Secured Vs Unsecured Boat Loans
Secured boat loans generally use the boat itself as collateral on the loan. If the liable owner does not make payment on the vessel for any reason, it can be repossessed by the lender to earn back their money. Secured loans have higher limits, lower interest rates, and longer repayment terms. The standard secured boat loan repayment period is 15 to 20 years.
Unsecured boat loans dont use anything as collateral, which results in lower borrowing limits, higher interest rates, and shorter repayment terms.
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.
Advantages Of Buying Your Own Pontoon Boat
Purchasing your own boat has many advantages and disadvantages as well.
One major disadvantage is cost. When you own the boat all costs fall on you. This includes maintenance, storage, fuel, upkeep, and other costs.
You will want to make sure that you will use the boat enough to offset all the costs. Owning a boat can be a major expense. This means you will want to make sure you will get enough use out of your boat to make the costs worth it.
If you buy your boat, you will also have more freedom on where you go and when you take the boat out. You will also have a sense of ownership and pride in your vessel. There is nothing better than the satisfaction of owning your own boat and putting pride in its upkeep.
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What Should I Look For When Buying A *used* Pontoon Boat
The major thing to remember when buying a used boat is to make sure it is properly inspected and this is no different when it comes to pontoon boats.
When shopping for a used boat make sure to inspect:
- The Hull:The most important thing on any boat is the hull. Check for cracks, patches, or chips. These can get worse over time and need to be properly taken care of.
- Pontoon Tubes:You will want to make sure your pontoon tubes are straight. You will also want to check these for cracks, dents, holes or anything else that might require repairs.
- The Engine:The engine is very important when it comes to buying a boat. If there isnt a functioning engine the boat will not be useful. You will want to look for any smoke, seepage of liquid, rust, or other signs of decay or corrosion.You will also want to look at how many hours are on the engine or if there were any repairs made.
- Interior:You will also want to check the interior such as the floor and furniture. Make sure there are no cracks, mold, or rotting.
One way to make sure you are buying a boat with minimal to no issues is to get it inspected. An inspector is a professional and will be able to spot things that you cant.
If you can, it would even help to take the boat out for a test drive.
You can also see if there is an available warranty on the boat depending on its age.
You will also want to make sure to look at used boats that meet all of your requirements in advance.
Advice For Buying An Outboard Motor
Now that we have covered the basics of outboard motors in the sections above, we will further discuss our recommendations when buying an outboard motor for your vessel.
As with most things, outboard motors can be purchased as new or used units. There are several things to consider before making your decision, and depending on your vessel, it may be smart to buy new.
Used outboard motors can be picked up at a low cost, but keep in mind, most outboards are gasoline-powered engines that wear down significantly over time.
Depending on the previous owner, you could be purchasing a well-maintained unit or an engine with serious problems that are not immediately present. Always check the oil in the engine and the gearbox to see how they are maintaining the unit at that moment.
Another benefit or downfall, depending on how you look at it, is the repurposing of old car engines for outboards. Small car engines are converted to outboard motors for small vessels and are commonly used across Asia. If you can repurpose something like this yourself and have the resources to do so, it may be a good short-term option that wont break the bank.
We recommend asking for a service history of the outboard when buying used. Most responsible boat owners keep these records for resale later on.
New outboard motors come with a few obvious advantages and some peace of mind that wont come with used units. With the right care and maintenance, it could last you a long time.
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What Is The Nmma Certification
Prospective boat buyers should be on the lookout for the NMMA-Certified Using ABYC Standards label present somewhere on the boat. While the US Coast Guard standards are often recommended, NMMA certification is broader as it incorporates the standards of the American Boat and Yacht Council. There are plenty of benefits to having your boat or yacht NMMA certified, which you can view HERE. NMMA certification is designed to help boat manufacturers comply with industry safety and construction standards, and federal regulations. NMMA certification covers over 30 specific standards and includes the following:
- Fuel Systems
- Electrical Systems
What Is The Right Type Of Boat For Me
Recreational, cruising and fishing boats come in many sizes and shapes, each designed for specific use and level of comfort. To make sure you select the right one, you should consider the intended use, style, configuration, size, and price range. Where your boat will be used and how it will be stored should be critical considerations, as well.
The types of boats and yachts tend to fall into three general categories, although more than one activity can be enjoyed on many.
The principal reasons buyers purchase boats are for:
Here is a brief description of just a few of the many types of boats available.
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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.
How To Choose The Right Boat Lift For Your Boat
When trying to navigate the dizzying world of different types of boat lifts it can be tough. There are a lot of options out there, all of which can be confusing when trying to decide on the perfect boat lift for your boat, so we took the time to break down the most common types of boat lifts and which lifts are best for your type of boat.
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Basics To Buying A Boat:
Is a bowrider the best bet? Could a cruiser be in your future? Or, is a trawler at the top of your list? Picture by Forest Johnson.
What Are The Benefits Of Buying A Boat From An Online Showroom
There are many reasons we may not be able to attend an in-person show when in the market for a boat. Maybe its 2050, and we are still practicing social distancing due to COVID-19. Or, more likely, you just want to save yourself a drive across the city. Either way, you can compare the basic features of several boats at once before investing your time in person.
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Boat Engines And Motors: Propulsion System Considerations
Do you have the need for speed? I mean this answer is obvious dont we all! But besides just top speed, boat engines are quite possibly the most important factor to consider when buying a boat. This is because they are usually the most expensive part of your boat, and because they determine how far you can go, how fast you can get there and how much you can carry. Researching boat engines will be a critical part of choosing what boat to buy.
If youre buying to cruise around a river or harbor, a 25-150 horsepower single engine will do you just fine for most scenarios. But if you plan to be out on the open waters its smart to consider getting a boat with at least two engines for safety and redundancy. On a boat with two engines, you are not only moving more powerfully through the water but you are also much safer at sea. If one engine happens to break down, you have a backup engine onboard. This is always an important factor when considering having others on the boat.
What To Expect From A Boat Survey
A sea trial or out of water inspection will start the survey process. A sea trial is a test drive to see how the vessel performs in the open water and is one of the most important segments of the inspection. Although the surveyor may have a longer list of items to inspect, the following are commonly included with a sea trial:
- Normally Functioning Systems
- Engine Compliance with Manufacturer Guidelines
- Exhaust and Crank-Back Pressure Systems
- RPM and Cruising Speeds
The main objective of an out of water trial is testing the structural integrity of the vessel. The following is included in an out of water inspection:
- Moisture Quantity in the Boats Metal Core
- Structural Deficiencies
After the surveying process, a written report is issued, which includes:
- A description of the vessel
- A description of each onboard system
- Findings and recommendations rated by level of importance
- A summary of the boats overall condition
- Replacement and fair market values of the boat based on industry data
The statement will conclude with the decision on whether the boat passes inspection for its intended purpose.
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When Is The Best Time To Boat On Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is known to be one of the tougher Great Lakes to boat on due to its choppy waters and various currents. However, many people create their greatest memories out on the Lake, and it is no shock as to why. Lake Michigan is as beautiful as it is large- full of gorgeous views, refreshing air, and plenty of space for water sports.
Many people choose the summer to boat on Lake Michigan, optimizing their days in the sun for a chance to swim and participate in other water sports like skiing, tubing, etc.
Due to the increased quantity of boats out on the lake in the summer, the choppy waters will also increase as the ripple effect is caused by the high-speed boats out on the water. This can make even a calm day on the water even a bit more difficult to navigate your boat through.
Choosing to boat on Lake Michigan during the off-season, though, will decrease the number of boats that will be accompanying you out on the water. This will simultaneously decrease the effect of the waves that are stemming from the rush of a boat passing by. If you choose a calm day during the off-season, you are sure to have calmer water.
Whether you pick to go boating in-season or off-season on Lake Michigan is a matter of priorities. If you prefer a warmer day and can handle the rougher chops that come with having abundant boats out on the water, then the summer is likely the best time for you to go.
How Are The Safety Standards Implemented
When a boat is being commissioned, someone is appointed as the lead throughout manufacturing. This person will know all of the standards and how each of them needs to be met. They are responsible for educating the manufacturing team in any case of unmet standards.
During the manufacturing process, trained staff inspect the boat throughout several stages to make sure each and every standard is met. The inspector creates a list of all mechanical and electrical deviations and provides information to the manufacturers. The manufacturer then has 30 days to rectify the problem.
Engineering issues may require a part or component to be re-tested or even re-manufactured, and proof of correction is necessary to remain eligible for certification.
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Standard Costs Of Boat Ownership
One of the first costs for any boat owner is storage and mooring fees. If you live in a part of the world prone to cold, wet winters, youll need to find an indoor storage facility for the season. Indoor storage costs vary, but depending on the size of your vessel and the location, costs range between $1k and $10k per year. Mooring fees and slips at a marina can cost you an additional $1k to $20k per year depending on location and price per foot.
Registration fees, licensing costs, and taxes are another grouping of standard charges that all boat owners will need to pay. While these are upfront and either one-time or yearly fees, they still need to be considered.
Insurance, while not required, it is recommended for all boats to be insured. Insurance for private boat owners is not as expensive as commercial businesses, but you will likely spend between $300 and $1000 per year for a basic insurance plan. As a general rule of thumb, average yearly boat insurance costs are 1.5% of a vessels value.
Although there are no federal tax requirements for personal boat owners, you are subject to yearly state and local taxes. Depending on your location, you could be spending upwards of $11k in taxes per year, based on the vessels value.
While its hard to generalize fuel costs, it is common to spend a minimum of $3k a year when running the boat regularly. Lubricating oil will also be required for any mechanical engine or component to avoid wear and tear.
What’s The Best Portable Dinghy To Buy
So you live an active life and want a dinghy that you can take with you anywhere? Well, there are options for you too. This next boat is especially appealing to first time sailors.
This is the best option for those looking for an easy, portable dinghy to take with them in their car. It assembles with relative ease and can be easily fitted nicely into a bag when you are finished using it.
Total assembly time is approx. 15 minutes and the dinghy comes with a video manual on installing and dismantling it. You’ll also find similar videos on YouTube.
It comes with everything you’d expect on a new dinghy including:
- 3-piece aluminium powder-coated mast with circular profile
- Main sail 3.9 m2 from Dacron
- Aluminium âspineâ frame permanently attached to trampoline
- Aluminium powder-coated frame finished in 3 colors
- Trampoline 1600 x 1450mm with totally new design fixed with special grab-handles
- Shorter but deeper keel fins, same fixing as with 420 models
- No stainless steel ropes underneath the trampoline
- Single design, single colour-scheme
- Floats fitted with hooks to fasten the additional front trampoline or the rope when anchoring the boat
Oh and think hauling it around in a bag would be hard? Well, think again! It weighs 29kg so it shouldn’t be a problem for most.
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How Can I Prepare To Boat On Lake Michigan
There are many different avenues of preparation for boating on Lake Michigan. The first preparation to be made is knowing how to navigate these specific waters.
Not only will experience here help you, but you can actually take a course offered by the Coast Guard. This will prepare you for boating experiences and provide confidence that you will know what to do in a variety of boating situations.
Secondly, you should be aware that the waves on Lake Michigan are closer together than those of the ocean. On a day with chop extending to 3- to 4-feet, this can provide some pretty rough terrain.
If you do not have a boat that can handle the waves well, this means that you and your guests will be thrown about. Consider investing in a more durable boat that is suited for this type of water or waiting until a day that is a bit more calm on the water.
Third, consider the power source of and design of your boat before taking it onto the water. A boat with a twin-engine will increase your speed and longevity for travel providing you with an increased fuel range and ability to power through waves that are coming toward you with more force.
Additionally, a twin-hull can aid in your navigability and buoyancy and help the boat to glide more seamlessly over the crashing water. These among other suggestions will help you to maintain a comfortable, pleasant, and enjoyable ride on Lake Michigan.