Buying The Right Fishing Boat
If you are planning to buy a boat, you'll first need
to evaluate what you plan to do with it. If your
primary purpose is fishing, then you'll want to
look into boats that are designed primarily for
If you happen to be a tournament fisherman, or hope
to be, then you probably wouldn't be happy with a
boat less than a 150 HP motor and shorter than 19
feet in length. Those of you who plan to fish in
really deep water on a regular basis will probably
need a 200 HP motor and at least 20 feet of length.
If you don't plan to tournament fish, but go after
bass fish instead, you'll want a 17 - 18 foot boat
with at least a 115 HP motor. This way, you can
enjoy the lake or the river.
Those of you who like to fish for species may want
to look for a more versatile boat with plenty of
walking around room, higher sides, and a different
seating arrangement. This type of boat is ideal
for several people, even a trip out with your
wife and kids.
If you plan to fish on occasion, but not enough
to invest in a boat, you may want to look at a
fish and ski model. This is a hybrid boat, crossing
between a bass boat and pleasure boat, and can
easily serve your purpose.
The biggest part of the buying process is getting
what you can afford. Luckily, there are many new
boats available, giving you several that fit your
budget. If you prefer, you can shop and find a used
boat that fits both your needs and budget.
Reasons To Buy A Boat
Many studies have shown, and many people already know
that being with friends and family, relaxing in the
outdoors and being close to nature are the best reasons
to buy a boat and spend time on the water. Your family
doesn't need to spend a forture or travel to a theme
park to have an experience that everyone will enjoy.
Boating is family
If you've ever felt that your family is going in
different directions, a boat can help to bring things
back together. When you spend time with your family
on a boat, it's all quality time. No matter if you're
fishing, tubing, swimming, or just cruising, your
doing it together - as a family.
There are no distractions on the water, so you can
focus your attention on each other. You can share
stories, laugh, have conversations, or reconnect and
create all new memories together. To put it in simple
terms, a boat will make life much better.
Boating helps you relax
Being on a boat makes it easy to relax. There are no
faxes, computers, or interruptions on a boat. You
have the open water, fresh air, the warm sun, and
adventure that you won't be able to find anywhere else.
With a boat, a great getwaway is all but a weekend
away. You may be a few miles from home in reality,
although you'll feel like your a million miles away.
On a boat, the fun will never stop. There are always
things to do, places to see, fish to catch, and new
memories to create. Buying a boat is easy to do,
even if you are on a budget. If your ready to start a
new journey in life - a boat is something you and your
family simply must have.
Storing Your Boat
One of the keys to owning a boat is the question of
where to keep it when you aren't using it. Your
budget, convenience, and availability are all keys
that should be talked about.
There's no less expensive way to store a boat than
on a trailer in your driveway or yard. A trailer
offers you the advantages of taking your boat into
different areas of water, taking your boat out
whenver you like, or just saving fees on your winter
storage. Before you look into a trailer, make sure
that your vehicle has the towing capacity for your
boat and the equipment you need.
For smaller boats, a great alternative to storage is
rack storage, or dry stacks. Typical rack storage
facilities will keep your boat in a covered shed
filled with plenty of room. Simply call the facility
before you want to use the boat and they will
retrieve it for you. When you are finished boating,
simply bring it back, tie it up, and they will
return it to the storage area for you.
If your a boat owner craving convenience, a marina
slip is just what you need. Simply drive your family
to the marina, get in the boat, and go. Rates will
vary from state to state, although most offer you
several other perks as well.
Buying your slip
In some areas, you can actually buy a permanent slip
at a marina. This can be great to have in high
demand areas, as it guarantees you a slip at the
marina whenever you need to store your boat. The
purchased slip is a long term asset, and is good
for as long as you own a boat.
Financing A Boat
Once you decide to buy a boat, you'll find yourself
wondering how you are going to pay for it. This
type of purchase will involve some type of financing,
whether it's a credit line through the home, an
unsecured loan, or a boat line. Choosing the right
financing source can be just as important as
choosing the right boat.
When choosing a source of financing, there are
several things to consider. The first factor is
how long you plan to keep the boat. If you are
buying a first boat, it'll make more sense to find
a loan that will be flexible enough for an early
payoff via private party or even a trade in.
If you are purchasing the boat of your dreams, you
should expect to have it financed for a long time
which makes it important to get a fixed rate loan
with terms that allow for a low monthly payment.
Another factor you'll need to consider is the
down payment. Most lenders or dealers would like
to see at least ten percent down. Zero down
payments do exist for those with good enough
credit. Normally, the down payment doesn't
significantly change the monthly payment for your
Choosing the right type of boat loan is a very
important part of the entire buying process. You
can start with a boat finance brokerage, which
will show you how each one of the available options
fit into your profile.
Doing this will give you the knowledge and ability
you need to find the loan that best fits you and
your budget. The, you can concentrate on the
important things - taking your new boat out on the
Choosing The Right Engine
Choosing the engine (or propulsion system) for your
boat is very important. Both the weight and the
horsepower will have a major impact on the performance
of your boat. If you have a boat that's underpowered,
the engine will work twice as hard, giving you poor
Now, we will take a look at the motors available
for boats and vessels:
An outboard motor is very popular and very useful on
small boats. These motors are very light, powerful,
and extremely quiet. Normally mounted on the transom
of a boat, there are boats available that offer a
motor well or even a bracket to mount the motor to.
The entire motor will swivel about, providing easy
steering as the turning propeller pushes the stern
about. Outboard motors come in many different sizes
and the horsepower can use different types of fuel.
These motors are also known as I/O engines, and
normally heavier than outboard motors. Consisting
of an engine mounted inboard and a lower unit
attached to the transom, these motors offer power
and versitility. You can also tilt the motor up
and down to help provide boat trim while you cruise.
On boats that are over 26 feet in length, these
motors are very popular. Similiar to the stern drive
motor, the inboard motor is mounted inside the boat
towards the center, giving you good weight proportion.
Inboards connect directly to the transmission, then
on through the hull of the boat. Then, the shaft
is attached to a propeller which will turn and
propel the boat. The shaft is fixed and doesn't
swivel around. Therefore, a rudder is mounted
behind the shaft and propeller to help deflect the
flow of water which provides your steering direction.
Jet drive propulsion systems have a big advantage -
no propeller to cause damage or injury to those in
the water, including marine life. Normally, they
are inboard engines that will take in water that
flows through a pump, powered by an impeller.
Then, the water is discharged at a very high pressure
through a nozzle that will propel the boat. To
provide steering for the boat, the nozzle will
swivel. For personal watercraft, a jet drive is
the way to go.
Keep in mind that when power isn't being applied,
jet driven boats will lose steering, as the stream
of water that propels the boat won't be there.
Therefore, always keep any part of your body away
from the pump intake - and never operate these types
of boats in shallow water.
Finding The Perfect Boat
Finding the perfect boat is an undertaking for an
experienced boater. For the first time boater, it
can be a very difficult task to accomplish. To
help you with your quest for the perfect boat,
there are a few things you should know.
Deciding what's important
Choosing the right boat is all about knowing what's
really important to you. You need to decide whether
you'll be using the boat for your own private use,
fishing, or cruising. You should also consider your
families feelings, as buying a boat for your own
personal needs without consulting your family will
probably lead to disappointing experiences or less
time spent on the water.
Types of boats
Typically, boats will fall into five categories -
fishing boats, power boats, sailboats, personal
watercraft, and self powered boats. To help you
find the perfect boat, we'll take a look at what
each one offers.
The designs for fishing boats will vary quite a
bit, as are the places you can use them. The boats
that are meant for shallow waters of inland lakes
and rivers aren't the same boats meant for deep
seas and great lakes. There are many different
designs, even boats that serve no other purpose
These types of boats normally have stowage and
holders for bait, fishing poles, tackle, and
even special tanks to hold live fish. Other types
of fishing only boats feature an open platform
where anglers can fight fish from all sides of
Power boats are the most popular boats sold. The
designs with power boats are as varied as their
uses. Boats with seating in the front are
called bowriders, which are mainly used for towing
skiers or rafts. Most boats can also be used for
fishing as well. If you want to do both,
there are ski and fish combinations available.
When you first learn to pilot a sailboat, it can
be very challenging, although very rewarding as
well. A sailboat requires more skill and
knowledge to operate than boats, although they
are considered more rewarding once mastered.
With all available sailboats, the single masted
sloop is the most popular design. For those who
only boat on occasion, catboats, daysailers, and
dinghys are small and easily trailerable.
When you finally decide on the perfect boat for
you, look at what each one offers and how you
plan to use it. The perfect boat for you is
out there, all you have do is find the one that
best matches your needs.
Buying A Cruising Yacht
Everyone out there likes the idea of a shiny new
boat. While buying a new yacht is an accomplishment
in itself, you shouldn't spend over your budget then
be unable to take it anywhere. When you buy a
yacht, always look at what comes with the boat
and decide if it's everything you want.
Types of construction
Almost all cruising yachts out there today are made
of GRP construction. GRP material is long lasting,
strong, and easy to repair. Osmosis is the only
real problem here, as the blisters it leaves can be
sometimes costly to repair.
Steel is always a great a idea, as it is by far the
strongest material. There have been steel boats ran
into reefs and banks and received just a few mere
scratches. Even though steel has many advantages,
rust is the true enemy here. You must keep all
surfaces thoroughly painted, primed, and ready to
avoid all types of rust.
Although rare in the normal cruising market,
aluminum is very popular with the construction of
top quality custom built yachts. If you are looking
for an aluminum constructed yacht, always make sure
that it wasn't constructed by an amateur yacht
builder - as this can cause major problems later on
down the road.
Even though it's the most traditional building
material, wood still has a lot to offer. If you get
the right kind of wood, it can last just as long as
any other type of material. The maintenence costs
are very high with wood, especially if you do your
Concrete type boats have been around for a long
time. A cheap method of hull construction, it was
very popular in the 70's. If done properly, it
can be a very strong method of yacht construction.
The most popular choices of yacht rigs include sloop,
cutter, and ketch - in that particular order. Sloop
has the virtue of simplicity, while ketch and cutter
rigs will split the sail plan into more easily
managed areas. A ketch rig can sail under mizzen
and headsail alone, while cutter rigs can offer a
simple twin headsail with downwind option.
Essentials versus desirables
Before you begin looking for a yacht, make a list
of what you must have then make a list of what would
be nice to have. There are many additions and add
ons you can get for yachts, although they can get
very expensive in a hurry.
When you shop for a yacht, always plan out your
budget before you even start looking. A nice yacht
can cost a lot of money, which is something you
may need to save up for. Yachts are great to sail
on, especially for those who have a lot of money
How To Test A Boat
If you think you've found the boat of your dreams,
it's time to test it. Testing your boat is more
than just taking it for a test drive around the
harbor. You should look at everything closely, as
a professional boat tester would.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell a top quality boat
from one that may have problems later on. To an
untrained eye, both can look good on the surface.
When you start to break everything down and give it
a careful inspection, you'll be able to tell a great
boat from a not-so-great boat.
By opening up all doors and access plates, you can
get great insight on the the construction of the
boat. You should also stick your head into the
anchor locker of any boat you are considering to
buy, as if they've cut any corners you'll normally
be able to see it here.
Looking into the anchor locker also lets you look
at the hull to deck joint. If there is light
coming from through, or if the fiberglass around
the joint can be seen through, it normally means
the boat has poor construction.
When you buy a boat, you should put it through a
rigorous visual inspection. It's also equally
important to conduct a vigorous test on the water
as well. A private seller or dealer will
normally want to stack the deck, ensuring that
the boat will perform well.
Normally, this involves a near empty gas tank,
no gear or extra passengers, and keeping the
boat in sheltered water. Therefore, it's up to
you to insist on a more realistic test. Think
of the test as an actual day out on the water,
and you'll find out if the boat is indeed something
you should spend your money on.
During your water testing, you should determine
if the boat performs well and meets all of your
expectations. You should determine if the boat
travels at the right speeds, and whether or not it
is capable of doing everything that you plan to
do with it after you buy it.
When test driving the boat, you should put it
through all paces in open water, cutting waves at
all angles. If you plan to test a saltwater boat,
you should bring along a 5 gallon bucket and try
throwing some water onboard. Any boat you plan
to use offshore should quickly shed water through
the scuppers. Some boats will pool water in the
bow and drain slowly - which can be very dangerous
in rough waters.
If a seller or dealer balks at the mention of any
requests you have, simply find yourself another
dealer or another boat. There are plenty of great
quality boats available, ranging in prices. Make
sure to check everything very carefully before
you make any decisions.
Buying A Used Boat
Those of you who have the money and plan to keep
one boat forever, should buy it new. If you happen
to be on a budget and skeptical about owning a
boat, you should buy it used.
Buying used is great for some, although it isn't
always the most glamorous decision. The oceans
and lakes are filled with boaters who are far
wealthier than most. Many boaters go well beyond
their means and finance their boats at extreme
What really counts with a used boat is being out
there on the water. Someone who is out there
every weekend on his beat up boat is a great
boater. A businessman who only has time to ride
on his 60 foot yacht once or twice a year isn't
considered a boater at all.
If you look around the water, you'll se that the
little boats are the ones that move, while the
big boats are the ones that never move. Those
that are too busy earning money and never have
the time to go boating shouldn't really have a
boat at all.
New boats can lose half of their value in less
than 2 years. With a used boat, the previous
owner has already fixed the problems that are
associated with new boats. The previous owner
has also already hassled with the dealer to get
the warranty service taken care of.
A used boat normally hasn't be used very much
at all. A boat will sit a majority of the time,
which is nothing like a used car. You can find
many boats with less than a couple hundreds hours
of engine time. For the sake of comparison,
look at how many hours are on the engine of your
A used boat will already have scratches and
dings, so you won't feel half as bad when you
add a few of your own. When you purchase your
used boat, you should leave at least a grand to
outfit the boat and make any necessary repairs.
A used boat will normally come with dock lines,
life jackets, spare props, a radio, safety
equipment, and other nice additions. New boat
owners will have to pay hundreds of dollars
for these kinds of things.
The wild card is, of course, whether or not the
previous boat owner did the proper maintenance
of the boat. Prior to buying you should always
get the boat surveyed to be sure that it's in
reasonable condition. This way, you'll know
your getting a great used boat.
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