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.
Costs Of Owning A Boat
Normally, the prices for new boats will vary
depending on the size and make, although many dealers
and manufacturers will be willing to sell you
one for less than the cost of a new car payment.
Financing your boat
Financing your boat is just like financing a new
car. Similar to car and home loans, loans for
boats have became even easier and more flexible in
recent years. The terms will generally range from
two to 20 years. To get the most from financing,
you should compare rates online.
All new boats are offered with a variety of options
and accessories. When you are pricing boats, make
sure you factor in the costs of electronics,
accessories, and water toys - then buy what's
appropriate for your boat type and size.
Most modern marine electronics are very reliable,
loaded with features, and more affordable than ever
before. Today's accessories can make boat trips
more fun, safer, and easier than you ever thought
Boating isn't like driving, as you aren't using
gas all the time. If you fish or swim with your
boat, your actually not using the motor at all. If
you happen to own a sailboat, the motor is used
Most boats today are less than 21 feet in length.
All of these boats don't require a lot of gas, with
most using less than 50 gallons of gas per season.
Simply washing down your boat and trailer with
fresh water after each use will keep them covered
between boat trips. If you don't have the time
to do it yourself, you can always hire a professional.
The insurance for boats will vary by length and type.
Therefore, you should consult your insurance agent for
quotes, or simply shop online.
After Your Boat Purchase
Once you've made the purchase on a brand new boat
you'll be very excited - as you should be! The
first thing to do is celebrate with your family and
friends, you deserve it. You shouldn't rush out
on the water immediately after the purchase, as
you have some things to take care of first.
If you are new to boating, you should take a
safety course first. There is a lot to know about
boats. Being out on the water is a lot of fun,
although there are things you should know and
things you should always be aware of.
After buying your boat, you should register it and
re-title the boat and trailer if you need to. Pay
your sales tax and apply any up to date registration
stickers if you need to. Also, make sure you buy
the proper insurance for your boat, as it will
protect you while you are on the water.
When you make your first trip on the water, you
should do so with an experienced boater. You can
have them show you turning in tight spaces, even
trailering and docking. Practice docking in
different currents and take the helm with the
boater there to help you. Get comfortable at the
helm enough to where you'll feel comfortable taking
others out for a ride.
The world of boating can be very fun, offering you
many things to do and a lot to see. Boating offers
plenty of freedom as well, especially for those who
are completely new to boating. Your first boat
purchase is very important, as it opens up new doors
in life. Your family will enjoy boating, all you
have to do is give it a chance!
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.
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.
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.
Cash Or Finance For Your Boat
Before you go out and purchase your boat, remember
that boating is a hobby and you shouldn't go
overboard with it. Unlike your house, boating
isn't really worth going into debt for. First
time buyers who aren't sure about boating should
always make sure they spend well within their
To get the most out of your boat, it's always a
better idea to scrape up your recreational dollars,
sell a few of your belongings, and simply save up
for a while. In the meantime, you should carefully
study the boating market. When you manage to
save up 3,500 - 25,000 dollars, go ahead and buy
the boat you want.
Whatever you do, make sure you don't spend all of
your money on the just the boat itself. When you
purchase the boat, you'll need to have enough
money for taxes, registration, storage, towing
insurance, gas, equipment, and even minor repairs
if your boat requires them.
When buying a boat, used or new, cash is always
better than financing. You can save money with
cash, as there are no finance charges. Financing
charges can get high, very high in fact if you
don't know a lot about it.
If you simply must finance your purchase, it's a
smart idea to use a home equity loan instead. This
way, it'll be tax deductible. Always be on the
lookout for boat show financing, and never, ever
use it. Several boat show financing ploys will
extend the loan out over the course of 10 - 15
A new boater will either advance with boating or
get out of it all together. Most boaters don't keep
their boat for more than 10 years, which is reason
enough not to get an extended finance loan on your
Custom Built Boats
Almost all boats are constructed on a production
basis, as this is the most efficient means of
production. There's only one set of molds and many
boats being built from the mold, reducing the cost
of tooling per boat. Normally, there are a limited
number of options to make assembly line production
more efficient in terms of cost.
Leaving the ranks of production boats, there are
several types of custom construction. There are
many boats built with a limited budget, which is
normally by amateurs. If you don't want to build
the boat yourself, the next level available is
what sailors call "semi custom" boats.
These semi customs are normally built by small or
mid sized shops out of one set of molds so the
hull and decks could end up being identical. The
builders will however, allow the owner to pick
out the interior and other options.
The true custom built boat, or one of a kind boat,
is specifically designed and built from scratch
for a single customer with an unlimited budget. A
true custom boat is a one on one project, and
can get very expensive before you know it.
Before you decide to go out and buy a custom boat,
you should give the used market another look. Those
who have built custom or even semi custom boats
in the past do put them on the market for sale at
some point or another.
This is a much less expensive way to go, simply
because you won't be paying a professional to design
the boat from scratch. You can find used boats that
offer one of kind features and options, all you have
to do is look around.
Choosing The Right Boat
The first thing you should know when choosing a boat
is that no single boat will do everything. If your
looking for a boat that inspires confidence, don't
expect it to shine in light air. Boats that are
exciting to sail on the weekends aren't the ideal boats
for a passage through the ocean.
You shouldn't expect to find quick acceleration and
load carrying capacity together with the same boat.
You can buy a boat now to race or fish, then sail
around later - as you can only do one or the other
with a specific type of boat.
The logic to choosing the right boat is determining
how you plan to use the boat. Think about why you
want to own a boat, what you plan to do with it, and
how you plan on using it.
For some, beauty is the first consideration. For
sail boats beauty is very important, as you'll
spend a majority of time floating and sailing around,
with many people looking at your sail boat. With
people looking at your vessel, you want to make sure
that it looks nothing short of amazing.
If you are planning to race instead of cruise, then
speed is your primary consideration. There are
many cruising sailors out there who simply can't be
happy unless their boats are moving very fast. The
ideal boat for speed demons are those that can cut
through the water, creating plenty of waves.
Fishermen on the other hand, want to look towards
fishing boats. Trackers and other boats that are
designed for fishing are ideal here. Fishing is one
of the most popular boat activities, meaning that
you'll have plenty of boats to select from.
When it comes down to it, selecting the right boat
is up to you and what you plan to do with it. Take
your time, weigh your options, and you'll have the
right boat before you know it.
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