The task of choosing and finally purchasing a fishing boat can be a challenge to someone the first time around. Those of us who have been fishing all of our lives have the process down to an art as we know exactly what we need to meet our needs and we also know what kind of vehicle we need if we are going to tow the boat. We put our heads together and came up with a list of helpful tips for first time boat buyers.
First, we are talking about fishing boats here so that should be the purpose that you are buying the boat for and the boat should be able to do the job well. Don't go for one of those multipurpose types of boats because you will be let down. You will compromise performance for comfort or vice versa. Don't be indecisive. In my opinion if you can't fish out of it then it isn't worth having.
The next thing to consider is the environment you will be fishing in. Is the boat to be used in freshwater fishing only in small lakes or ponds? If so then you will be able to get off fairly light, monetarily speaking. On the other hand if you intend to go in the open ocean or even in the larger lakes you will need to consider a larger vessel. The scene from "Jaws" where Richard Dreyfuss' character says, "We need a bigger boat" comes to mind.
Another thing to consider is whether the boat will be used on day trips only or if you intend to do some overnighters. If you are considering overnight trips then you will want a vessel with a cabin of some type. Now it's going to start getting pricey! You definitely want a boat with a hull so it will take the waves better and be more comfortable.
We are getting the horse before the cart here, or should I say the boat before the trailer. First off you need to know what kind of budget you have to deal with. If you only have a few grand to spend I hate to tell you but you're not likely getting an ocean going vessel, not one that I want to be in anyway. Be realistic when planning your budget and be sure to plan for repairs and maintenance as well.
Be very clear about the warranty when buying a new boat; know exactly what is covered and what is not. Just like with cars and trucks, the warranties differ from company to company. I suggest buying a new boat only from a reputable dealer that will take care of you if something goes wrong.
The other thing you should be concerned with is that the boat carries a certification from the NMMA, The National Marine Manufacturers Association. The organization promises that a vessel with their seal of approval has passed their rigid standards of excellence and is a quality watercraft.
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