Fully 95% of the American population lives close enough to a large body of water to drive there in an hour or less. As a result, recreational boating has always been popular and is only growing in popularity every year. Currently, the boating industry is worth more than $121 billion and supports 650,000 jobs directly. If you haven’t joined the recreational boating movement, or if you’re thinking of upgrading your existing boat, what type of boat for sale should you be looking for? Before you head to see the used boats for sale at the boat dealers, here’s what you need to know about choosing the right craft for your.
- What will you use it for? The first question to ask yourself is where you plan on using your boat. Boat dealers will have a lot of options available, but some will be better for fishing and others for navigating tricky waterways. Some will be best for waterskiing or wakeboarding, while others will be perfect for cruising along with family, enjoying the afternoon. The first thing to tell your boat dealer is what you think you most want to do with your new watercraft.
- What’s the best engine for your needs? The engine you need will depend on two important factors: the weight of your boat and the horsepower of the engine. The harder the engine works, the poorer the performance you’ll get out of it. It’s important to ask more than just how fast an engine will go: you need to ask about horsepower and whether the amount an engine has will be enough for the activity you envision using your boat for.
It’s also important to figure out how much gas your engine can hold in the tank. If you can only hold 10 gallons at a time, for example, that might be fine for fishing, but it will soon run out if you’ve got a boat full of people or are trying to pull skiers out of the water.
- What hull do you need? When you look at the various offerings at local boat dealers, you’ll notice there are many types of hulls. Each has its pros and cons. Boats with flat hulls are harder to control but go very quickly. Multihull boats have several V-shaped hulls that allow the boat to cut through choppy water very smoothly. Round hulls are slow but very efficient and move gently even in choppy water.
- How much does it cost to maintain a boat? When you go to the boat dealers, you’re likely to be enticed by the nicest boat your budget can afford. Don’t forget to budget for what you’ll need to maintain your boat, though. As a general rule, boats cost about $50 a foot to maintain and run. Costs can be higher if you get professionals to do it all your maintenance for you.
Boating is one of the best activities you and your family can do together. Before you go look at those pontoon boats at the different boat dealers, think about what you want to do with your boat, what kind of engine you need, which hull is best for you, and what kind of budget you have for maintaining the craft. Then you’ll be able to get the most out of your new watercraft.