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Discussion Starter #1
Last year I brought my aluminum river sled (1760 Lowe Pathfinder with 65 Jet) down for the month of March and fished around Matlacha. The salt was shard on that boat and the jet burns lots of gas. This year I plan to buy a flats boat just prior to, or at the start of, my 10 weeks in FL. My time starts Feb 15 in Everglades City, moving back to Matlacha March 15 til May1. I am hearing that a many snowbirds buy a used boat and sell it after their stay absorbing the 1 to 2 thousand dollar loss and considering it "cheap rent". Checking to see if that is true and a reasonable plan of action? I will fish almost every fish-able day while down there. (Within the "happy wife, happy life" rule :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My problem is getting it down. Last year I rented a house with a dock, now I bought a motorhome and have the 3 thing problem. How to get the MH, tow a car, and get a boat all there. Maybe in the future but a stacker trailer, but not this. Checked into having the boat transported, one $ per mile, $1400 each way.
 

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Brandon, FL
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If you are coming down in Feb you better start looking for a boat now and be prepared to buy it sight unseen. There are very few boats for sale and the ones that are are stupid expensive. The Covid has left dealers with empty lots.

For this year you might be better off putting a lower unit on and using that for the season.

How about having a buddy drive the car down along with you, stay a few days ad fly him home. Cheaper than $1,400. Then either do the same for the way home or sell the boat and prepare for next year.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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Just use your jet and carry an extra gas ⛽ can
 

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@Viking1 uses a folding boat with a 6 hp outboard plenty. For Matlacha that would work as it'sits mostly protected waters. I think he has a video of it on here somewhere not ideal but it would work in a pinch and be your cheapest option for now.
 

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Carpe Diem
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When you buy a used boat, you also buy the problems that come with it. Yes, you can probably find a suitable used boat, but then you're going to be dealing with a used motor, used batteries, used electronics, used trolling motor, trailer, etc. Everything may work just fine for the time you own it, but the odds are it won't. People usually sell used boats for a reason. If the motor craps out do you want to spend a month waiting for parts or for a dealer to have time to fix it? Do you want to spend your time on maintenance and repairs? There's also the problem of title, registration, and tax for both boat and trailer. Do you plan to do it all legally? If so, bring your checkbook and don't plan on getting any of that back if you can sell. Selling may also be a problem. If the boat doesn't sell when you leave, where will you store it and who will you pay to handle the advertising, showing and sale?

All in all your plan does not sound like a good one. Instead of towing a car down, why not tow your jet boat and rent a car for the time you'll be here?
 

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That deal about a visitor buying a used boat, using it for a few months then selling it before returning home is a myth... It’s much more wishful thinking than reality...

It’s like those panther crossing signs along the road down to Flamingo... A lot more signs than panthers.

And for those that think you can store a boat used in saltwater then only use it for a few months each year... I’ve known a few that tried it and the repairs needed after it sits for months at a time when they first want to use It again were nothing to sneeze at...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, I hear you guys. What about the noise difference between an AL flat bottom tunnel boat like mine and a Glass Flats?
 

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Buy a boat and work arrangement with a guide,he charters it,he maintenance it,he cleans it ,you get x amount of guided trips in return and disclosed schedule when you have boat in your posetion.
 

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You will have some hull slap but plenty of people fish john boats down here if you're here in the winter that jet motor you have is perfect as we have negative tides in the wintertime here in Matlacha.
 

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Not sure which laws apply in which states, but I see a lot of pickups towing 5ers with boat behind the 5er. I realize you're in a motorhome, so you might check this out - this is how I moved my car and my quad from Blythe, CA to Santa Fe, NM in 2009:

155567


I know it's not legal in CA, but I gritted my teeth and sweated for the couple of miles I was in CA. I went past state and city cops in AZ and NM for 600 miles and didn't get stopped, tho' several of them watched me go by. Saved me a trip.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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Not sure which laws apply in which states, but I see a lot of pickups towing 5ers with boat behind the 5er. I realize you're in a motorhome, so you might check this out - this is how I moved my car and my quad from Blythe, CA to Santa Fe, NM in 2009:

View attachment 155567

I know it's not legal in CA, but I gritted my teeth and sweated for the couple of miles I was in CA. I went past state and city cops in AZ and NM for 600 miles and didn't get stopped, tho' several of them watched me go by. Saved me a trip.
So how did you back or get gas????
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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There was a guy visiting his sister, my neighbor, and he had a box trailer behind his car that held his skiff and had sleeping room for 2 and a cooktop. Neatest thing I ever saw
 

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So how did you back or get gas????
Obviously backing up was very limited. You could go for a little bit but I watched what I was doing and kept it carefully in mind. Truck had a 64 gallon fuel tank - Aero tank - and I made it easily with just one pull-thru fuel stop.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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When you buy a used boat, you also buy the problems that come with it. Yes, you can probably find a suitable used boat, but then you're going to be dealing with a used motor, used batteries, used electronics, used trolling motor, trailer, etc. Everything may work just fine for the time you own it, but the odds are it won't. People usually sell used boats for a reason. If the motor craps out do you want to spend a month waiting for parts or for a dealer to have time to fix it? Do you want to spend your time on maintenance and repairs? There's also the problem of title, registration, and tax for both boat and trailer. Do you plan to do it all legally? If so, bring your checkbook and don't plan on getting any of that back if you can sell. Selling may also be a problem. If the boat doesn't sell when you leave, where will you store it and who will you pay to handle the advertising, showing and sale?

All in all your plan does not sound like a good one. Instead of towing a car down, why not tow your jet boat and rent a car for the time you'll be here?
Everything quoted above it true. In a perfect world everything would work out but we live in a far less than perfect world. A lot to go wrong with that plan. If things stay as they are and I imagine they will get worse when all you 'birds come down, just getting a outboard/boat to get looked much less parts in could take half your trip and then you need to put it on the market. If you got a few bucks, buy a jon boat with a new outboard (if you can find one)and hope for the best.
 

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Obviously backing up was very limited. You could go for a little bit but I watched what I was doing and kept it carefully in mind. Truck had a 64 gallon fuel tank - Aero tank - and I made it easily with just one pull-thru fuel stop.
Thinking about this later, I knew backing up would be next to impossible, so avoided situations where that would be necessary. I did tow the 4Runner quite a few times - without the quad behind - and found that the limiting factor was the front wheels of the 'Runner.

As you back up, very soon the front wheels would go hard left or hard right - to the stops....and that stopped it. You can't push those wheels sideways and it you tried to force it - that big Cummins diesel had bags of power - I'm very sure expensive damage would result.

Also, as mentioned, I had the 64 gal. Aero fuel tank installed in my 2002 Dodge Diesel and could have made that trip on one tank, but it would have been getting lower than I liked, so I did make one fuel stop. That tank was a very worthy purchase and saved me a lot of grief on long trips into remote areas, but the mounting brackets were a little flimsy.

Several times when servicing the truck we found where mounting bolts had come loose, some were gone and at least once a mounting tab had broken right off. The thought of a steel tank with 60 gallons of diesel coming loose and scraping along the highway at 70 mph made my hair stand on end. I made a point of checking it at every oil change.

That tank was "very" spendy and tho' I loved the fuel capacity and would buy another one, I flip the bird at Aero for skimping on those absolutely vital brackets - and they did the installation.
 

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I just sold my river jet sled and I miss it already. I'm surprised they aren't more popular down here. Wife wanted a bigger boat. Everything is a compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Your comments have been very helpful, particularly these about AL boats appropriateness in SW FL. Also the low tides in the winter. I did skim over some skinny flats last March in Matlacha last March. So my thinking is evolving which makes me feel a bit like a flake. My Pathfinder has almost everything one would want, low hours on the motor and boat, Minn Kota Terrova, Solex 12 and even MEGA 360. A friend has even offered to tow it down for basically his travel cost, and with the hordes of snowbirds here in MI pretty sure that can happen. So for this winter at least, I believe using my Pathfinder down there is best.

The one thing yet to consider is the anchor. The one I have (see image) is pretty loud, as commented by a fishing friend, and also a bit of a hassle for long runs. How important is having a power pole? And how long of one around Everglades City and Pine Island? With a Power Pole I would take the wench off.

Boat Front.jpg
Thank you all!!!

155846
 
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