Choosing The Right Boat: 5 Considerations To Get You Started
If you are thinking about joining the 18 million Americans who enjoy recreational boating, you probably have an image in your head about the kinds of activities youll be doing on the water. The right boat exists for every person, activity, and budget. As experts in the boating industry, we can help you narrow down the search to make sure you find the boat that best suits your needs!
What Is A Conventional Wet Cell Battery
Wet cell or flooded batteries are the oldest type of rechargeable boat battery in use today. This chemical type is popular because it is cheap to buy and maintain. A wet cell battery will contain an electrolyte liquid in an unsealed container. Whereas AGM and Gel cell batteries, arent open or contain liquid.
Choose A Boat That Is Appropriate To Your Level Of Experience
Another vital consideration when buying your motorboat is to decide which size is right for you. This decision needs to take account of your level of sailing experience, for the simple reason that the larger the boat, the greater the level of skill required to handle it, to manoeuvre in harbour and to pilot it smoothly to ensure maximum sailing enjoyment.
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The Hidden Costs Of Boat Ownership
Planning for the added expenses of owning your boat. Next, dont forget about all the little things you need to purchase to keep your boat safe, legal, clean and in its best operating condition! At the end of the day, your boat will be expensive. You will pay to service and maintain it, at least twice a year, depending on how much you use it. Things will break this is inevitable. Gas is expensive, and youll have to fill up often, as your engines will probably burn fuel quickly.
After purchasing your boat, youll have a number of new issues to address. Lets take a look at the most common issues first time boat buyers will face.
How To Choose The Best Propeller For Your Boat
If youre new to boating, you may have realized that there are so many things to learn before stepping foot on your new vessel. Learning everything there is to know about maintaining and operating the boat can be a chore in itself.
Did you choose the right layout for your needs? Do you have enough capacity for the whole crew? What safety gear have you bought, and does it comply with your local and state laws?
So many questions with so much to learn. It can become overwhelming, so its important to do your research ahead of getting out on the water.
Do you know what your engines break-in period is? How many times a year does your boat need to be serviced? Is it safe to power wash the exterior? The list goes on and on.
But for some reason, theres a question that is rarely thought of until youre cruising along and notice a difference in your boats performance:
How do you choose the right propeller for your boat? In most cases, the manufacturer or dealer youre working with will choose the appropriate propeller based on a few key elements. But what if its not meeting your expectations in performance?
What if the propeller that is on the boat isnt necessarily the best choice for your needs?
Ive got some tips on how to choose the correct propeller so that you can make an educated decision before launching the boat.
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Start Small And Gradually Work Up To The Bigger Boats
Beginners would be advised to start with the smallest boats in order to develop their piloting skills, gradually moving up to the larger models as they become more experienced.
However, choosing to start out with a small boat does not mean lowering your requirements far from it. BENETEAU offers several different boat ranges that include small, highly equipped models that guarantee top-level comfort and performance.
With its sporty hull and sleek lines, the Gran Turismo 41 combines both speed and elegance
To sum up, the aim is to identify which model of boat you are best able to handle while still making your sailing dreams a reality. Choosing the right boat means you are more likely to sail regularly. This way, you will quickly gain experience and, above all, be able to cruise safely and comfortably. As your confidence builds, every trip you take will be a memorable experience, creating precious, lifelong memories of days out with family and friends.
Ribs Are Stable And Can Hold A Lot
The combination of inflatable siding and a hard hull gives rigid inflatable boats the best of both worlds. They have the easy tracking of a hard v-hull with the significantly increased stability of an inflatable. This design also makes RIBs virtually impossible to flip or sink.
In a rigid inflatable tender, theres little risk of tipping over because the inflatable tube and hard hull combination provide the ultimate stability. The high stability makes loading and unloading passengers and cargo much safer. It also dramatically increases the amount of weight the boat can carry. Called the Safe Working Load, its the Coast Guards guideline for how much weight a vessel can hold and still operate safely.
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How To Choose A Boat For The Family
The Cuddy Cabin
The cuddy cabin is a staple family friendly boat due to its ability to shelter from the elements. Coming in either a half cabin or full cabin, these boats are perfect for every kind of activity whether its fishing, sailing or fun activities. Cuddy cabins offer a large amount of storage space and good weather protection and make for a good compromise as it blends the best of both worlds family friendly with a touch of excitement.
New Boater Training And Education
So now you have your new boat, a place to store it and you have wrapped your mind around all that goes into owning and maintaining a boat. Now, what about the fun part actually driving it! Just like the world of cars and trucks on public roads, there are guidelines and rules of the road to be aware of when you are driving your boat. If youre entirely new to boating, youll want to take some classes and get familiar with these rules, as well as study how to safely and properly handle your particular boat. Every boat has controls and features unique to its design and propulsion system, so you will have to research the specifics of your vessel to make sure you are a responsible captain and know how your boat will handle in different types of weather and boating conditions and scenarios.
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Replacement Equipment And Accessories
A pre-owned boat may have a certain amount of kit sold with it by the owner. In such cases ensure you know what is included in the sale, but do expect you might have to immediately replace or service safety kit such as lifejackets, flares and the liferaft if one is fitted.
Older pre-owned craft may still have their original marine electronics in various states of repair. It’s a good idea to consider whether you can factor in an upgrade within your budget. Pay particular attention to the VHF radio and antenna. Charts on marine electronics may also be well out of date.
New boats these days are often supplied with the basics, but again you’ll have to anticipate adding safety and first aid kit, equipping the galley and wash facilities, bedding and so on.
Our Thoughts About Our Choice Today
Fast forward 4 years later, and Blue Turtle is looking spectacular. Weve made many repairs, cosmetic enhancements, and modifications to her to make her work for us. Taking a look at the endless boat projects weve worked on, you can tell shes morphed into one great liveaboard boat. We do have some things we would change in retrospect, but we are still very happy with this boat. She has served us well in the 4 years aboard and shes taken us to many great places. Randy and I like to say that she was the perfect starter boat for us because she is simplesimple layout of the interior and simple in the fact that its a single engine . Randy says since this is an old boat, it was a great one in which to learn about maintaining the diesel engine and fixing things when they broke. He would have been a lot more nervous learning on a newer engine/boat.
If we had the opportunity to change anything about our boat, I think it would be to purchase a boat with no exterior wood. We have learned that maintaining the wood on the outside of the boat is incredibly hard. Not that we dont know how to do it, just that it takes a lot of time and the Florida sun and salt wreaks havoc on it.
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Understanding Boat Types And Their Main Functions
Before we delve too deeply into boat types, understand that there are three main categories of boats: man-powered boats, sailboats, and motorboats. Man-powered boats encompass boats like kayaks and canoes, which must be propelled manually with oars or paddles by the occupant. Sailboats are largely powered by the wind, which flows into the sails and pushes the boat forward. Finally, motorized boats are powered by a motor and are the easiest to navigate. Lets look at examples of each of the different types of boats.
How To Choose The Right Boat Cover
Not all covers are created equal. Heres what to look for to make sure your new cover fits properly, holds up over time, and perhaps most importantly, keeps your prized possession looking like new.
Boats left to the elements arent pretty. Their colors fade, that fresh-from-the-showroom shine turns dull and chalky, and their interior vinyl and fabrics rapidly age and deteriorate. For all the fun our craft offer in the sun, that blazing ball in the sky is brutal in return. Thats why, like your skin, sun protection is essential. And when it comes to boats, that protection comes in the form of a cover.
While there are generic universal covers on the market, boats are not universal. Individual models sport unique lines and curves, making it hard to fit a universal cover properly and avoid excess fabric that will pucker, or create a pocket that holds rainwater. And if they dont closely follow the contours of your boat, they also can be a hassleor even dangerouswhen towing. Wind may work its way under the cover and cause flapping, which can damage your crafts paint, graphics, or gelcoat, or even tear the cover free unexpectedly.While more expensive in the short run, a cover tailor-made for your modelwhether its from the vehicles manufacturer, an aftermarket supplier, or a custom fabricatorwill fit your craft like a glove and give it the protection it needs whether its floating at the dock, sitting in the driveway, or flying down the highway at 65 MPH.
How Do I Choose The Right Size Boat Anchor
Choosing the right size boat anchor can depend on several things that we will cover in this section.
The conditions you will be in, and the manner in which you use your boat all determine how you should choose the right size boat anchor.
Generally if you have a boat 22′ or less, you have several options, since you aren’t likely to be out in 25-30 mph winds in that size boat – so our 7 lb, 10 lb, or 14 lb could be chosen for boats 22 or less. But it is recommended that you carry the largest anchor you can feasibly fit on your boat.
The Gel Cell Battery Pros:
Deep Cycle applications Gel cell batteries are excellent for deep cycle applications . They have a life expectancy of around 500 to 5000 cycles range.
Vertical or horizontal orientation Gel cells can operate in any orientation, although they may lose some capacity. They can even operate when a container cracks since these batteries dont leak. This feature is important to blue water sailors who experience survival storms. During this type of violent storm, a boat could roll upside-down so battery operation is critical. For these sailors heavy-duty battery restraints are necessary.
No hands-on maintenance For Gel cells, there is no maintenance after installation of the boat charging system. The sealed container means no electrolyte refilling is necessary. Which is great, as you dont need special safety gear on board to protect yourself.
High vibration resistance With a sealed container and the Gel technology, this type of boat battery is excellent in high vibrations. As well, they are spill proof.
Minimal corrosion Unlike unsealed batteries that are at risk of spills and damage, Gel cells stand up to corrosion. You can install one close to sensitive electronics since they wont damage or degrade like a Wet cell. A Gel cell is safe because there is less risk of sulfuric acid burns for unsealed batteries.
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How To Choose The Right Boat Anchor Types
Choosing the right type of anchor for a boat is arguably one of the least understood parts of seamanship. Most people think, How difficult can it be to choose an anchor for my boat? After all, it just holds the boat in place, right? They couldnt be more wrong. Anyone who has spent time boating knows that proper boat anchoring requires the right equipment, local seabed knowledge, and careful selection, all of which can lead to confusion when trying to make a decision.
If you choose the wrong anchor, there is a solid chance that your boat will drift into maritime channels, collide with other boats, or drift ashore while you sleep. While some anchors can be expensive, instead of taking the risk its a far better idea to invest in the right anchor for your boat right away.
What Type Of Engine Should I Get For My Boat
Selecting the right type of propulsion system for your boat is foundational and essential to having a safe and enjoyable boat experience. The weight and overall horsepower will impact how your boat performs. If your vessel if underpowered, its engine will continuously work too hard, use too much gas, and will perform poorly. Check out this article from Allstate to help determine just how much horsepower youll need.
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Four Disadvantages Of An Agm Battery:
Higher cost than flooded batteries Like Gel cells, AGM batteries have a high initial cost. However, the longevity of the battery tends to outweigh this cost for most boaters.
Overcharging Sensitivity AGM batteries are even more sensitive to overcharging than Gel cells. A lot of damage occurs when overcharging a battery. This damage can fry the battery to a point of uselessness.
Capacity Decline While an AGM has a reliable lifecycle, it will lose capacity over time. Capacity is the batteries ability to hold a charge. Therefore, as an AGM discharges and recharges, its ability to hold future charges lessens. Gel cells are better at holding capacity over time.
Poor Heat Threshold AGM batteries hate the heat, so dont store or use this type of boat battery near engine bays.
Which Anchor Is Right For My Boat
As a long-time boater, theres a lot of gear that I bring aboard my pontoon boat. From coolers to paper towels, I usually keep a small stockpile of necessities stored away all summer long for easy access.
The more I hit the water, the more I learned about whats valuable to keep with you at all times and what can leave the boat after each use. Things like extra flip flops for last-minute pit stops and sunglasses in case a friend forgot theirs became a norm.
If youre new to boating, I recommend making a long list of boat accessories before you jump on board. Doing this can save a lot of hassle when youre in the middle of the lake and you run out of sunscreen or need an extra anchor on a windy day.
Speaking of anchors, that is one item that never leaves my boat, even through winter storage. I live on a sandy bottom lake and we throw anchor nearly every time we venture out for the day. This is one of the most important pieces of boat gear you can have, but do you know which type is right for you?
Im going to explain some of the more popular anchor types and how to choose the best one for your situation. You might be surprised that theres more to consider in an anchor other than weight.
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Which System Is Right For You
If your only priority is having stabilization at zero speed, with these size choices, the gyro will eliminate more roll than the fins when anchored. However, if you also use your boat on longer cruises and want to have excellent stabilization when cruising in the open sea between sheltered anchorages, fins have a colossal force benefit. They can reduce or eliminate many times the wave height and length of a gyro of this size.
You can, of course, choose a bigger gyro to increase the cruising capability, but then size and weight really start to make an impact to match the fins at eight knots, you need to more than quadruple the size of a gyro. Alternatively, you can choose bigger fins to match the gyro performance at zero speed. Historically, the reason for not doing this was the added resistance from bigger fins causing loss of speed and increased fuel consumption, but this has now changed with the introduction of curved Vector fins.
Because these also create lift underway, they typically reduce the boats hull drag by approximately the same amount as the drag the fins create, making it a break-even scenario. In some cases, this even results in a small gain in speed and fuel efficiency.