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#570432 - 03/12/18 01:50 PM First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns?  
Joined: Mar 2018
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firstboat Offline
Warrant Officer
firstboat  Offline
Warrant Officer

Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 1
WI
Hi all:

I am buying my first boat this season. I would like to spend about $10,000 or less. The boat will be used primarily on the Mississippi River. I would like an 18 foot or large, but really only need capacity for 6 or so. I know very little about boats, but found a 2012 Four Winns Horizon 180LE for $8000. Also found a Rinker - $6500, but it is a 1999. Seemed high for that old of a boat. Any suggestions as to what to look for, which of these you would lean towards, etc. is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by firstboat; 03/12/18 01:51 PM.
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#570434 - 03/12/18 02:57 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,823
Fruit Heights, Utah
Condition of the boat would be the key thing.
a 1999 at 6500 that was garage kept would be a better buy than a 2012 that was stored outside without a cover.
Engine choices are also real important. I/O (or stern Drive) vs Outboard. Size of engine.
My first boat was a Four Winns Horizon 180 and I kept it for 16 seasons. Great boat that treated us well for years, but was underpowered for our elevation by only having a carbureted V6 with 175 HP. Times have changed and technology is much better. Four Winns have only gotten better since mine was built.
Rinker makes a nice enough boat, but I'd favor the newer Four Winns if they're similarly equipped and condition.
WElcome aboard.
Post more info on the boats.


Beer makes you feel the way
You should feel without beer.
#570436 - 03/12/18 05:49 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Nov 2003
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GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
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Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,178
Pasco, WA
I always suggest to new boaters that they buy their second boat first. By that I mean avoid the mistake many first boat owners make: They buy a boat without doing their due diligence. Then they use it for a year or so and realize it doesn't suit their needs. So they take a loss on it to get rid of it, then buy the boat they should have bought first. So do your homework. Don't get fixated just on price or year.

All other things being equal I believe I would take the Four Winns over the Rinker. I've looked at both and I believe you will find the fit and finish on the FW will be a little better. Enough to be noticeable. Carpets and vinyls a little tougher, etc.

Pretty much boats in the size you're looking at all use the same engines, gauges, shifter assemblies, etc. so that part is a toss up.

What makes one boat a better buy is how well it's been cared for. Are maintenance records available for both? How many hours on each? Was each used on an inland lake? Is one owned by an older couple and the other a young couple who used it for wakeboarding or skiing?

Look at the beam measurement on both Is one an 8' beam and the other an 8'6" beam. That 6" makes a big difference if you have 6-8 people on board with their gear, coolers, etc.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#570437 - 03/12/18 07:12 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
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captkevin Offline
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captkevin  Offline
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Chicago, IL
What are going to be towing the boat with? That is a good place to decide what you are going to be able to tow.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#570438 - 03/12/18 07:45 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
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Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,902
Lake Geneva, WI
Originally Posted by firstboat
Hi all:

found a 2012 Four Winns Horizon 180LE for $8000.


That sounds like a very low price for a 2012!

#570440 - 03/12/18 08:52 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Jan 2003
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Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,859
Southern California
I wonder if it is a hurricane boat.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#570441 - 03/12/18 09:30 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Dec 2002
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KCook Offline
Admiral
KCook  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 12,406
Phoenix
18' bowrider will be marginal for 6 adults.

Kelly

#570442 - 03/12/18 11:41 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,859
Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,859
Southern California
"18' bowrider will be marginal for 6 adults."

I agree. In a 17 - 18 foot bow rider, 4 is comfortable. No matter what the USCG tag says, more than that is very tight. It doesn't matter if you are into water sports or fishing, things get crowded with all the gear that is taken along. As said above, beam is an important consideration. And, you must understand that there are plenty of used boats in this category. Are you interested in guessing why? I believe it is because the smaller boats are outgrown by families very fast.

One more comment that we've learned over 48 years of boating: The focus in the new boat business is on wake board boats, and these boats are designed to make wakes. And, they do, so much so that a boat in this size range can't handle very easily. Even our 22' has a hard time riding through the big ones, making it very difficult to drive in rough waters.

A recommendation to combat at least some of the smaller boats is to find a slightly longer deck boat--more beam, more room, more amenities.

What kind of waters will you be boating on?

How about these?

Rinker
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/beautiful-1989-rinker-captiva/6528212998.html

Ebbtide with a 5.0L V*
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/2000-ebbtide-188-campione-305/6513834686.html

Tahoe
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/2005-tahoe-q4-fish-and-ski-43/6526951398.html

For a little more cash, something like this Four Winns might be the boat for you for many years to come.
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/four-winns-horizon/6525604174.html

Centurian 21 foot ski boat--maybe closer to your price range.
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/elite-drive-1998-centurion-21/6524607595.html

Cuddy Four Winns 225
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/trade-or-sell-four-winns/6518693307.html

Hurricane Deck Boat--More $ but this might be something you would be interested in--Fits 6 adults easily.
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/1-owner-21-hurricane-deckboat/6515532162.html

1990 Regal 20' Bow Rider with a 5.7L engine
https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/1990-regal-20-ftmercruiser/6513239703.html


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#570445 - 03/13/18 09:01 AM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,475
On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,475
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
Our first boat was a Sea Ray 180 with a 3.0L. We had this boat for about 8 summers and it performed well for us. We had 8 people on board and it was very tight, like others I would consider an 18' boat for 4 people because once you get cooler, towels, and extra gear on board it gets cramped very quickly. Once our first child came, we upgraded to a 24' boat for the added room.

The 3.0L motor performed well for us, it was very economical for us to run all day long. We tubed, slalom skied, and even got two skiers up at one time behind our boat.

Never boated on the Mississippi River before but smaller boats need calmer conditions than a larger boat for the comfort level. Good luck with you search and keep in touch.


2008 Honda Goldwing Trike
2006 Regal 2400
2004 Dodge Ram 2500
2003 Ford F-150
2002 Harley Davidson Roadking Classic
1998 Honda Civic


#570451 - 03/13/18 01:45 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Apr 2006
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kdl Offline
Admiral
kdl  Offline
Admiral

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Posts: 2,614
Central Mass
Our previous boat was a Four Winns 180 LE with a 5.0L. Great boat. It always felt bigger than other 18' boats we had been in. Most of the time we had two adults and two teens on board. Much more than that and the boat got very crowded.


2005 Cobalt 246 8.1 Gi
"Paradise..."

2001 Key Largo 190 CC
"After Five"
#570458 - 03/13/18 08:23 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,224
Puddle Pirate 2 Offline
LTJG USCGR
Puddle Pirate 2  Offline
LTJG USCGR
Admiral

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,224
Eastern PA
My last boat was a 19' Maxum and I'd say 5 was about the most comfortable for a full boat. Sure, it could seat 8 and I did once. Was nuts. No power and no fun. Max for fishing was 3. 2 was better.

I agree with others that year means very little. Look at condition, hours (if it has a meter or the owner documented it) and general maintenance. 15-30 hours per season is about normal for a day boat in a non-tropical area. Ask questions about maintenance. If the owner knows nothing, or never did some basic things like draining and refulling the outdrive, replacing bellows or gimbal, or just says " the marina does all that", they might not be as good with general maintenance things like cleaning, waxing and stuff like that. Do they have a maintenance schedule or checklist? Some people value their purchases and investments and take pride in the things they own. Others collect toys and wear them out, then buy new ones. You can tell if you know what to look for. You don't want some kids old toy. Options, powerplant and model will make prices vary to the point where you are not comparing apples to apples even though a boat may look the same as the next one. One 18 footer may have a V8, fiberglass floor, 100 hours and new canvas while another of the same vintage might have the 3.0, carpeted plywood floor 300 hours and ratty canvas for half the price.

I like Rinker and Four Winns, but in a smaller boat, I'd take the Four Winns...just better fit and finish from what I've seen. I think Rinker makes a better looking cruiser, but that's me.


pirate
#570459 - 03/13/18 09:29 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
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Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

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Posts: 3,902
Lake Geneva, WI
Since you are looking at boats made circa 2000: Older boat designs had cockpit carpeting glued to the deck, but sometime around the mid to late 1990s, snap in carpet and cockpit liners became the norm. This is a huge improvement for a number of reasons, including easier to clean, much easier to replace carpeting, and less likely to get deck rot. Personally, I would avoid boats that did not have snap in carpet.

Hope this helps....

#570466 - 03/14/18 02:14 PM Re: First Time Boat Purchase - Rinker or Four Winns? [Re: firstboat]  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 336
tasuti Offline
Vice Admiral
tasuti  Offline
Vice Admiral

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 336
Canyon Lake, TX
Any idea what your boating "style" might be? Some folks like skiing/tubing while others like anchoring out just relaxing and swimming. Sounds like you've zeroed in on a sport boat (e.g. bowrider) but a pontoon might be worth a look too. Lots of space and should be a few around in your price range


'04 Cobalt 246 "Let's Roll!"
'98 Corsair F28
'05 Sunfish
'97 F350, 4x4, PSD to tow 'em all

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