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.
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.
What Size Boat Do You Need
Again, your primary use cases will drive much of the decision making here. If watersports are your main concern, smaller boats with enough power in the engines to pull skiers and wakeboarders is a common option.
If fishing is your aim, youll want to consider where you plan to do most of your fishing. For inshore fishing, smaller flats boats and bay boats are common options as they enable you to get to shallow, hard-to-reach fishing spots. If your goal is to get offshore, the deep-V hulls and outboard power of center consoles will get the job done. Depending on your comfort level and needs, the size of the center console you need will vary. You can go as small as 20 feet or go 30 feet and up. The larger you go, the more capabilities and the rougher seas you can handle, but of course, the price goes up as well.
For versatile family fun, bowriders and dual consoles of all sizes can work well . Dual consoles on the larger end of the spectrum will enable going offshore when handling rougher seas. If youre sticking to family fun on freshwater lakes, bowriders, deck boats and pontoons anywhere from 17 ft. up to 25 ft. can be sufficient.
Additionally, your price will vary widely based on the age of the boat. While newer boats will cost more, they also typically come with some form of a warranty that can be quite helpful.
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Know Why You Want A Boat
To buy the right boat you have to knowknow, not imaginehow you will use the boat. Trouble is, that isnt always something easy to know, especially if you havent done much boating in the past.
I offer up my own example. I started out with a small 20-foot sailboat, which was the perfect size to learn sailing, but way too small to really think about anything more than day sails. But my wife Jane and I wanted to do some cruising that included stays of a week or more aboard a boat. We sold the little sailboat and bought a Sabre 28, a nice-looking pocket cruiser. We used it for a few years, then decided that we might eventually want to sail the length of the East Coast, from Miami to Maine and back, and perhaps spend extended time in the Florida Keys. We sold the Sabre 28 and bought a custom 46-foot aluminum ketch, Galaxie, the boat that weve had for almost 16 years now. It was exactly what we needed for our plans.
Had we known in advance how much we would enjoy cruising, we could have gone straight for the big boat and saved ourselves thousands of dollars in brokerage commissions and depreciation on the two smaller boats. Live and learn.
Should You Buy New Or Used
Your experience level is also going to play into what kind of boat is going to be best for you when you are just starting out.
You can go to all kinds of dealers, magazines, boat shows, and anywhere else you find the mainstream marine industry thriving.
What you will ultimately learn, is a lot of that is all about selling a new boat.
If you look at it from the other side though and think about it. You are just learning to drive the boat and use it.
Then do you really want to pay top dollar for something that you are going to be worried about scratching or damaging?
Things are going to happen, and that is just part of owning a boat.
It makes it worse when you are learning on a brand new boat with a beautiful gel coat finish and amazing cushions and carpet.
Would you let a 15-year-old learn to drive in a classic antique all original Ferrari, or maybe a brand new Lamborghini?
Probably not, because they are going to be super hard on the car and probably just destroy it within three years. I like to apply the same concept to buying your first boat.
You are going to be super hard on the engine when learning how to shift. Youll forget the ladder in the water and take off ripping it off the boat.
You may lose the anchor off the front of the boat while underway and have it smacking around on the bottom of the boat.
There are a ton of different scenarios that will happen when first starting out. So, spending less money and finding a good used boat for most people is way better.
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Bass Boats: Ranger Rt188p
While well stipulate that there are some extremely expensive bass boats on the market, there are also plenty of lower-cost bass boats out there that are very competent fishing machines. They may not have the bling of models that are triple the cost, but boats like the Ranger RT188P have it where it counts: in the bass fishing department. This boat-motor-trailer package offers 115 horses, a fishfinder, a bow-mount trolling motor, multiple rodboxes and livewells, onboard tackle stowage, and an onboard battery charger. Even with all these big-ticket goodies included, base price is just $27,095. Oh, and did we mention that it looks great, too?
Cabin Cruisers: Jeanneau Nc 795
Cabin cruisers naturally tend to be larger and more expensive than many other types of boats, but that doesnt mean theyre out of reach for people who considers overnight cruising the ultimate family adventure. In fact, consider all the expenses youd incur if you paid for all the gear, vehicles, lodging, and supplies to go on a trip to some exciting new place every weekend, all summer long. Then visit our Boat Loan Calculator and plug in the cost of a relatively affordable cabin cruiser, like the $80,750 Jeanneau NC 795. You might be surprised to learn that you could actually do more for the dollar, by buying the boat.
Visit Jeanneau to learn more.
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Finding The Perfect Boat
As you know, the Internet has made everything from booking an airline ticket or ordering a pizza to binge-watching all 50 episodes of Gilligans Island easy. Its also made searching for and finding the perfect boat relatively simple. With geographic limitations removed youll find the range of boats to choose from expands exponentially.
Obvious places to begin your search include the thousands of listings youll find on Boat Trader, boats.com, or YachtWorld. But other online resources can help you find a boat, too. Honing in on your local scene, check out sites such as Craigslist, or the online classifieds in your local or regional newspapers. Stretching your legs a bit you might try eBay, as well as the classifieds in the back of your favorite boating or fishing magazines. Also give Internet chat forums such as The Hull Truth or similar enthusiast sites a look.
Sticking with the online theme, you should also use social media tools such as , , and to your advantage. This can not only help get the word out that youre on the hunt for a used boat, but also show you prospective boats for sale. Youd be surprised how many of your friends and acquaintances might have a boat theyve been meaning to sell but just havent had the time to list in the conventional places. Social media can help jostle folks into action.
Which Boat Is Best For Your Area
When I say your area, I really mean two things.
First, you have to consider the climate and weather around where you liveor where you go boating, any way. Does it get quite cold? Is it often rainy and stormy? Or is the weather mild most days of the year?
Second, I mean the type of water on which youll primarily use the boat. A pontoon boat may be great for that landlocked lake or lazy river, but not ideal for the choppy waters of the Atlantic near New England, for example.
Cold Weather Boating
If you use your boat off Cape Cod or in the Puget Sound an open-deck boat with a bimini top might not be the ideal craft for you.
Anywhere the temperature tends to plummet and the waves tend to rise merits a boat with at least some fully and permanently enclosed cabin space.
If you dont want a big behemoth of a yacht or cabin cruiser, consider a cuddy cabin boat for environs like these. These are boats where the cockpit tends to be above board, but where at least a small, fully-enclosed berth is available for comfort and shelter as needed. A fine example is the Campion BRA SC.
Lake and River Boats
If youll usually use your boat in a landlocked lake or a river then a smaller boat is likely right for you for two reasons.
One, the body of water itself is likely on the smaller side.
Two, youll probably need to haul your boat out of the water and onto a trailer frequently.
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The Best Family Boat: A Guide To Help You Buy The Perfect Boat For Your Family
Posted Date: 08/26/2019
When it comes to buying the best family boat, matching the right boat with your familys needs is an important step to ensuring you make the best long-term purchase that enables you and your family to make memories for years to come. Different boats do different things well, and different boats enable certain types of activities out on the water. As such, typically we start with how a family plans to use the boat and what that means for the type of boat that should be considered.
Activities on the water can range from freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, watersports, day cruising or overnight cruising. Considering how you plan to realistically use the boat with respect to these activities is a great starting point when considering the best family boat for you and your family members. After discussing the planned activities, its time to consider the type of boat to purchase. Lets review some of the popular options.
Pontoon boats are boats with wide-open decks that sit on aluminum logs which provide the stability and buoyancy. They typically are used in freshwater scenarios, although some of the higher end pontoon models can come with saltwater packages. Pontoons are very versatile and can be used for cruising and even watersports.
Should I Buy A New Or Used Boat
The pros and cons of buying new versus used boats is always a hot topic among boat buyers, sellers and traders. If youre on a tighter budget, buying a used boat is the obvious choice. Since much of the depreciation in value has already occurred, used boats actually hold their value better than new boats. Of course many used boats have not been maintained well and/or may have hidden issues, so it is important to be extra careful when buying a used boat. Working with a professional boat surveyor when buying a used boat can be vitally important. Remember to always check the engine compression of a used motor before purchasing.
Used boats can also be attractive when you have a particular model in mind, but the dealers are out of inventory, or the manufacturer has stopped making that model for some reason. In some cases, a beloved boat builder goes out of business, and the boats they have built in the past actually increase in value as they are harder to acquire.
When you buy a new boat, you know exactly what youre getting in terms of the condition of the vessel and you can even build the boat out and rig her up the way you want. You can choose the features and conveniences that fit your needs and leave out those features that you may not want. Also, new boats tend to be more reliable in general and usually come with warranties.
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Buying A Boat In Florida Is Just Part Of The Cost
The purchase price is just the beginning of your outlays. Boats are expensive to own, operate and maintain and the expense grows exponentially with the size of a boat.
My friend Bill spends on average about $200 for a days worth of fuel to power his twin-engine Pursuit. Another neighbor spends four times that amount to run his much larger Hatteras and they both wind up catching about the same number of fish. My sailboat burns a gallon an hour of diesel fuel when the wind abandons me and I have to power. One of the big twin-engine motor yachts I help move up and down the East Coast burns 32 gallons of diesel per hour at full speed. Per engine! Think about what that means for a 24-hour trip: a fuel bill of over $6,000. Be sure you can afford to operate it before you buy a boat.
Choosing A Boat: Which Boat Is Right For Me
What is the right boat? We take you through the pros, cons and main types of craft to enable you to make the best choice of craft for your circumstances.
When it comes to choosing a boat to buy, then perhaps the first key question is do you want a sailing boat or a powerboat? You may already be firmly in one camp or another, but if not there are definitely advantages for each branch of boating. Before you go ahead with buying what you think is your dream craft, it might be worth reading on…
Choosing a boat: the array of options is huge, but where to start?
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This May Sound Stupid And Embarrassing
but I can tell you that it will be far more embarrassing if you are messing up at the boat ramp with a bunch of people waiting on you and watching you!
The same goes for driving the boat. Take some time at an empty dock somewhere, to pull up to and away from.
I like to say 1 hour because that is plenty of time to get on and off the dock and get yourself more comfortable to how the boat handles and how to go into and out of gear.
Another thing that you are going to want to learn is that you are going to want to be prepared.
Having your lines organized, anchor ready, and gear in a specific location will make it easier whenever you are doing something.
There is nothing like having a problem and needing to throw the anchor out really quickly. Just to find when you grab the anchor the line is all tangled up or not tied to the boat!
Being prepared will make dealing with a problem a lot better than it turning into a bad experience.
What Kind Of Boat Should I Buy Tips For Beginners
There are many reasons people buy boats. Some people do it to join yachting clubs or participate in fishing tournaments. Others want a watercraft to race friends. Some folks want a simple paddle boat to take fishing and attach to the top of their RV. Really, the kind of boat you buy is very much about what kind of activities you enjoy doing. Once you figure out what activities youll be doing, it will be much easier to figure out what type of boat is right for you.
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Its Best To Figure Out Your Likes And Dislikes
before making the commitment and saying that a certain style of boat is a family boat.
It might even be worth it to go out and rent a boat for a weekend to try out a couple of options. Get yourself used to operating it.
Remember when we talked about pulling up to and away from a dock for an hour?
Rent a boat for a couple of hours and do exactly that. Pack up the family and have an educational Saturday where you guys all learn to operate a boat.
It will be a great learning and bonding experience for everyone. Or it could get all of the fighting and bickering over with before buying a boat and having that battle at the boat ramp!