Additional Items You Should Be Familiar With
Besides the above features, there are a number of ancillary terms and items you need to familiarize yourself with before embarking on your first outing.
Hand bilge pump: This handy tool is used to evacuate accumulated water in your pedal boat.
Anchor bag with buoy: Sometimes you just want to stay where you’re at. This lightweight alternative to a metal anchor is perfect for your pedal boat needs. Just fill it with rocks or other heavy material and toss it over the side. An attached buoy makes it easy to see where your anchor bag is resting.
PFD: A PFD is a personal floatation device that will keep you above water in the event of a mishap. Every person on a pedal boat should be wearing a Coast Guard-approved PFD on every outing.
Whistle and/or air horn: The Coast Guard requires all boaters to have some way to notify other boats of their presence. A whistle or air horn will work just fine. If the whistle is attached to your PFD, that’s even better.
- Distress flag: A distress flag or any other kind of signaling device lets others know you are in trouble. Not only is it important to have one, but you need to learn to recognize distress signals so you can help other boaters in need.
How Else Can I Pay For A Boat
If you cant find a boat loan near you or would rather not use it as collateral, you might want to consider these alternatives:
- Leisure vehicle loans. Some lenders offer leisure vehicle loans that cover a wide range of vehicles from jet skis to RVs and include boats.
- Save up. Not in a rush? Saving up is the cheapest way to buy a boat, since you wont have to pay any interest or fees.
- Rent a boat. Marketplaces like GetMyBoat act like Airbnb for watercrafts, letting you reserve one when you need it.
- Find a boat club. Boat clubs give you access to fleets of boats in exchange for a monthly or annual payment and you wont have to foot the bill for insurance and maintenance.
What Our Customers Say
After looking at every boat in the 34ft range there was not one boat that felt as large as the 344 Cobia. Our Cobia is the perfect fit for our family. We wanted a boat that we could travel to the Bahamas with for fishing and family fun. The layout and design is the perfect mix providing plenty of seating, luxury, as well as plenty of room to fish and dive. We love our Cobia!
Alyse and Brian Phipps, Davie, Florida
We took delivery of our ordered 301 CC in April 2020. Shopping around we had considered three other brands. When it came to our decision to purchase, it was a no brainer. The quality, layout, and ride was a hit! In this short period of time, we have fished this boat really hard. We have already put 100 hours on ConTroll Freak. We have trolled the Atlantic for pelagics, and bottom fished overnight 90 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico at the middle grounds, with many other fishing trips and sandbar fun in between. Our boat has been versatile for our family. She rides like a beauty in any conditions we have had her in. We are in love with the quality and the sexy lines! The support from the factory and the dealer has been great from the start!
Scott and Ann Gaines, Lakeland, Florida
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Be Prepared To Compromise
Before we start looking at the types of boats you can choose from to suit your needs, its worth mentioning that your boat-buying journey will involve a fair amount of compromise. While you might find your dream boat out there, at the perfect price, in the right location, chances are that at some point youll have to make a compromise. Before you get going, write a list of the things youre not willing to compromise on, and try not to be too rigid. Youll open yourself up to frustration and disappointment if you create an unrealistic list of must-haves.
Another point to consider is to not get too hung up on an exact model or design. Instead, focus your search on the condition and equipment of the boat. These factors will allow you to keep within budget because, as any boat owner knows, the purchase price is just the beginning. You might find the exact model youre looking for, but it needs work, while next to it is a boat which is in better condition but is a different class or model. The same can be said for location. The perfect boat in the wrong place isnt necessarily the perfect boat. Keep your mind open and be flexible.
What Size Boat Do I Need
Boat size mostly depends on two factors: 1) how many people you want to fit on your boat comfortably and 2) how you will use your boat. There is a dependency on the first factor. Not all boats can fit 20 people. Some smaller boats like a ski boat or a bass boat typically hold 2-6 people comfortably. Here are some examples of the typical sizes of a boat based on the activity:
- Offshore Fishing: 30 feet and up
- Inshore fishing: 15-20 feet
What size boat do you need for ocean crossing?
If you are planning on traversing the oceans and seas where the waves and waters can get fairly rough, you should consider looking at boats 30ft and up. A boat this size will better handle the choppy and unpredictable water and currents, as well as longer trips offshore. A dealer or factory rep should be able to help you discern the right size boat for your needs and budget.
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What Factors Determine A Boats Required Equipment
The size of your boat determines the required equipment for your vessel. The incremental categories usually go like so: 16 feet and below + canoes and kayaks
- Personal Flotation Devices , one per person
- Must be coast guard approved, fitted to each person, and readily accessible
16 feet to 26 feet
- Same requirements as 16 and below category +
- Visual Distress Signals
- Minimum of 3-day and 3-night use
26 feet to 40 feet
- Same as 16-26 category +
- Pollution Regulation Placards
- 5×8 oil discharge placard and 4×9 waste discharge placard
40 feet to 65 feet
- Same as 26 to 40 category +
- Coast Guard standard system required on gasoline-powered vessels with enclosed engine compartments built after August 1980
65 feet to 165 feet
- Same as 40 to 65 category
When You Find A Free Boat Move Quick
Good deals can go in minutes, so be ready to drop everything and get down to the marina for an inspection if you want to score that the cheap cuddy cabin. Be sure to have things like your boat inspection check-list, finances and paper work in order. If youre buying a boat and trailer, think about how youre going to get them home
Be clear in your mind about what youre looking for, especially if you plan to negotiate. If youre looking for free boats on Craigslist, know that a seller is going to expect you to take care of all other costs. For example, if the boat needs to be transported by trailer or pulled out of the water.
Have cash or another payment method ready so you can close the deal.
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Stainless Steel Propellers Vs Aluminum Or Plastic
Most boat propellers are going to be one of these three materials. Aluminum props tend to be the most common. They are lighter and cheaper and can do a great job. However, stainless is definitely stronger. Stainless is also able to have thinner blades. If you want a top quality boat propeller, stainless steel is probably what you want. Most boats come with aluminum propellers. Large boats like yachts and small fishing boats alike.
Plastic props are more common on small boats. They require less power and the prop will do less work. The propeller blade on a plastic prop is going to be flimsy, as you might expect. Heavier boats cant use these. Theyll have more drag than the prop can handle.
For optimum performance, stainless steel props are best. The boats performance will reflect this. However, you may see increased fuel efficiency with a lighter aluminum prop. Much of it depends on the type of boat and engine you have.
Basically, a stainless steel prop is going to last longer than the others. Up to five times longer, in fact. It can stand up to more abuse. Youll be less likely to need to replace it as soon as another type.
The Complete Checklist For Choosing Which Boat Is Best For You
If youre still wondering whether or not getting a boat is a good idea, heres a subtle tip.
And it need not be nearly as much of an expense or hassle as many people seem to think it is.
When you choose the right boat for yourself and your family, owning a boat is a pure pleasure, not a burden at all.
Now, to be honest, the process of choosing the boat thats best for you can be something of a chore. Its a major decision and a major investment, so youll want to take the time to make the choice well.
Starting here was a smart first move, if I do say so myself. Well go through several of the major factors you have to consider when choosing which boat to buy, and well even share some specific boat models as examples that might suit certain people or families.
Once youve thought through the types of activities you hope to do aboard your boat, the places youll take the vessel and some basic points like boat size and budget, youll be in a much better place to choose which boat is best for you.
First off, you want a boat youll love using each and every time. A smart investment.
So, consider this checklist your new best friend when it comes to boat shopping.
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What Is A Boat Show
Boat shows usually take place annually, usually in the winter months . They are like conventions. Imagine a huge open area with dozens, if not hundreds of the latest models of boats of every kind. Boat shows range in size, one of the largest taking place in February in Miami , to smaller boat shows that can be held in malls or parking lots. Boat shows usually charge an entrance fee. You can expect to meet experts on different types, styles, sizes and brands of boats. So if you just want to browse and see some of the most popular and up and coming boats in person, a boat show is a fantastic place to start. Check out this comprehensive boat show calendar to see if there is a boat show near you.
Is Boat Insurance Required
Although boat insurance may not be a legal requirement in your state, boat insurance may be required if your boat is financed. Many marinas also require boat insurance before you can use their facilities.
Even if boat insurance is not required, it is still a good idea, and you may want to go beyond the mandatory minimum requirement. Much like a car, boats face a lot of risks and you are responsible for any damage or injuries you cause, whether or not you have the insurance to cover it. You also want your boat to be covered in case of collision, running aground, hitting an underwater object, storm damage, or theft and vandalism.
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Where Will You Slip Or Trailer It
So, you bought the boat, now what? Are you going to trailer it? Keep it in a slip? Keep it on a mooring? Do you have a lead at a marina? Are you on the town mooring waiting list?
A typical slip fee might be $150 to $250 per foot with additional power and water fees. Sure, you may have the money, but it might be a 2-year wait to get into the marina near your house. In the meantime, can you live with your boat in a marina an hour drive from your house? Thats not an unusual situation with a new boat. The time to find next years slip is midsummer by fall, every marina is full for the following year.
Moorings are no delight either. As an example, the Falmouth, Massachusetts town moorings in many of the estuaries and bays have a 10- to 15- year wait to get a mooring! I rejoined the Falmouth Marina wait list in 2012, I was originally number 150-something. Now, eight years later, I am up to number 34, and move up two to four spots each year. Perhaps in 10 years, I can get a town slip!
Premium Boat Scuff Erasers
Finding scuffs and dirt can be a nightmare for new boat owners. Thats why every boat owner needs to have a scuff eraser in their boat cleaning and detailing kit!
As the name suggests, this eraser can quickly remove any scuffs, dirt, grease, and stains from the boats body, deck, seats, and more!
They only need to add water to the eraser, scrub a bit, and everything will be as good as new!
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What Type Of Inflatable Boat Is Right For You
Just like traditional hard bodied boats, inflatable boats come in many varieties. Whether you want a kayak, canoe, single or tandem theres an option out there. But how do you know where to start?
Canoe-type inflatable boats are generally a good choice for 1-2 people with some gear. A canoe can handle enough gear to comfortably go out on a fishing trip or multi-day canoe camping trip.
These boats arent as small and agile as a kayak but the greater storage space provides more flexibility for boaters to choose their favorite activity.
Kayak inflatables are the smallest and most nimble boat available. Theyre lightweight and will very easily fit in any vehicle when packed down.
The smallest and lightest inflatable kayaks can even be packed into a backpack!
Rafts and larger inflatable boats can handle up to half a dozen people or more. These boats are usually party boats. Unless, of course, you upgrade to a full-on river raft.
Most inflatable rafts for recreational use feature additions such as coolers, cup holders, and often mounted oars.
Choosing The Best Boat Propellers
You need to make sure you have the right propeller on your boat or things will work poorly. Boat propellers have the diameter and pitch inscribed in the hub. It may also be along the side of the propeller. Check your old prop for these numbers before buying a new one. If the numbers arent present for some reason, you can figure it out the old-fashioned way.
Diameter can be measured by hand. Measure from the center of your hub to the edge of the blade. Thats your radius. Double it and you have prop diameter.
Well get into propeller pitch later in detail. For now, if youre not sure, know that pitch is measured in inches. An 18 inch pitch propeller would move 18 inches in the water with one revolution. More pitch equals more speed but slower acceleration. What you need depends on your particular boat and engine. Check with your engines manual or a specialist to find out the best pitch if you dont know.
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Fantastic Gifts For Boat Owners That Will Make Them Happy
If you know any boat owner, you probably already know how crazy they are about sailing. Thats why theyll always appreciate getting some sailing-themed or boating gifts.
However, picking the perfect gifts for boat owners can be tricky, especially when you dont understand anything about sailing yourself! Thankfully, youve come to the right place well give you some pointers.
Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission should you choose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using one of our links. Its okay We love all of the products we recommend anyways, and you will too! Also, that commission helps us keep this awesome free blog up to date! You can read our full disclosure here for more details!
First, avoid buying boat engines or expensive pieces of equipment unless they ask you to.
Otherwise, you might accidentally spend hundreds of dollars on something thats not actually compatible with their boat. Second, try opting for things they may need but currently dont have!
Still confused? Dont worry! Here are 41 amazing gift ideas for boat owners that will make them happy! So, lets check them out!
Storing Food Without Refrigeration Book
Not every boat is equipped with a good refrigeration system, which can be a problem when your boater wants to go on an extended sailing trip.
But with some planning and a little help from this book, they can store various food items onboard without the use of a refrigerator.
That way, they can still whip up delicious meals without having to install a heavy fridge or freezer on their boat.
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