View Full Version : Best boat to buy under $30,000

23-09-2005, 08:17 PM
I am wanting to buy a reasonable all rounder that will enable me to fish morteon bay and occassionaly go outside as weather permits. The more I read the more confused I am getting. Someting that is obviously safe, gives some measure of shelter and I think between 4 - 5.5 meters. Was looking at Quintrex's Spirits but am open to a fiberglass boat as well. Most times it will be just me and my 14 yr old son fishing together. Any advice would be welcome... :-/

23-09-2005, 08:55 PM

Are you looking for new or second hand?

You can buy a lot of excellent boats with that budget. I am a big fan of second hand boats and I believe this is how you should go.

30k will get you roughly (maybe not even) a new 5 metre cuddy alloy boat (Spirit ect).

The same money will buy you a late model glass 5.5 metre awesome boat second hand.

Heres an example.

I just sold a 1998 Haines Signature 540F, which was an excellent boat.

Take the asking price ($25990.00) as a sale price.
Pay $120.00 to get the mechanic to check it out.
Pay $100-$200 to get a shipwright to check out the boat.
Pay $100 to get a revs check and unencumbered check done on the whole rig.
If all checks out, talk with the seller a bit and maybe buy it for $25500.00
You buy a decent boat that you are certain of it's abilities for under $26k.

Now take your spare $4k and go to the local marine shop. Buy an excellent colour GPS, Colour sounder, update safety gear, buy a new set of skis or new rods, upgrade the bimini, get the engine 100hr service and you've got a fantastic boat which will last you for many years to come.

Don't be scared to buy second hand private or from a dealer. I have never had ANY dramas when doing the homework first, even if it means paying professionals to help you.

On the flipside, you could've walked into the dealer, bought a new spirit, paid through the roof for the biggest boat you could afford, use it for six months and find its too small, hard riding and rough for you, and then turn around and sell only to lose a packet.

See my point?



23-09-2005, 09:14 PM
Yeah I see your point but with my inexperience a 2/3 yr warranty gives a lot of peace of mind. My preference would definitely be new. If new was the only option what would you advise ? Thanks for the reply...

23-09-2005, 09:45 PM
woun't get much for $30,000 new
i agree with darren and there are alot of very good boats going second hand for alot less then $30,000 for that price you will get a pretty new boat and maybe even a boat still under warrinty already loaded with extras ;)

24-09-2005, 01:40 PM
The new Polycraft 5.3 comes in under 30 K. Nothing comes close to the polys as far as value for money is concerned.

24-09-2005, 04:12 PM
I have just got a new boat 2mths ago these are some of the prices that where under $30000
haines breeze500
haines breeze 510
signature 5mtr
freedom 530
coxcraft 540 reefrunner
coxcraft 540 rumrunner

these price where motor, boat and trailier mostly priced with a 90hp and trailier no sounder/gps or saftey gear

I like the feeling of a new boat and motor that way I know what has been done to the package and if it takes a little while to save up and buy the gear you want so be it. also dont get cought up with packages that give you stuff you dont want. I have purchased 5 boats in the last five years all new and when I have sold them I have lost little or no money so if you look around new is a good option and you will not lose a lot of money.
bought sold
$3700 $2500
$7800 $ 8000
$10800 $10500
$19800 $19500
$29300 + extras $????????

this is not ripping anyone off and maybe I was just lucky

24-09-2005, 04:29 PM
Thanks Krazyfisher...I am considering a number of those boats. Which one did you decide on and why ? Any dealers you found particularly good ?

24-09-2005, 04:40 PM
i went with the coxcraft reefrunner and a 90 hp tohatsu and dunbier braked trailer.
the reason I went with this was
more room for my $$$$$
standard features where more and better for what I wanted
• Walkthrough Forward Hatch • Anchor Locker & Hatch • Live Bait Tank & Bait Tank
• Kill Tank • Bow Spit • Forward Storage Compartments
• Navigation Lights • S/S boarding Ladder • Cable Steering
• S/S Bow Rails & Anchor Holder • S/S Cross Bollards • Anchor Roller
• 2 x Stern Cleats • 4 Rod Holders • 2 Helm seats & soft ride Pedestals
• Waterproof Switch Panel • S/S Windscreen Grab Rail • Rear Cockpit grip rails
• Bilge Pump • Fuel Tank (135L) #• Fibreglass Stringer
#• 5 year Structural Warranty

the 5 yr warranty, fibreglass stringers and the finish where the things that sold me on it.
as for dealers I would give coxcraft a ring they may even know of a dealer that has them on special
have a look at the web site and if i can tell you anymore just ask

and there was no thing wrong with any of the other this boat just suited me better for the money

24-09-2005, 05:09 PM
Well done krazyfisher. The number one thing to think when buying a boat is will it suit your needs.

I went the polycraft 5.30 Bowrider and am trying to keep occupied until it gets here so I don't drive everyone nuts ;D The boat motor trailer package was well under $30k (including a 115hp suzi 4stroke), and a tad over $30k by the time I get the colour electronics, dsc vhf radio, and minnkota bowmount.

24-09-2005, 05:36 PM
I agree with billfisher, you can't go past polycraft for value for money. I own a Quintrex spirit and I am very happy with it. It handles well in the rough, it's got stacks of features included that with other brands costs extra, and I got a very good deal on it, when I traded my old boat. However after looking at polycraft at the boat show, I'm really impressed by the finish, and cost of the rig. It would be very hard to beat value for money wise, and although I haven’t ridden in one, I've been told they handle the rough extremely well. I think my next boat may be a polly. I think you would be happy with either. Second hand Quinnys arn't cheap, they hold their value very well. Personally I've had bad experiences with second hand boats, even after all the checks have been done.



24-09-2005, 06:16 PM
First person I have ever heard who is happy with their spirit, give it time it will crack

24-09-2005, 06:39 PM
devocean, this is the second one I’ve owned, had the first one for four years, it didn't crack. What would you suggest a Signature? Yeah owned one of them too, it had it's problems. Perhaps a Seafarer or Cruiscraft, I've mates who own them, and could tell you some stories. Everything's a compromise, there's no perfect boat, that is except for the one you own I suppose.


24-09-2005, 07:17 PM
slap slap ouch [smiley=rifle.gif]

easy easy camo

24-09-2005, 07:32 PM
Wait a month and get the Poly 5.3 cuddy. I own a Cruise Craft which is a great boat but as I am still learning (first boat) I often think the Poly boat would be good.
Any-one want to buy a Cruise Craft so I can get the new Poly 5.3 ? TonyM you must be going out of you mind .... hahahaha ! Good to see you eventually went for the bigger motor.
Tony M are they going to upgrade the tansom to take a 130 hp ?
Best of luck what ever you get.

24-09-2005, 08:52 PM
Have a good look at the Coxcraft Rumrunner 5.4 metre. I had 1 that was 22 years old with 115 Hp and they were only 5.2 metre. Now they have a pod on the new revised models.
Was an excellent boat that went on Moreton bay a lot and more so to Mooloolabah and out to caloundra and off coolum heaps. Its a good hull that seems to split a wave rather than getting bounced by it. Great for 2 people but cramped for 3.
I kept mine for 6 years and upgraded to a Cruise Craft 575 Outsider 21 months ago.


Will pop up a pic with the custom canopy too

25-09-2005, 07:42 AM
Yeah the Cox craft Rum Runner 5.4 does interest me. Except Sundown marine is quoting me at 36,500 for the boat, Yamaha 115 and trailer with the package attatchments. In a boating magazine review they were saying the boat, motor and trailer could be bought for a tad under 30,000. Big jump between 36,500 and 30,000. I will look at the haines hunter as well when I find someone in Brisbane who has their boats.

25-09-2005, 07:48 AM
Wait a month and get the Poly 5.3 cuddy. #I own a Cruise Craft which is a great boat but as I am still learning (first boat) #I often think the Poly boat would be good.
Any-one want to buy a Cruise Craft so I can get the new Poly 5.3 ? #TonyM you must be going out of you mind .... hahahaha ! #Good to see you eventually went for the bigger motor.
Tony M are they going to upgrade the tansom to take a 130 hp ?
Best of luck what ever you get.

Going out of my mind? ummm yes [smiley=2vrolijk_08.gif] (although I think the Missus is worse as she has to listen to me constantly prattle on about it) ;D

Haven't heard of any plan to upgrade the transom, although I doubt it will need it as apparently it really gets up and boogies with a 115hp on the back 8-) Will let you know my personal thoughts on that in a week or so as I'll be going for a ride in one with a suzi 115 on the back soon [smiley=happy.gif]

25-09-2005, 12:55 PM
the price between the rumrunner and the reefrunner is $500 I paid $28750 + frieght with trailer and motor 90hp tohatsu as I said dont get caught with packages even if you have to buy the motor by itself. ring coxcraft they with tell you about differant dealers. I have spoken to sundown every time that I have bought a boat and they have never been cheap yet

25-09-2005, 01:17 PM
A Stinger 580 "S" fitout with a 90 Tohatsu is 29,900.00 BMT Mine cost a bit more than that as it has a few more "do dads" on it . Mojo

25-09-2005, 02:27 PM
Motorama at Capalaba have Haines.
I bought a tinny brand new, had it 11 months then sold it because i hated the bash and was expecting a better ride in certain conditions that it eventually offered.
I purchased a 12 month old Cruise Craft all kitted out with 4 stroke Yamaha, 27 meg and VHF, EPIRB, canopy front and side clears, I spose what Im saying is I didnt have to spend a cent, the motor only has 80 hours so really the rig was still brand new and I got the lot for 30k. If I had bought it brand new and fitted all the extras like the Lowrance chart plotter etc (All the boats fit out was with outsider seats grab rails etc, entire cc outside fitout) I would have paid mid 40s for the same rig.
I think still be open to 2nd hand as you may find a bargain and therefore get a far better boat. Try to identify a list of your needs and wants and even go down to the local boat ramp and chat with the guys coming back in to get their thoughts on their own rigs also.

Cheers Ryan.

25-09-2005, 04:35 PM
I will call Motorama re the Haines, thanks. Will also try to see the best Sundown can do with just boat,motor and trailer. Hopefully Cox craft can give me some other dealer options. It seems stange to give one dealer exclusive rights in a city because the dealer is essentialy controlling the amount of business you get. If he is greedy he sells less boats and that means the company makes less and sells less also. I have heard Sundown marine has exclusive rights over Cox craft sales from Sunshine coast to Gold coast but will call them tomorrow to confirm. Are those who have the Cox Crafts happy with them ? Feed back seems positive about them...


25-09-2005, 07:59 PM
Totally agree with Ryans post..thats the way I will be buying my next boat..in a couple of years time...a second hand late model rig..

26-09-2005, 11:35 AM
happy with my coxcraft reefrunner nice finish very comfy ride

26-09-2005, 12:07 PM
Have you seen the FORMOSA boats? I've had mine (5.2m centre console) for about eight months know and can't fault it. Good deep and very dry boat. Should check them out. I know they do runabouts as well and are well under the $30,000.

26-09-2005, 03:04 PM
I know this post has been going for a little while now but thought it might be worthwhile for you to check out the caribbean range. These guys have been round for donkey years and really know how to put a boat together. They do a nice little 5m job the Offshore that you can get for under 28K and also the concorde which is comparable in size to the coxcraft but better quality for about 34k.

26-09-2005, 10:29 PM
Check out the for sale section for 17 footers that went on the market today


07-10-2005, 11:20 AM
Have you thought of looking at the Goodwin 5000? It's on the web at www.goodwinglass.com.au If you want some info about it, call Peter Hazard at Pro Tackle in Townsville. (07 4775 7677) Peter has had his for years and swears by it. He commonly runs well offshore. His recommendation got me interested and I bought a 5950 Goodwin. Because I went overboard (should I have said that?) and added all the extras the boat was over 50 grand, but I think the basic hull with centre console, motor, trailer etc is about 35, maybe a bit less. The 5000 would be a lot less and is just as capable in the sea. If you call Gavin Goodwin (07 47772007) he can give you the exact details and he's very easy to get along with and only too happy to simply talk to you. My personal experience has been that it is a very good riding boat, handles the sea very well even in poor conditions, and is cheap to run.