopping but do your research as its a big commitment and it can be so disappointing if you pick the wrong one. And when you get the right one, its a lot of fun, and brings lots of smiles and memories for everyone!

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Old 08-15-2022, 06:32 PM   #21
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First things first:
Reduce your guest list. 12 people (6 adults and 6 kids?) trying to tube/ski etc with an inexperienced captain is just plain foolish as well as unpleasant. Hang around the public docks and /or launch ramps or your proposed marina. See how many groups of 12 you can find.

Two: even if they all "PB4UGo"it won't be long before somebody has to go again. For that crowd, you need a head.

Shade: If you're out for more than a few hours all need shade, not just a half Bimini over the back half of the boat. Same applies for unexpected rain showers.

Storage: On a new boat, most dealers will find a way to get you set up. Be sure there's some sort of written agreement that you can renew for a couple of years. Otherwise some dealers will kick you out so they can sell somebody else a boat next year.

Don't mean to be negative, but the original post seemed unrealistic.
Good luck and safe baoting.
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Old 08-31-2022, 08:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
First things first:
Reduce your guest list. 12 people (6 adults and 6 kids?) trying to tube/ski etc with an inexperienced captain is just plain foolish as well as unpleasant. Hang around the public docks and /or launch ramps or your proposed marina. See how many groups of 12 you can find.

Two: even if they all "PB4UGo"it won't be long before somebody has to go again. For that crowd, you need a head.

Shade: If you're out for more than a few hours all need shade, not just a half Bimini over the back half of the boat. Same applies for unexpected rain showers.

Storage: On a new boat, most dealers will find a way to get you set up. Be sure there's some sort of written agreement that you can renew for a couple of years. Otherwise some dealers will kick you out so they can sell somebody else a boat next year.

Don't mean to be negative, but the original post seemed unrealistic.
Good luck and safe baoting.
May have been unrealistic, but that’s why I’m asking! My husband is a very experienced boater, he’s been driving boats since he was 16, and he’s a total boat nerd when it comes to reading/learning about safety regs and fun new boats. I’m trying to balance what I would want on a boat, which is shade for reading/space for entertaining…what the teens want, which is tubing…and what my husband wants which is open water boating, fishing and entertaining. So maybe a smaller tubing boat and a larger pontoon type cruiser are what we need. Two boats, how fun 🤩

Thanks everyone for the feedback, I appreciate it!
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Old 08-31-2022, 08:56 PM   #23
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We have 3 for all different purposes... pontoon for hauling stuff and people, Chaparral for water sports, C-Dory for commuting...who ever thought it would be so specialized!

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Old 09-01-2022, 02:11 AM   #24
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Should you lean towards a pontoon rent one w/ the 12 people and see what it will do?
Having one for a long time look for:
Largest toons the company sells
Strakes on it
Skinned underneath
Ask the sellers if the weight to people is that, or does it covers other items?
If you buy new, last few years the toons are coming out w/ a lot of wasted space in the front and rears. A 24' the play pen is more like 18-19'
To stay under 100K and 12 people doing what you states some quick prices off the net for motors alone...does not leave much for a quality boat?
300xl verado $33k and up
400cxl verado $61 and up
Good luck any way you go.
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Old 09-06-2022, 12:28 PM   #25
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Default PBM a 10++!

You won't find a better marina on Winni, Kory (owner) is fabulous to deal with, he's humble, transparent and always available; Rick (Sales Mgr.) a wealth of Formula knowledge, hard working, great communicator and a joy to deal with and Bob T, probably the best and most highly honest Service Mgr. around. We have owned 5 Formulas over the years (most recently a 2015 310Br from PBM), Formulas are terrific boats, extremely reliable, well built and best of all they retain their value. We're now looking to move up to a 330CBR. Can't offer an opinion on Cobalt other than I have never heard anything bad about the brand.

**Check out PBM, great boats, great service, great customer service, always a great experience.
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Old 09-06-2022, 12:54 PM   #26
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27' Tritoon with a 450 or maybe twin 300's will do the trick
Good luck at $100k or less though for these options.
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Old 09-11-2022, 06:25 PM   #27
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Just sold my great 8-yr old 28’ bow rider and bought a new 25’ Tritoon. Both can seat 12 comfortably, and because both have large motors/hp, they both work great for everything from cruising to tubing. One big difference, PRICE! Generally speaking, large bowriders are going to cost much more than the equivalent size/powered Tritoon. For instance, price out a 250hp Tritoon; and price out a 350/380hp 26-28 foot bowrider. Both can hold 12, both can go 35mph+, but the bowrider will cost 10’s of thousands of dollars more.
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Old 09-11-2022, 09:48 PM   #28
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Reading the Forum, two of the busiest boaters are Steve On Mark and I Shoot 308. I think both own a pontoon and a 24'foot Eastern or similar. The single hull enclosed cabin is for all purpose, all weather, pending weather, every day use. The pontoon is for work, hauling material and occasional group cruising.
To me, if you want to go out when you "might get caught in the weather", I'd avoid pontoons. If you want all weather boating, a cabin or canvas enclosure over a real boat hull seems to be the way to go. Summary: use a boat 50-60 days a year, use a pontoon 30 days a year, based on weather. I'm sure there are islander exceptions, but I'm looking at posts from folks who own both types.
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Old 09-12-2022, 01:05 AM   #29
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Question PFDs and Fuel Tanks

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Originally Posted by NHskier View Post
For 12 people you would do well to seriously consider a pontoon. Bow riders are great, we have a 27’ Cobalt, but it would need to be considerably larger for 12. Especially if people are going to have any space at all. And don’t forget the needed room for coolers, toys, towels, and all the rest. Also, when you go larger you’re more likely getting into twin engines which increases maintenance costs. Larger also equals increased costs for storage.
"All the rest" needs to include life preservers (PFDs), which can be bulky. Twelve passengers wearing their PFDs during unforeseen cloudbursts is another consideration for adequate space on board.

As for large / twin outboards, their fuel tanks (and fuel consumption rate) should be studied reference storage.
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Old 09-12-2022, 07:30 AM   #30
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We are planning to buy a boat to keep at the lake. We would like to be able to have up to 12 people on board. Activities would be tubing, cruising and fishing. What's your favorite boat in the 100k range for making the most of your time on the lake?
I guess a little more info would be helpful...When you say "We are planning to buy a boat to keep at the lake", does this mean at a marina, island property, mainland property??

The reason I ask is if your going to live on an island you really need something that will get you there no matter what the weather is. A hard side enclosed cabin boat is what I would recommend in that circumstance. I have a 22' Eastern lobster that I have relied on for 15 years that has never let me down. It is my primary island and fishing boat as well as work boat that I would never be without! Not sure you could tube behind it however.

If your keeping your boat at a Marina or mainland property, your really only going out boating when the weather is good. Yes, you can get caught in a squall but for the most part you will be a fair weather boater. In this instance I would recommend a tri-toon, 24' long and the biggest motor you can afford.

I have had four pontoon boats over the years and currently still have one. This is what I call my fun boat. No problem tubing, fishing, cruising or entertaining a lot of people. No problem carrying 12 people with plenty of storage for PFD's and other related accessories. Tri-toons give a great ride when choppy and also have a very shallow draft which comes in quite handy this time of year!

Sorry, but I am not a fan of deck boats for a number of reasons...

Good luck in your search!

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Old 09-13-2022, 09:10 PM   #31
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We are planning to buy a boat to keep at the lake. We would like to be able to have up to 12 people on board. Activities would be tubing, cruising and fishing. What's your favorite boat in the 100k range for making the most of your time on the lake?
Consumer Reports magazine once printed "Don't buy your new car based on one summer's journey to Alaska for off-roading". Their inference was to buy your new car for more pedestrian uses, and rent something else for that one-time event.

I'd suggest renting a pontoon boat through All American Boat Club or the below rentals--who've advertised on these pages. You may find that the rental pontoon length is satisfactory (or not). Pontoon boats are the least offensive boats on Winnipesaukee with regard to wakes: in bad weather, you're no worse-off than most.

https://www.akwamarina.com/american-boat-club
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Old 09-14-2022, 04:23 PM   #32
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Reading the Forum, two of the busiest boaters are Steve On Mark and I Shoot 308. I think both own a pontoon and a 24'foot Eastern or similar. The single hull enclosed cabin is for all purpose, all weather, pending weather, every day use. The pontoon is for work, hauling material and occasional group cruising.

To me, if you want to go out when you "might get caught in the weather", I'd avoid pontoons. If you want all weather boating, a cabin or canvas enclosure over a real boat hull seems to be the way to go. Summary: use a boat 50-60 days a year, use a pontoon 30 days a year, based on weather. I'm sure there are islander exceptions, but I'm looking at posts from folks who own both types.
I'm probably closer to 240 days a year!

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Old 09-15-2022, 08:54 AM   #33
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I guess a little more info would be helpful...When you say "We are planning to buy a boat to keep at the lake", does this mean at a marina, island property, mainland property??

The reason I ask is if your going to live on an island you really need something that will get you there no matter what the weather is. A hard side enclosed cabin boat is what I would recommend in that circumstance. I have a 22' Eastern lobster that I have relied on for 15 years that has never let me down. It is my primary island and fishing boat as well as work boat that I would never be without! Not sure you could tube behind it however.

If your keeping your boat at a Marina or mainland property, your really only going out boating when the weather is good. Yes, you can get caught in a squall but for the most part you will be a fair weather boater. In this instance I would recommend a tri-toon, 24' long and the biggest motor you can afford.

I have had four pontoon boats over the years and currently still have one. This is what I call my fun boat. No problem tubing, fishing, cruising or entertaining a lot of people. No problem carrying 12 people with plenty of storage for PFD's and other related accessories. Tri-toons give a great ride when choppy and also have a very shallow draft which comes in quite handy this time of year!

Sorry, but I am not a fan of deck boats for a number of reasons...

Good luck in your search!

Dan
Thank you! This is super helpful! Yes, I think for our purposes(likely keeping the boat at a marina) a tritoon is the best option, the major issue is that my teens and husband think they are kind of dorky looking I think if we have big enough engines, it won't be an issue for anyone, but the one my husband priced out was almost 300k, so we need to figure out if we are going to buy a smaller house/better boat or bigger house/less expensive boat. All good problems to have.

I really appreciate all the feedback
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Old 09-15-2022, 09:34 AM   #34
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How's 'bout an $1195 used 20' aluminum Grumman war canoe ... http://www.canoes-for-sale.com/grumm...pedition-19387 made in 1975, that will seat twelve paddlers.

Twelve photos, good condition, $1195 in north east Pennsylvania ..... Hawley, Pennsylvania ...... 355-miles and 6 hours drive from Meredith NH.

No gasoline, no state registration, no insurance and turns every lake, canoe paddle ride into a team adventure ....... paddle-paddle-paddle-paddle-paddle-paddle ..... all together, now! .....

More F-U-N with twelve people than any big expensive motorboat ever made plus you actually get some exercise while paddling a big 20' war canoe.

Back in the 1950's, 60's & 70's these were used at New Hampshire and Maine summer camps.
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Old 09-15-2022, 10:05 AM   #35
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Thank you! This is super helpful! Yes, I think for our purposes(likely keeping the boat at a marina) a tritoon is the best option, the major issue is that my teens and husband think they are kind of dorky looking
"Dorky looking" ...oh my, I think not!!
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Old 09-15-2022, 12:52 PM   #36
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The Newport, RI boat show starts today. The FTL show is at the end of October. You might see something you never imagined. I wouldn't be afraid of a used boat, especially if it has been strictly used on fresh water. I suspect a lot of boats were sold during the pandemic that may be coming back on the market as inflation continues and people's portfolios falter. Right now, dealers don't want to carry inventory over the winter, and individuals owners may want to avoid winter storage fees. Regardless, a priority is to be sure you have a slip or valet for 2023.
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Old 09-15-2022, 01:03 PM   #37
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Thank you! This is super helpful! Yes, I think for our purposes(likely keeping the boat at a marina) a tritoon is the best option, the major issue is that my teens and husband think they are kind of dorky looking ...
Even a dorky one can be dressed up. The ones we see coming to our camp always have a back hoe or an excavator on board and we are always excited to see them.
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Old 09-15-2022, 01:44 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Momofthreema View Post
Thank you! This is super helpful! Yes, I think for our purposes(likely keeping the boat at a marina) a tritoon is the best option, the major issue is that my teens and husband think they are kind of dorky looking I think if we have big enough engines, it won't be an issue for anyone, but the one my husband priced out was almost 300k, so we need to figure out if we are going to buy a smaller house/better boat or bigger house/less expensive boat. All good problems to have.

I really appreciate all the feedback
House is an investment that you will enjoy for 10-100X the amount of time that you'll spend in the boat. Boat is a toy and hole in the water into which you pour money. So I like Descant's advice below. Get the best house you can, and a great used boat for $50K or less
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Old 09-15-2022, 01:51 PM   #39
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House is an investment that you will enjoy for 10-100X the amount of time that you'll spend in the boat. Boat is a toy and hole in the water into which you pour money. So I like Descant's advice below. Get the best house you can, and a great used boat for $50K or less
YES and, as I said above, when the boat storage/access option is acquired.

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