How Do I Choose A Sailboat
Before the 1960s, boatbuilders constructed sailboats one-at-a-time to suit a customerâs specific needs. They built the vast majority of recreational craft out of wood using skills passed down through generations. Boat designers and boat builders had extensive sailing experience, so they often knew how to guide a project to suit a buyerâs desires. By the middle of the 20th century, something big happened. Engineers pioneered fiberglass boat construction which allowed factories to mass-produce standardized sailboats. Hundreds of models from dozens of manufacturers soon flooded the market.
These days, many excellent used sailboats go up for sale every day. The majority are fiberglass boats, but some wooden designs pop up occasionally. Most of these boats are quite affordable but thereâs so many to choose. Before buying a sailboat itâs essential to consider several factors to ensure it fits your plans. You wouldnât want a dinghy for long offshore passages, nor would you appreciate a 55-foot schooner for an afternoon on the lake. In this article, weâll go over what you need to consider before choosing a sailboat.
Think About The Reserve Capacity Of The Power Cell
The reserve capacity of a power cell indicates the amount of time it can stand on its own and provide the power your boat needs for its electrical components. It tells about the amount of time a fully charged marine battery requires to drop below 10.5 volts if it is discharging 25 amps. The larger the electrical load of your boat, the higher the reserve capacity it needs to be able to run the entire electrical grid relying on the battery alone. Batteries with higher reserve capacity can be a bit expensive, so make sure to weigh all your options carefully to come with a smart decision.
Boat Surveying And Inspection
Ensuring the vessel is seaworthy and safe
When going to register and insure your boat, you may have to get it inspected and surveyed by a professional boat surveyor. This is why it helps to work with a boat surveyor early on in the process, before deciding to purchase a vessel. That way, you dont face any surprises later.
Each registration will differ depending on where you live, however, some common general items required are life vests, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, radio and flares. You will need to have good dock lines and bumpers onboard, and youll most likely need an anchor, or two! Make sure you have all the necessary items to be safe while out on the water.
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Why Live In A Sport Fishing Boat
These boats can also offer you spacious room above and below deck for living full time. Some come with staterooms, full kitchens, oversized galleys, showers, and convertible sleeping accommodations.
Depending on the type that you get you could sleep three or more people per vessel.
One disadvantage to this type of boat is that there is not a lot of on deck lounge areas, as these are reserved to be utilized for fishing.
If you do not mind sitting out on the top of a bow than this should not be an issue.
They are also quite tall you will want to make sure you know what your clearance is for things such as bridges.
Who Offers The Best Boat Insurance Rates
Many insurance companies offer competitive boat insurance rates. Shop around to make sure you are getting the information you need to make an informed decision. Sites like allthingsboat.com and consumeraffairs.com provide reviews for many different insurance companies and are great places to begin your research. Speak with other boaters find out what features are important to them and why. Do your homework by researching different companiesâ offerings and you will be prepared to make the best decision for your needs.
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What To Think About While Youre At The Boat Dealership
When you are at a dealership and think you have found the boat for you, it is your responsibility to ask for a sea trial, if appropriate and to conduct a marine survey.
What is a sea trial?
A sea trial is a marine equivalent to a test drive, with a few key differences. Most boat dealers have to schedule a sea trial days in advance so they can be sure to prep the boat for usage and have all the proper safety guidelines fulfilled. For this reason, it is frowned upon to take more boats than necessary on a sea trial. Most people take the boat they are seriously considering purchasing out for a sea trial. When you are on a sea trial, this is the time to look for any red flags. Do the things you plan to do with the boat yourself while out on the trial run. Bring the boat up to at least 30 mph, make some sharp turns, test the boat in waves, practice tying off the boat at a slip, sit in different positions, make a note of anything you find out or out of place. Test the sound system, the steering, the get-up, and really anything else you can think of that would be important to you as a boat owner.
What is a marine survey?
How Do I Know My Boat Will Be Safe On Lake Michigan
Knowing that your boat will be safe on Lake Michigan will have much to do with your preparedness for the experience. You can do this by researching the weather ahead of time, knowing that your boat meets safety suggestions and requirements, and ensuring proper maintenance, equipment, and care for your boat prior to going out on the water.
Researching the weather ahead of time is an absolute must when it comes to safety on the water. This can be said for traveling by boat in any location and is especially true on Lake Michigan where rough waters are more common. Being aware of an oncoming storm is something that you can most likely prepare for.
If you know that it is going to rain but that it is not as likely to storm or rain too heavily, then you can choose to go out on the water with this understanding.
However, if you are aware that the storm will be significant and that you and your boat are not prepared to handle it, then choose to avoid the Lake at this time.
Ensuring that your boat meets proper safety suggestions and requirements is another way to know that you can enjoy Lake Michigan rather than worrying about plans going awry. This includes taking a boat of appropriate size into the water, demonstrating confidence in navigating your boat regardless of conditions and including safety equipment on your boat.
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Which Boat Is Best For Your Favorite Activities
You wouldnt use a kayak to pull a water skier, and you wouldnt buy a yacht for stream and river fishing, right? Right.
So, instead of first thinking about boats, lets talk about activities.
Which Boat Is Best for Fishing?
If youre a deep sea fisherman, then you need a boat suitable for use on the high seas, of course. That likely means either a center console boat with a permanent roof and optional enclosure attachments, or even a cabin cruiser.
If youre headed far off shore, youll want a boat that can protect you and your fellow fishermen against inclement weather and tall waves.
On the other hand, a Grand Banks 44 Eastbay cruising trawler may be outside the budget of most people, but its a dreamboat, so to speak.
For fishing excursions where you head out to sea but wont be too far from shore to simply head in if bad weather threatens, make ideal platforms for fishing. They offer plenty of open space so multiple anglers can cast lines at once and make it easy to set up areas to prepare rods and reels, clean your catch and even grill up some fresh fish right there aboard the boat. I love the well-pricedTahoe 2150for fishing, cruising and fun in general.
Which Boat Is Best for Speed?
If you want a speedboat for the sheer thrill of, well, speed, then you have a surprising number of rather affordable options at your disposal.
Typical Cons Of Getting A Pontoon Boat
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How Much Bottom Paint Do I Need
The amount of bottom paint varies depending on how big your boat is and how heavily you apply the bottom paint. Refer to the paint manufacturers details on coverage amounts . Heres an easy formula for figuring out the square footage of your hull below the waterline, where youll be applying bottom paint.
Length x Beam x .75
Here are some typical estimates for various types of boats. These estimates assume youre applying two coats, and that youll be coating the surface as thickly as possible without drips or runs.
|Type of Boat|
The Downsides Of Going Too Small
According to Discover Boating, you should be wary of a boat with a smaller motor that seems to do well during a test ride. Take note of the fact that during your test ride, you will probably have a limited number of passengers, and will have no extra drinks, food, or sporting gear. You may not even have a full fuel tank.
All of these factors lighten the load, making it so the watercraft can perform decently even with fewer horsepower. However, this isnt necessarily indicative of how you will be using the boat the majority of the time. That is why its important to find out the maximum amount of power the watercraft can handle this rating will account for how much weight the boat could potentially be taking on with a full passenger load, and will, therefore, be a more accurate gauge of the power youll need.
Which specific type of engine you end up with will depend largely on the type of watercraft and the areas in which youll be sailing. Horsepower can range anywhere from 2.5 hp all the way up to over 1,000 hp for certain types of outboard motors.
Choosing the appropriate engine size for your boat will make it that much easier for you to enjoy your time out on the water. Make sure you go with the highest amount of horsepower that your boat can handle, and itll be smooth sailing all summer long.
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Taking A Boat To Bahamas From Florida
So now you know what kind of paradise lies ahead when you set out from Florida.
Lets talk about how to get here.
Bimini is the closest island to the mainland US . If youre looking for a fishing trip with your buddies, chartering a boat to take you out from Florida to Bimini is by far the best way. Its a road trip on water, with massive fish almost guaranteed.
If you want a real treat, then hire a multi-day charter. You will have two or three days to fish and a chance to go past Bimini to other excellent fishing grounds. These charters cost about $2,500 per day for a group of up to six people. Whats great about them is that you can focus on fishing captains usually provide all the fishing gear, boat equipment, and snacks. All you need to do is to get ready for the Billfish.
What Types Of Boats Are There
This might seem like a silly question, but its actually a bit more cumbersome than you might expect. A boat is a thing that floats and thats it, right? Wellyes, but also there are literally dozens of different types of boats that are differentiated by their purpose for floating on water. For example, there are boats for fishing, boats for watersports, boats for long-term trips, boats for cruising, boats for going fast, boats for the open ocean, boats for lakes, boats with engines, boats without engines you get the idea. There are a lot of boats to choose from. In this section, we are going to briefly cover some of the most popular types of boats on the market to help you narrow down your search and find which type of boat might be a good fit for you.
Unsurprisingly, a Bass Boat is a boat made specifically for catching bass fish. These boats are equipped and designed for catching bass and other panfish, usually in freshwater. Modern bass boats feature swivel chairs, which allow the angler to cast their rod from any position in any direction. The boats have storage bins for bait, rods, and lures in addition to live wells where the fish can be kept alive while you continue to fish. Bass Boats are traditionally outboard boats and some have a trolling motor, which allows you to cruise at a very slow and consistent pace. They are usually aluminum or fiberglass.
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How Much Are You Looking To Spend
The infamous break out another thousand, B.O.A.T. You can go wild here and the amount of money that can be spent on a boat is almost unlimited!
Seeing 60-foot center consoles that cost 3 million dollars is quickly becoming a common thing.
After asking yourself all of the questions that we have talked about here today. You should have a pretty good feel for what kind of boat you are looking for.
This is where you need to start scanning the market and comparing the prices of the boats that fit you and your needs.
There are also some costs that you might not think about which is why we wrote this extensive article on What It Actually Costs To Own and Operate a Boat! We also have even more information on top of that with all this post on the details you can use to decide Whether or Not a Boat Is A Good or Bad Investment for You!
Types Of Marine Battery
Choosing the right type of marine battery is going to be crucial for your boats performance, and when it comes to picking the right type, you also have to consider the chemistry of the power cell. Before you choose the battery for your boat, you have to keep in mind that the battery will handle two things starting your boats engine and running all of its electrical load. Being aware of this aspect will make sure that the battery you are going to purchase will have the capability to provide every power that you need for your boat.
- Smaller boats that need enough power for both starting their engine and running their electrical loads from a stand-alone battery.
- They are also suitable for sailboats with two interchangeable batteries for powering electrical loads.
- Dual purpose batteries can a be a good replacement battery for boats that need enough power for their electrical load and starting their engine compared to starting batteries.
Those are the different types of batteries that you can choose from. You have to keep in mind that selecting the right type of battery is going to be crucial for your boats performance. Now you have to learn about the different types of battery chemistry to make sure that you are going to pick the best suitable battery for your needs.
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How Long Do I Plan On Staying Aboard
Many people spend multiple days on their boats. Sailboats over 20-feet in length usually have cabins with amenities, and many include full showers and kitchens. Thousands of people live aboard their sailboats full-time and enjoy the many freedoms that come with it. For a liveaboard, youâll want a cabin with at least 6-feet of headroom. Oh, and bathroom facilities are a must. If you have no interest in sleeping aboard, you can sacrifice cabin space for lower mooring fees and upkeep costs.
Purchasing & Insuring Your Boat
If youre planning to finance part of your boat purchase, lenders will typically want between 10 and 20% of the boat purchase as a down payment. If youre borrowing more than $150,000, lenders will generally want more documentation such as tax returns, proof of income and proof of liquidity. Interest rates are typically based on the size of the loan and the credit score of the buyer, though every situation is unique.
Youll need an insurance policy for your boat, and it needs to be factored into your total cost of ownership. A general rule of thumb is that insurance premiums will run 1.5-2% of the value of the boat. You can read more about boat insurance here.
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