A Beginner’s Guide To Owning A Boat

boatA boat, just like a car, is an investment and therefore it is important to spend some time researching before buying your first boat. Why do you need the boat? Do you know the size, brand, and model you want? Do you prefer new or used boats? Do you know how to operate it? There are lots of questions that need to be answered first before you shell out your hard-earned money for your very first vessel.

What will you need it for?
Boats can be classified into three main types, according to the type of activity you will engage in. These are fishing boats, cruising boats, and boats for water sports. Fishing boats are designed with open back areas to accommodate more fishing materials, as well as fishermen. They can be of varying sizes, depending on how long the fishing trips will be. Fishing boats include Flats boats, Bass boats, Cuddy Cabin, Jon Boat, or a Combi or an Open Express. Cruising boats are boats you use to transport people on short trips, or just to entertain guests on. These include Deck boats, Pontoon Boats, Motoryacht, Trawler, Express Cruiser, and Bowrider. Boats used for water sports include the Sportboat, Ski Boat, Wakeboard Boat, Inflatables, and Jet Boat.

New or Used?
New boats offer hassle-free operation from the start and are still covered by warranty. Straight from the factory, these boats will function perfectly for the first few years, and will only need some maintenance along the way. However, new boats are far costlier than used ones. First time boat buyers, who are still deciding whether boating is their cup of tea, should do well to buy a second-hand boat first. A second-hand boat allows even those somewhat strapped for cash to try it. However, the downside to used boats is that they may require more repairs and maintenance work. These may include replacement of boat parts and even the boat trailer parts, if the boat comes with one.

What Make and Model?
When trying to decide which boat brand and model to get, it is important to know the various characteristics to compare. The weight of the boat determines its stability, but a heavier boat will need a bigger and more expensive engine. The ideal cruising speed will determine the range and fuel consumption of the boat. The noise levels can be important as it affects the boat’s harmonics, vibration, and structural thickness. Check the equipment in the boat and decide whether it address your particular needs.

Test the Boat
Once decided, visit the local dealer and try to climb aboard the real one. Check the controls available, the available legroom, and the overall feel of the boat. Finally, take the boat on an on-water test ride. This is important as it is the true test of the qualifications mentioned on paper. Schedule the test on a day similar to the kind of weather you will be taking the boat. Most boat dealers will allow the test ride if the buyer is a serious buyer. Check for maneuverability, engine controls, and response time. Listen for strange sounds such as cracking or rattling. Once you have tested for everything, there’s only one thing left to do. Buy the boat! And buy insurance too.