If you love the water, buying a boat will seems like an obvious choice for recreation. A boat can give you immense freedom to spend as much time as you want in the open ocean and on the nearest body of fresh water.
But what type of boat should you get? Your personal preference and needs should take precedence, so to help you gather your thoughts and narrow down the choices, here are eight items to consider.
You may fall in love with a $10 million yacht, but your budget might respond that it’s out of the question. Before going shopping, set a budget you can manage. You might speak with the bank and get pre-approved for a loan. This will give you a sense of how much your payments will be each month, so you know what you can afford.
And don’t worry. If you’re on a tight budget, a yacht is not necessarily out of your reach, because there are many used yachts that carry a great value and a lower price tag.
2. Intended Use
When you start shopping, think first about how you’ll use the craft. Various kinds of boats will suit different types of water recreation, from fishing, pleasure cruising, and water skiing to living on the water, and more.
In practice, a yacht or sailboat may meet the needs of your pleasure cruising, while a speed boat is essential for your water recreation needs.
Will you be using your boat on fresh water or salt water? Some boats are designed to operate in both, but many are designed for just one or the other. Many boat finishes can’t handle the harshness of salt water and the barnacles that build up on the hull. You’ll also need to consider how close you are living to the water.
If you have to drive your boat to the dock each time, you’ll need a smaller boat that’s easier to tow. Living close to the water makes it easier to have a boat parked there at all times.
Do you care about the cut and color of your boat? If so, it’s okay to be picky. You want to enjoy this investment in every way, and the look is just as important as the use in some cases. Remember that you’ll get what you pay for here. High-quality finishes are more expensive, so if style is important to you, that may entail cutting back on other items to stay within your budget.
Another essential consideration is how comfortable you’ll want to be. Boats are designed to be more comfortable now than in the past, but everyone has specific preferences. This goes back to the intended use. If you intend to employ your boat in recreational activities like water skiing, padded seats might be all the luxury you need.
But if you’re expecting to go on long cruises, such as a pleasure sail or a long yacht trip, you need a cozy place from which to enjoy the view. Many boats are decked out with bathrooms, kitchens, beds, sitting areas, and even shade umbrellas for your ultimate comfort.
Part of the fun of owning a boat is being able to invite friends to join you. Consider how many people you want to invite and which activities you’ll want to pursue before you choose your boat. Many online boat retailers let you filter your search for the number of people the boat can seat, which makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.
The number of companions is a key deciding factor in determining the size of your boat, but there are other reasons to think about the size as well. If you tend to suffer motion sickness, a larger boat is typically better, because it minimizes the amount of rocking in rough waters.
Small boats have their uses, though. If you’re going fishing, a small boat can be useful for getting into tight spaces where the fish often rest. Small boats are also useful if you might need to pull them right onto the sand rather than place them alongside a dock.
8. What’s Popular
If you’re still at a loss as to the kind of boat to get, you might look at what other people have. Popular boats are usually a smart choice because many people have tried and enjoyed them.
Some of the most popular boats include:
- Cabin cruisers
- Express cruisers
- Motor yachts
- Pocket cruisers
- Speed boats
- Pontoon boats
- Bay fishing boats
- Watersport boats
The above considerations should help you narrow your options and find the boat that’s right for you. Once you’ve made your purchase and hit the open water, you might never care to leave.
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