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Buying-A-boat Articles

Buying The Right Anchor

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 506)
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The right way to use an anchor is probably one of the

least understood areas of boating. If you are new to

boating, you may be thinking - how hard can it be? You

simply throw the anchor in the water, wait until it

hits the bottom, then tie it off, correct?

Anyone who is experienced with boating has probably

seen the types of problems that type of attitude can

cause. Just like everything else in boating, anchoring

requires the right equipment, careful thought, and a

lot of practice.

The starting point is selecting the right ground

tackle (the proper term for the anchor, line, chain,

shackles and swivels) for your boat and your style

of boating. There is no single anchor that will do

everything perfectly. Each style has its own unique

benefits and drawbacks, and each one performs best

under its given conditions.

The Danforth anchor

The Danforth anchor is one of the most popular,

being easily identified by its two long, sharp

pivoting flukes and long shank. The Danforth is

also a great choice for small to medium sized boats

as well. The anchor is light and easy to store,

digs well into sand and mud, and releases easy when

pulled from different directions.

The flukes on the Danforth pivot so that the shank

can be pulled at a more vertical angle. It's ideal

for fishing, which requires quick release and moving

around to different locations. If you fish overnight

a lot or travel to different areas of water you may

want to consider a different anchor, which will

hold better in changing conditions.

The plow anchor

The CQR, or plow anchor, features a single shaped

fluke that pivots at the end of the shank. This

design works well on many bottoms. The plow shank

pivots from side to side, while remaining parallel

to the fluke. This design also makes releasing a

snap when the anchor is pulled vertically.

The Bruce anchor

This anchor was originally created for offshore gas

and drilling rigs. The more scaled down version

of this anchor is popular with boaters. The anchor

holds fast, yet it will still come loose when

pulled vertically.

Always make sure to select an anchor system that

matches the length of your boat, displacement, and

the windage. If your looking for strength, elasticity

and durability, you should use only top quality

braided nylon anchor line.

It's very important that the size and length of

your anchor line is appropriate for your boat and

it's requirements. Small or medium boats should use

a section of galvanized steel chain between the

line and the anchor.

If you are new to boating, anchoring is something

you should become familiar with. As you use your

boat more, you'll pick up the proper anchoring

techniques. Or, if you prefer, you can always take

classes and learn everything you need to know about

anchoring from a qualified professional.

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Buying The Right Fishing Boat

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 292)
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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.

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Choosing The Right Engine

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 449)
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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:

Outboard motor

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.

Stern drive

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

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.

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After Your Boat Purchase

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 299)
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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!

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Storing Your Boat

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 304)
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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.

Rack storage

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.

Marina advantage

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.

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Buying Boat Insurance

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 429)
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Those of you who own boat will want to make sure

you get watercraft coverage. Often times, people

don't realize that they need this type of coverage

for their boats. There are many boat owners that

don't even realize this type of insurance is

even available.

You need boat insurance if you own a boat, it's

that simple. Before you buy boat insurance, here

are some things you simply must know.

- Many states now require that you carry watercraft

liability coverage. What this coverage does, is

protect you against any damage that you cause to

other people or their property with your boat. This

insurance will also cover you for vandalism, theft,

fire, stranding, sinking, and even collision. You

should always call your insurance agent and see

what's required with your state and what policies

they cover.

- There is also optional coverage that you should

really consider. One type of coverage that you

should strongly consider is Wreckage Removal. In

most areas, the removal of sunken or wrecked

boats is required by law, and the responsibility

of the owner to pay for the removal, which can

easily be very expensive.

Wreckage Removal coverage will pay these costs for

you. You should also consider adding coverage

that will pay for repairs and mechanical failure

as well, along with towing charges - should you

ever need to be towed back to the shore.

- Not all insurance companies cover everyone who

operates the boat. This is something you should

always ask about, find out who is covered when

operating the boat. There are several companies

that will only cover the owner of the boat. Make

sure that the insurance agent defines who is

covered when operating the boat.

- When you shop for boat insurance, call your

current company first, then check with other

companies to see what type of rates they offer as

well. Always remember that insurance agencies

are in competition with each other, and they'll

work with you to get you to join them. Let one

know about a better rate that you've been quoted

and see if they'll go one better.

Before you shop for boat insurance, think about

the investment you have made with your boat. Boats

are not cheap, replacing or repairing them isn't

cheap either. Therefore, you should always make

sure you get the coverage you need to protect you

against anything that happens with your boat.

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Custom Built Boats

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 296)
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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.

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Buying A Boat Trailer

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 450)
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A boat trailer is something you really can't go

wrong with, as it is a dual purpose device. It

provides a convenient way to store the boat, and

also allows you to explore new areas by taking

your boat down the road. Good trailers must

perform both duties equally as good.

Most people buying boats are into getting the

boat, and not the trailer. They are more than

willing to spend money on a boat, then end up

getting a cheap trailer. If you want the most

from boating, these tips will help you with

buying a trailer.

- The total weight of the boat, gear, and motor

should be in the mid range of trailer's carrying

capacity. You shouldn't pick a 2,500 capacity

trailer if you have a boat with the same weight.

- Go for larger diameter tires and wheels. The

larger tires will rotate less times per mile,

producing less heat and wear on the tread. The

wheel bearings will last much longer as well,

as they rotate less times per mile.

- You should look for trailers with "drive on"

capabilities. These drive on trailers will allow

you to drive the boat onto the trailer, close

enough to the winch so that you only need to

winch the boat up a few inches.

- Select trailer lights (for the highway) that

are protected and sealed against water.

- Pick your trailer based on the environment it

will be operating in. If you plan to launch in

salt water, you'll need a trailer for that purpose.

There are many types of trailers available, each

one designed for a specific type of boating.

Although most are protected against weather and

rust, you should always pick the one designed

for the type of terrain you will be using your

boat with. This way, you have no worries about

your trailer not doing the job it should be.

There are some trailers that include a spare tire,

which is an excellent investment for those who

plan to travel long distances. Even though it

can be hard to find trailer tires in the dark,

it's still great to have a spare if you get a

flat while you travel.

All in all, a boat trailer can save you a lot of

time and money. You can store your boat on your

trailer when it isn't be used, even take it to

other lakes or oceans. A trailer will open up

new roads for you and your boat - all you have to

do is find one that you need.

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How To Test A Boat

(category: Buying-A-Boat, Word count: 493)
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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.

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