A recent study suggests that living less than 5km from the coast improves people’s mental health. Living a coastal life is the best way to stay happy. If you want to get the most out of your coastal life you need to buy a boat.
Picking your boat out for the first time can be a daunting challenge. Marine equipment comes in a staggering array of forms all with different functions. Recreational boating is a huge niche market and it’s easy to get lost.
Whether you are about to purchase your first boat or have made many boat purchases in the past you need to be able to get the best boat for your lifestyle. Here’s how you can narrow down the ideal boat for you.
How Would You Like to Use Your Boat?
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what your uses will be for your new boat. Some boats are custom-made to perform best on oceans, rivers, or lakes. Some are geared for comfort and others for performance.
The following are a few functions that your boat can fulfill in your life. Read them all and think of a few of your own.
Many people love going fishing and choosing the right vessel can make a big difference in how successful your angling missions go. For freshwater, you may want to consider a flat bottom boat. These are great for lakes and rivers.
Saltwater fishermen may want to take a different approach to boating. An oceangoing vessel tends to have a v-shaped hull and be larger than riverboats. You will need a larger boat for deep-sea fishing than near-shore fishing.
Exciting water sports like water skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, and parasailing can be an adrenaline-pumping way to pass the time with your boat. If you plan on trying them you need a fast boat with lots of horsepower.
You will want a lightweight vessel that has at least one, if not two, large engines. It will also need to have a hydrodynamic hull that allows the boat to plane and reach maximum speed. A smaller vessel is best for water sports.
White Water Rafting or Rough Ocean Boating
If you plan on using your boat to go whitewater rafting you will need a specially designed inflatable raft. You can also select a smaller kayak or canoe if you are experienced.
Do not attempt to take a boat with a fiberglass hull whitewater rafting or you will destroy your boat. Inflatable boats such a Zodiacs are also great for rough saltwater boating providing you don’t take them out too far.
Some people like to take the party to the water. Party barges are an excellent option for lakes or calm water. However, to party on the ocean or larger bodies of water you will need a large vessel, preferably with an enclosed cabin.
Recreating and Cruising
Boating is a great way to pass the time. You may only want to use your boat for cruising, in which case you can sacrifice some performance for additional comfort.
Some people also may want to invest in a jet-ski for a smaller type of vessel to recreate with. Think about all of your options when it comes to getting a boat for the sole purpose of cruising.
If you want to take long sea-faring adventures in your boat you will need a large vessel with sleeping quarters. The best boats for long expeditions are sailboats as you will not need to spend money or stop for fuel.
If you plan on taking a long journey hugging the coast, or a shorter trip, a cabin-cruiser boat could work well. The size, capabilities, and extravagance of your boat will all depend on the duration and extent of your planned adventure.
The Budget You Have for Your Boat
Boats are an expensive investment, from the smallest dinghy to the largest oceangoing vessel. You need to pay the initial cost of your boat and also plan on spending additional expenses for maintenance and storage.
Repairs will be a major boating cost as well. So will scraping your boat and cleaning it. Make sure to factor in all of this when deciding upon your budgets. Some boats may be out of your price range.
Where will you store your boat when it is not on a body of water? Do you have a convenient dock at your residence, or will you need to use a public boat ramp? Where will you put your boat in the offseason?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself when selecting your boat. Large boats require large marina spots or trailers to haul them around. Assess your storage options before deciding on your boat.
How Far You Live From a Body of Water
How far do you live from a boat-able body of water? If you cannot store your boat near the water you will need to haul it via a trailer back and forth from where you do store it. This will put a cap on the size of the boat you can buy.
In addition, if you live far from a body of water you need to calculate the number of boating outings you will realistically be able to have per year. You may want to move to a coastal location first, then buy a boat.
Your Best Available Option
You may not be able to get everything you want in a boat. No boat is perfect so your best bet may be to settle for your best available option. Contact a local boat dealer or peruse boat classifieds to see what is out there.
Times are tough right now and many people will be selling their excess boats to finance living expenses. You may have a golden opportunity to get a great deal on a boat if you are willing to take whatever comes your way.
Find Your Dream Boat and Start Living
Owning a boat is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life. If you are willing to take on the responsibilities of boat ownership, countless hours of maritime fun await you.
Use the information in this guide to determine how to select your boat from all of the different options out there. Our blog has other great content about tons of different topics. Make sure to stop back often and see what’s new.