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I'll be getting a new boat shortly. I have checked out just about every manufacturer except for maybe a few online.

What brand would be the best choice in a 14 foot aluminum with trailer? I have a short shaft 8 horse power and could use that instead of upgrading to a long shaft as long as I get a boat in the 15 inch transom heigth.

Princecraft, Lowe, Lund, Lengend, Smoker craft???? Why? Where are the best deals?

Other option is to sell what I have and upgrade to a 20 inch transom boat with 9.9 long shaft motor.

Thanks for any input.

Scott
 

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As with most questions, the answer starts with - "well, it depends"...

What type of water will you be fishing on and what style of fishing will you do? Bass fishing in the Kennebecassis around Hampton is a lot different then trolling for landlocked salmon on a big open lake. I have had a Princecraft 14 a Lund 14 and I now have a Sylvan 16 Jon Boat. I have had motors from 9.9 to 25 on various combinations of these boats. Without knowing what you intend to do, here are some general observations.

Other then the lightest versions of a bare 14 foot hull, you will have a very hard time getting a 14 foot boat up on plane with an 8hp motor. It will tend to squat in the stern, plow at the bow and generally be a dog to handle. Avoid the short transom, they are pretty sketchy when you're in a small boat on open water and trying to run with a "following sea" (waves that are moving in the same direction as you are).

A 9.9 should plane out a 14 ft flat bottom boat (Jon Boat), but it will be working hard if you add weight like a plywood floor, 250 lb second angler, weekend worth of camping gear, etc.

I would suggest a minimum engine of 15hp for any v-style hull. If you get one equipped with floor, live well, etc, you will regret anything less then 20. Jon boats let you get away with slightly less HP as long as you keep the weight down.

Happy shopping!
 

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I agree with what TwinFan said. Depends on application.
As for quality of boats. I find the Princecraft the best. Followed by Lowe,Lund and Cestliner.
They are all very close. I have never heard anything good about smokercraft products.

Rob.
 
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