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Buy a boat on a budget

Q. Gear Guy, I want a boat that is less than 8 feet and no smaller than a five-horsepower motor. The problem: My budget is $500. Do you have any ideas?
— Corey Thies, Norwalk, Calif.

A. Hey Corey, well your budget is definitely going to make this a tough one. You won’t find a new boat with a 5hp outboard motor for under $500 — if you do, let me know because I want one too!

Anyway, I’d say your best bet is to scan the classifieds and online sites like for deals on used boats. Just for fun, I checked out those sites this morning and there really wasn’t anything to be had for under $500.

Depending on what you want a boat for, I think you should consider buying a used canoe or kayak. There are lots of good used deals out there for way less than $500. And if you’re hoping to do some fishing, it’s tough to beat a kayak. Without the loud motor you can sneak up on the fish and access spots that are so shallow and tight that guys with motorboats couldn’t even think of going there. And guess what: that’s often where the fish are hiding out! Some of the higher-end kayaks also come with motor-mounts so if you find a cheap outboard somewhere down the line you could hook it up to your kayak. Good luck with your bargain hunt. Let us know how you do.

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2 Comments on Buy a boat on a budget

  1. i want a boat on a budget because we only have a raft and my dad says i cant fish from it

  2. A skiff smaller than 8 feet is really going to take off with an outboard of 5-horsepower or more. A 3-horsepower unit would probably be plenty.

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