Powerboat owners are some of the most enthusiastic sports fans you’ll find anywhere. Power boating is more than just pleasant recreation or a way of getting somewhere – it’s a passion and a way of life. However, if you have only recently become hooked, the chances are that you are still trying to figure out what type of boat you should buy. Many people who are new to the sport find the range of choices overwhelming – and end up making serious mistakes when buying their first boat.
If you are going to buy a sport boat, then you really need to do your homework. This starts with deciding how you want to use your boat. For example, do you plan to use it mainly for fishing, or are you thinking of entering water-skiing tournaments? This is going to have a significant impact on the amount of power that you need – there is no point in buying a boat that is too slow for high-speed water sports, but buying a powerful gas-guzzler makes no sense if you’re going to cruise quietly around a lake. The way you use your boat can also affect things such as whether you choose an inboard or outboard motor.
It’s also important to determine what size of boat you need. Of course, part of this is down to how many people you intend to have on the boat, but there are also some other key considerations. For instance, if you are planning on taking your boat on large bodies of water, then a bigger boat is much better. This is because wide-open waters tend to become quite choppy at times, and this can throw small boats around. On the other hand, smaller boats are good for smaller lakes, and have the advantage that they are more maneuverable in tight spots and have a shallower draft – which is important if you want to avoid running aground in shallow waters.
Before you buy, also make sure that you can afford the boat you are going to buy. Don’t just look at the base price of a model – include all the various extra equipment that you will need – for example, navigation equipment and things such as canvas covers. You should be able to figure this out online using the manufacturer’s website – for example, Monterey Sport Boats has a tool that lets you select the model, choose all your options, and then get a total price.
Once you have the price of the boat that you want to buy, you then need to think about the ongoing costs. These include things such as insurance, licensing, fuel, mooring fees, and the cost of storing your boat in winter. You also need to set aside budget to do regular maintenance on your boat – this is an area where you don’t want to try to economize, since if you don’t maintain your boat properly, you will end up paying more in the long-term to fix major problems.