Here are my top choices for used bass boats under 10K.
Ranger 3 series and 4 series, the smaller 18’ models specifically the 350V are TANKS and in your budget of $5-10k year model 1988-1998. The 390 series is the aircraft carrier of these 1990’s Rangers and IF you can find one for under $10K it may be the best possible deal you could ever dream of. These are 19’ 3.5” and are commonly rigged with a Mercury 200 and a dual axle trailer. They are some of the best larger hulls ever made, and they exhibit amazing handling, especially in rough water. They will run close to 70mph when fitted with the right prop and jackplate.
I have owned three 350V series Rangers over the years with a few pictured above. They are built very well and handle rough water extremely well. These 350V’s are 18’ and run 60mph with the stock 150hp Mercury XR2 or XR4, Johnson GT150, or Johnson Fast Strike. These hulls are not hard to find and Craigslist is your answer to finding these boats. Most do not have jackplates and I recommend a 6” plate for better speed and handling. The 4 series were built/designed after the 3’s and are awesome boats but they will be more expensive as they were made in later years often with more hp. Ranger switched to all fiberglass transoms July 1st of 1987 so I’d suggest you search for models made in 1988 or later. The reason I give the extra year of bumper is due to the fact boat manufactures make boats ahead of the year model, due to the timeline of the manufacturing process. If you want to be positive the boat is an all fiberglass transom vs. the wood encapsulated by fiberglass, call Ranger and provide them the HID #. HID stands for Hull Identification Number. Know this number. It is located on the hull, usually around the transom on these Rangers. Your boat insurance company and mechanic will need the number. If your mechanic needs to re-wire or trouble shoot, or purchase parts, he can access the wiring diagrams, parts listings, and more through the Ranger parts department with the HID. Ranger customer service is amazing and they have every part you’d ever need including the optional extended deck for these boats which I highly recommend.
Ranger R71, R81, and R91- Found in 17’, 18’, and 19’ models respectively, these are great hulls which were introduced in 1998. R series production began in 1995 and ended in 2001. The R71 is a 17’1” model usually found with a 115hp Mercury or Johnson. The R81 is a 18’9” model commonly found with a 150 Mercury but capable of running a 175hp which is the boats limit. The R91 is 19’ 8” and is commonly rigged with a 200hp Mercury. If you find these models with a “2” OR “3” in place of the “1” such as R83, or R72 that dictates that the boat has a dual console. The R71 and R81 can be found for $8k in good condition and the R91 can be found in good to excellent condition for just under $10K. The R91 paired with a 200hp Mercury and set up correctly will run in the high 60’s and will handle the rough water very well. Pictured above is my old 2000 model R71 with a 115hp Johnson. I ran this boat in 2014 and 2015 prior to selling it in June. It was perfectly fine for the Upper Bay’s rivers and the Potomac but I was limited to running it long distances across rough water due to the fuel capacity and length/horsepower. I would stay within 5-7 miles of the launch ramp regardless of the body of water and I caught just as many fish in this boat as I did my earlier 21’ Skeeter with a 200 Yamaha. I was able to run this boat further back into creeks in shallower water than the larger rigs could access and dock fishing was a breeze in this small compact rig. The boats rough water handling was amazing for its size. I highly recommend these three “R Series” hulls. A 1998, 1999 or 2000 model R series can be purchased from a private seller in average to good condition for as little as $6,500.
Bass Cat Pantera II- Bass Cat builds a great boat and their 19’ Pantera II built in the late 80’s through mid 90’s will be in your price range. Back in the day this boat was very popular and highly sought after. They are awesome older boats and you’d never know they are 20 years old if they are kept clean and under a cover or in a garage. They handle rough water well, but Champion’s hulls are smoother. They were commonly rigged with Mercury 150 and 200hp carb motors as well as Johnson Fast Strikes. The boats will run 60mph with the 150 and 65 to 67 with the 200 combined with the right prop and jackplate. Their price range will be $6-10K in good condition. Some year models had digital dashes and they can be troublesome due to age and replaced with standard gauges. Bass Cat is still in business.