Choosing a Boat -
Safety, Practicality and Simplicity
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So you are ready to buy a boat? Congratulations! This is a significant
purchase, and should not be taken lightly. When you are shopping for a new
boat, always keep in mind three very important factors: Safety, Practicality
There are many types of boats on the market, from bass boats to sleek and
streamlined pleasure boats. When choosing a style, think about what type of
boating you plan to do the most. Will it be with the family for pleasure and
skiing or alone for salt or fresh water fishing? Are you planning to have
children aboard, or just adults?
Remember, crossover boats will always fall short in one category or another.
For instance, if you plan on using a pleasure boat, anything less will fall
short. Realize that any boat will have its shortcomings when used for
activities other than its main purpose. So when you buy, do so for the type of
boating you plan to enjoy the most.
Horsepower is a factor you should take very seriously into consideration. If
you under power your boat, it will not perform to its best ability. Your boat
may not be as cost effective as well. Keep your boat’s horsepower at what it is
rated for. Never go over your boat’s rating – but if you go under, keep it to a
minimum. Remember, an underpowered boat will disappoint in both efficiency and
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If you are pleasure boating and will have many people on board, power is a huge
factor. Your boat may run beautifully with just you in it – but now picture
four more people and a rather overweight dog – all the while towing someone
behind. And don’t forget the huge cooler full of snacks. This just won’t work
if you are underpowered.
We feel you can never have too big a trolling motor. When you are in the market
for a trolling motor, decide on the amount of batteries you plan to carry with
you on the boat. Once you have determined this amount, choose the largest pound
thrust motor for the category you have. You can always regulate the power, but
if you don’t have the power to begin with you won’t get anywhere. So when price
shopping, spend a bit more for the bigger thrust motor.
Today, most livewells are designed fairly well. Look to see that the livewell
has a re-circulating system. You should also check for size. After all – the
mighty fisherman must have a livewell large enough to hold his tremendous catch
- or at least what he or she dreams of catching!
Design is key to safety and practicality. Once again we go back to who will be
in your boat and why. Will you have just adults, and if so, how many? Where
will everyone sit? Are you more comfortable with a center or a side console?
Do you want decks that are even with the gunnels, or are you fishing with
children and therefore need more freeboard for safety?Your young ones will be
safer if there is less chance for them to fall overboard.
There are many new boats on the market that have every bell and whistle you can
imagine. When you are shopping and find your heart beating double-time, step
back a moment and really look at each feature carefully. Do you really need
it? What are the chances of it breaking, and how much would it cost to repair
it? Simplicity is almost always better than show – and sometimes safer.
Finally, before you sign on the dotted line, look at the boat and think safety,
safety and more safety. Will your passengers be safe in this boat? What about
you? Is there room for everyone, including their personal floatation devices?
Do you have room to store things that could be potentially dangerous if left
loose while running on the water?
Once you have made your final decision, relax and sign on the dotted line. Now
it is time to begin equipping your new boat!