Choosing the right boat for your needs, budget, and storage space will take some study. You can surely fish off a boat that is ideal for skiing, but if you plan to cruise out for an overnight, you will likely need to plan for water storage.
Each user and clan will need to make their own decisions on their boat choice.
How Many People Are Coming With You?
If you love the idea of going on a longer cruise and doing an overnight stay at a new port, you may want to invest in a cabin cruiser.
These larger boats offer many amenities and can be more than 70 feet long. Your time in your cabin cruiser will allow you to enjoy close family time at new ports and on new bodies of water.
If you are a serious fisherman but don’t have a great deal of storage space, a bass boat may be ideal. These easy-to-haul and simple-to-store small boats are ideally suited for freshwater.
If you love to explore new lakes, make sure you invest in spare Mercury outboard parts to keep in your tow vehicle if you need to make a quick repair.
What Do You Want to Do On The Water?
If you have family members who love to water ski or ride innertubes, a bowrider boat is a wonderful choice. This boat will give those skiing fans plenty of space to launch from. This area is also nice for fishing folk and sunbathers to hang out once you drop anchor.
These boats are also called runabouts and can carry up to 10 people. You can use this for cruising on smooth water and it will easily tolerate a bit of chop thanks to the V-shaped hull.
How Much Storage Do You Have?
The place that you store your boat will have a large impact on your vessel choice and can cut into your budget. This is not to say you shouldn’t have a boat if a boat really matters to you, but you shouldn’t have to put up with sticker shock when you get your storage bill.
If you need to store both the boat and the trailer, expect to spend about $7.25 per square foot. If your boat is fiberglass, avoid outside storage as the UV will destroy your fiberglass boat and rot your trailer tires.
Of course, if you have space on your property for a boat storage shed or garage, make sure you load up on security in this facility to avoid dealing with peepers and thieves.
Once your boat is stored, you will likely also store tools and replacement parts. Consider adding a window AC unit to this building to avoid cooking the upholstery of your boat.
Where Will You Use Your Boat?
If you plan to do the majority of your boating in shallow water, a bay boat is a great choice for a smaller family or group of friends. These fiberglass boats ride high on the water and are quite nimble.
The fiberglass hull tolerates both fresh and saltwater and the motor can easily be adjusted up if you move into a weedy area or are getting close to the bottom.
Fishing folks will love the built-in live well traps for carrying your catch. However, these boats are a bit short for bigger lakes and you will have to avoid bays and ocean travel unless the weather is ideal.
The deck is mostly open so you won’t have much of a break from the weather. It’s not fancy, but a bay boat is great for small outings with a few friends.
What’s Your Budget?
If you’ve never driven a motorized boat, you may be better off with a small aluminum fishing boat to get started. With a small investment, you can:
- fall in love with being on the water
- get used to maintaining your boat
- be ready to upsize to something a bit more sports-friendly, or into whatever suits your boating desires
Water is one of the early elements. As people will stare into the fire, others love to sit beside the water and listen to the waves.
If you really want a boat, figure out where you will store it, how you will haul it, and who you want to share it with. Then make your choice.