The Itch:December 2008 I was fishing a WON team tournament on the Delta. It was blowing from the North and Franks was jumping with 2 to 3 footers. I was in my 15' jon boat by myself, running downwind and slamming through the waves. The wiring on my livewell pump shorted and burned up. The back of the boat started filling with water from the spray. Eight hours and one bass later I decided I couldn't fish out of a jon boat for team tournaments any more. I'd been close to pulling the trigger and buying a 'real' boat a few times before that day. In 2003 I weighed the options and bought my jon boat instead. 2006 was very close too but work was uncertain and life's responsibilities come first. My son, grad school, the house and all the little things that are more important than a shiny bass boat. It took another 10 months after that day in December but by September, 2009 I was finally ready to look seriously. In October Nico Raffo and I drove from Dublin, CA to Branson, MO where I bought a used 2006 Champion 198 Elite with a Mercury Optimax 225 ProXS. This article is about the process I went through to buy the boat. Some things went great. Some things did not go great. I hope in reading this you can pick up some tips and learn from my mistakes.