Not every boat will fit every boater’s lifestyle. Boats have personalities just like people do! If you are someone looking for peace and quiet during your days out on the water, you probably don’t want to purchase a motorboat designed for speeding around the lake. If you want to pull skiers, you won’t likely be happy with a sailboat. Make sure you choose the craft that will serve your purposes and enhance your life. You might narrow it down to a few of these boats, and then go take some test drives before you make your final decision. Regardless, here are a few tips to help guide your decision.
For the Fishing Enthusiast
If you love to fish, there are boats to choose from that are just right for reeling in catches of the day. Some options include:
- Bass boats, which are 14 to 23 feet, and have V hulls and low freeboards. If you plan to fish for bass on rivers and lakes, this could be the one for you.
- Convertible fishing boats are larger, up to 35 feet and beyond. Because they have spacious cabins, berths, and galleys, they are great for offshore fishing or just going for a pleasure cruise.
- Fish ‘n ski boats live up to their names. You can take this boat fishing one day and go skiing with your friends and family the next. There are accessories to outfit each activity.
- Utility boats are designed for high wear and tear. They are budget-friendly, usually made from aluminum, and have outboard power.
For Water Sports Fans
If you a water-sports zealot, you’ll want a powerful boat that can handle your passion for play. The type of sport you participate in will also make a difference when it comes time to buy your boat. Consider these possibilities:
- Jet boats use multiple jets or single drives to propel them rather than propellers. At 14 to 24 feet, they’re smaller than some of the other options, but they have plenty of power for sports.
- Ski and wakeboard boats have been specifically tailored for skiers and wakeboarders. With these crafts, you can pull inflatables, perform tricks, and create high wakes. You can also enhance your experience on the water by adding wakeboard boat accessories such as sound systems, board racks, and Bimini shade structures. Pay attention to tubing material to ensure aftermarket accessories fit your application.
- Pontoon boats have broad platforms, so are very stable. These models are designed for lakes, rivers, and smaller water bodies. On pontoons, you can cruise around, fish, and/or participate in water sports.
- Runabouts are modest-sized powerboats motored by stern-drive engines or outboards. You can use them for sports, and they’re also great cruisers and fishing boats.
For Small or Large Groups
When looking at your lifestyle when it comes to boating preferences, it’s important to think about whether you plan to go out on the lake, river, or ocean by yourself, with one or two other people, or a large group. When it comes to lifestyle choices, boating size does matter, and there’s a wide range of options.
- Personal watercrafts, also known as PWCs, are just right for one or two individuals, although some models can accommodate four. PWCs are super fun to drive and they are relatively inexpensive.
- Dinghies are modest in price and size. These little boats are powered by oars, sails, or small outboard motors, and are perfect for a peaceful day on the water for a couple of boaters.
- Houseboats live up to their names in that they really are floating houses. These big boats can handle large parties because they are spacious and have all the amenities of a home. You can even live on this craft, and many boaters do!
Start by calculating your boat loan and when you’re ready to purchase a boat, you want to choose the one that suits your style of living and being on the water. If your watercraft has the qualities that align with your personality, the two of you can spend many joyous hours sailing, cruising, or racing around.