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Buying A Boat

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Finding The Perfect Boat

Finding the perfect boat is an undertaking for an experienced boater. For the
first time boater, it can be a very difficult task to accomplish. To help you
with your quest for the perfect boat, there are a few things you should know.

Deciding what's important Choosing the right boat is all about knowing what's
really important to you. You need to decide whether you'll be using the boat
for your own private use, fishing, or cruising. You should also consider your
families feelings, as buying a boat for your own personal needs without
consulting your family will probably lead to disappointing experiences or less
time spent on the water.

Types of boats

Typically, boats will fall into five categories -- fishing boats, power boats, 
sailboats, personal watercraft, and self powered boats. To help you find the 
perfect boat, we'll take a look at what each one offers.

Fishing boats

The designs for fishing boats will vary quite a bit, as are the places you can 
use them. The boats that are meant for shallow waters of inland lakes and rivers 
aren't the same boats meant for deep seas and great lakes. There are many 
different designs, even boats that serve no other purpose besides fishing.

These types of boats normally have stowage and holders for bait, fishing poles,
tackle, and even special tanks to hold live fish. Other types of fishing only
boats feature an open platform where anglers can fight fish from all sides of
the boat.

Power boats

Power boats are the most popular boats sold. The designs with power boats are 
as varied as their uses. Boats with seating in the front are called bowriders, 
which are mainly used for towing skiers or rafts. Most boats can also be used for 
fishing as well. If you want to do both, there are ski and fish combinations 


When you first learn to pilot a sailboat, it can be very challenging, although 
very rewarding as well. A sailboat requires more skill and knowledge to operate 
than boats, although they are considered more rewarding once mastered.

With all available sailboats, the single masted sloop is the most popular
design. For those who only boat on occasion, catboats, daysailers, and dinghys
are small and easily trailerable.

When you finally decide on the perfect boat for you, look at what each one
offers and how you plan to use it. The perfect boat for you is out there, all
you have do is find the one that best matches your needs.

Financing A Boat

Once you decide to buy a boat, you'll find yourself wondering how you are going
to pay for it. This type of purchase will involve some type of financing,
whether it's a credit line through the home, an unsecured loan, or a boat line.
Choosing the right financing source can be just as important as choosing the
right boat.

When choosing a source of financing, there are several things to consider. The
first factor is how long you plan to keep the boat. If you are buying a first
boat, it'll make more sense to find a loan that will be flexible enough for an
early payoff via private party or even a trade in.

If you are purchasing the boat of your dreams, you should expect to have it
financed for a long time which makes it important to get a fixed rate loan with
terms that allow for a low monthly payment.

Another factor you'll need to consider is the down payment. Most lenders or
dealers would like to see at least ten percent down. Zero down payments do
exist for those with good enough credit. Normally, the down payment doesn't
significantly change the monthly payment for your boat loan.

Choosing the right type of boat loan is a very important part of the entire
buying process. You can start with a boat finance brokerage, which will show
you how each one of the available options fit into your profile.

Doing this will give you the knowledge and ability you need to find the loan
that best fits you and your budget. The, you can concentrate on the important
things -- taking your new boat out on the water.

Custom Built Boats

Almost all boats are constructed on a production basis, as this is the most
efficient means of production. There's only one set of molds and many boats
being built from the mold, reducing the cost of tooling per boat. Normally,
there are a limited number of options to make assembly line production more
efficient in terms of cost.

Leaving the ranks of production boats, there are several types of custom
construction. There are many boats built with a limited budget, which is
normally by amateurs. If you don't want to build the boat yourself, the next le
vel available is what sailors call "semi custom" boats.

These semi customs are normally built by small or mid sized shops out of one set
of molds so the hull and decks could end up being identical. The builders will
however, allow the owner to pick out the interior and other options.

The true custom built boat, or one of a kind boat, is specifically designed and
built from scratch for a single customer with an unlimited budget. A true
custom boat is a one on one project, and can get very expensive before you know

Before you decide to go out and buy a custom boat, you should give the used
market another look. Those who have built custom or even semi custom boats in
the past do put them on the market for sale at some point or another.

This is a much less expensive way to go, simply because you won't be paying a
professional to design the boat from scratch. You can find used boats that
offer one of kind features and options, all you have to do is look around.

Costs Of Owning A Boat

Normally, the prices for new boats will vary depending on the size and make,
although many dealers and manufacturers will be willing to sell you one for less
than the cost of a new car payment.

Financing your boat

Financing your boat is just like financing a new car. Similar to car and home 
loans, loans for boats have became even easier and more lexible in recent years. 
The terms will generally range from two to 20 years. To get the most from 
financing, you should compare rates online.


All new boats are offered with a variety of options and accessories. When you are 
pricing boats, make sure you factor in the costs of electronics, accessories, and 
water toys -- then buy what's appropriate for your boat type and size.

Most modern marine electronics are very reliable, loaded with features, and more
affordable than ever before. Today's accessories can make boat trips more fun,
safer, and easier than you ever thought possible.

Operating costs

Boating isn't like driving, as you aren't using gas all the time. If you fish or 
swim with your boat, your actually not using the motor at all. If you happen to 
own a sailboat, the motor is used less.

Most boats today are less than 21 feet in length. All of these boats don't
require a lot of gas, with most using less than 50 gallons of gas per season.


Simply washing down your boat and trailer with fresh water after each use will 
keep them covered between boat trips. If you don't have the time to do it 
yourself, you can always hire a professional.


The insurance for boats will vary by length and type. Therefore, you should 
consult your insurance agent for quotes, or simply shop online.

Choosing The Right Engine

Choosing the engine (or propulsion system) for your boat is very important.
Both the weight and the horsepower will have a major impact on the performance
of your boat. If you have a boat that's underpowered, the engine will work
twice as hard, giving you poor performance.

Now, we will take a look at the motors available for boats and vessels:

Outboard motor

An outboard motor is very popular and very useful on small boats. These motors 
are very light, powerful, and extremely quiet. Normally mounted on the transom 
of a boat, there are boats available that offer a motor well or even a bracket 
to mount the motor to.

The entire motor will swivel about, providing easy steering as the turning
propeller pushes the stern about. Outboard motors come in many different sizes
and the horsepower can use different types of fuel.

Stern drive

These motors are also known as I/O engines, and normally heavier than outboard 
motors. Consisting of an engine mounted inboard and a lower unit attached to the 
transom, these motors offer power and versitility. You can also tilt the motor 
up and down to help provide boat trim while you cruise.


On boats that are over 26 feet in length, these motors are very popular. 
Similiar to the stern drive motor, the inboard motor is mounted inside the boat 
towards the center, giving you good weight proportion.

Inboards connect directly to the transmission, then on through the hull of the
boat. Then, the shaft is attached to a propeller which will turn and propel the
boat. The shaft is fixed and doesn't swivel around. Therefore, a rudder is
mounted behind the shaft and propeller to help deflect the flow of water which
provides your steering direction.

Jet drive

Jet drive propulsion systems have a big advantage -- no propeller to cause damage 
or injury to those in the water, including marine life. Normally, they are 
inboard engines that will take in water that flows through a pump, powered by an 

Then, the water is discharged at a very high pressure through a nozzle that will
propel the boat. To provide steering for the boat, the nozzle will swivel. For
personal watercraft, a jet drive is the way to go.

Keep in mind that when power isn't being applied, jet driven boats will lose
steering, as the stream of water that propels the boat won't be there.
Therefore, always keep any part of your body away from the pump intake -- and
never operate these types of boats in shallow water.

Buying A Fishing Boat

Selecting the right fishing boat can be a real challenge and also a lot of fun
for someone who is new to boating. If you haven't experienced buying a boat
before, it can also be a daunting task to say the least.

Before you start looking, it's important to consider the purpose of your fishing
boat. A fishing boat serves but one purpose -- fishing. You have to decide if
you plan to fish in the ocean, or in other bodies of water, such as lakes. This
is very important, as there are different types of fishing boats available.

If you plan to use your fishing boat for ocean cruising and overnight stays, it
would be ideal to buy one that has a hull. This design is meant for rough
waters, riding the waves, and providing more comfort for anglers while they

When you buy a fishing boat, you should know if it includes a warranty. If it
does, you should really study the warranty as not all are the same. Buying your
boat from a dealer is always a smarter decision, as dealers will provide repair
services is the boat is found to be defective.

It's also important when buying a fishing boat to note if the boat is certified
by the NMMA. This agency will guarantee that the certification they give to
every boat passes the agency's standards of excellence.

When it comes down to it, you should do more than just look around when it comes
to a fishing boat. You should learn how to look for the best details to ensure
that your boat is worth the money. If you take the time to look around, you'll
find a boat that you can truly be proud of.

Buying A Cruising Yacht

Everyone out there likes the idea of a shiny new boat. While buying a new yacht
is an accomplishment in itself, you shouldn't spend over your budget then be
unable to take it anywhere. When you buy a yacht, always look at what comes
with the boat and decide if it's everything you want.

Types of construction

GRP:  Almost all cruising yachts out there today are made of GRP construction.
GRP material is long lasting, strong, and easy to repair. Osmosis is the only
real problem here, as the blisters it leaves can be sometimes costly to repair.

Steel:  Steel is always a great a idea, as it is by far the strongest material.
There have been steel boats ran into reefs and banks and received just a few
mere scratches. Even though steel has many advantages, rust is the true enemy
here. You must keep all surfaces thoroughly painted, primed, and ready to avoid
all types of rust.

Aluminum:  Although rare in the normal cruising market, aluminum is very popular
with the construction of top quality custom built yachts. If you are looking
for an aluminum constructed yacht, always make sure that it wasn't constructed
by an amateur yacht builder -- as this can cause major problems later on down the

Wood:  Even though it's the most traditional building material, wood still has a
lot t o offer. If you get the right kind of wood, it can last just as long as
any other type of material. The maintenence costs are very high with wood,
especially if you do your own painting.

Ferro-cement:  Concrete type boats have been around for a long time. A cheap
method of hull construction, it was very popular in the 70's. If done properly,
it can be a very strong method of yacht construction.

Rigs:  The most popular choices of yacht rigs include sloop, cutter, and ketch -
in that particular order. Sloop has the virtue of simplicity, while ketch and
cutter rigs will split the sail plan into more easily managed areas. A ketch
rig can sail under mizzen and headsail alone, while cutter rigs can offer a
simple twin headsail with downwind option.

Essentials versus desirables:  Before you begin looking for a yacht, make a list
of what you must have then make a list of what would be nice to have. There are
many additions and add ons you can get for yachts, although they can get very
expensive in a hurry.

When you shop for a yacht, always plan out your budget before you even start
looking. A nice yacht can cost a lot of money, which is something you may need
to save up for. Yachts are great to sail on, especially for those who have a
lot of money to spare.

Buying A Boat Trailer

A boat trailer is something you really can't go wrong with, as it is a dual
purpose device. It provides a convenient way to store the boat, and also allows
you to explore new areas by taking your boat down the road. Good trailers must
perform both duties equally as good.

Most people buying boats are into getting the boat, and not the trailer. They
are more than willing to spend money on a boat, then end up getting a cheap
trailer. If you want the most from boating, these tips will help you with
buying a trailer.

-  The total weight of the boat, gear, and motor should be in the mid range of
trailer's carrying capacity. You shouldn't pick a 2,500 capacity trailer if you
have a boat with the same weight.

-  Go for larger diameter tires and wheels. The larger tires will rotate less
times per mile, producing less heat and wear on the tread. The wheel bearings
will last much longer as well, as they rotate less times per mile.

-  You should look for trailers with "drive on" capabilities. These drive on
trailers will allow you to drive the boat onto the trailer, close enough to the
winch so that you only need to winch the boat up a few inches.

-  Select trailer lights (for the highway) that are protected and sealed against

-  Pick your trailer based on the environment it will be operating in. If you
plan to launch in salt water, you'll need a trailer for that purpose. There are
many types of trailers available, each one designed for a specific type of

Although most are protected against weather and rust, you should always pick the
one designed for the type of terrain you will be using your boat with. This
way, you have no worries about your trailer not doing the job it should be.

There are some trailers that include a spare tire, which is an excellent
investment for those who plan to travel long distances. Even though it can be
hard to find trailer tires in the dark, it's still great to have a spare if you
get a flat while you travel.

All in all, a boat trailer can save you a lot of time and money. You can store
your boat on your trailer when it isn't be used, even take it to other lakes or
oceans. A trailer will open up new roads for you and your boat -- all you have
to do is find one that you need.

After Your Boat Purchase

Once you've made the purchase on a brand new boat you'll be very excited -- as
you should be!  The first thing to do is celebrate with your family and friends,
you deserve it. You shouldn't rush out on the water immediately after the
purchase, as you have some things to take care of first.

If you are new to boating, you should take a safety course first. There is a
lot to know about boats. Being out on the water is a lot of fun, although there
are things you should know and things you should always be aware of.

After buying your boat, you should register it and re-title the boat and trailer
if you need to. Pay your sales tax and apply any up to date registration
stickers if you need to. Also, make sure you buy the proper insurance for your
boat, as it will protect you while you are on the water.

When you make your first trip on the water, you should do so with an experienced
boater. You can have them show you turning in tight spaces, even trailering and
docking. Practice docking in different currents and take the helm with the
boater there to help you. Get comfortable at the helm enough to where you'll
feel comfortable taking others out for a ride.

The world of boating can be very fun, offering you many things to do and a lot
to see. Boating offers plenty of freedom as well, especially for those who are
completely new to boating. Your first boat purchase is very important, as it
opens up new doors in life. Your family will enjoy boating, all you have to do
is give it a chance!

Types Of Boats Available

There are many boats out there on the market, with something for everyone. If
you are new to boating, selecting the right boat can be hard. There are boats
for every purpose on the water, all you have to do is find the one for you.

To help you in your quest, we'll go over the several types of boats available.
This way, you'll know the differences when you head out to buy one of your own.

1. Vessel:  The vessel is the most common name for a boat, as it's the
description used or capable of being used on the water. Basically, it's another
name used for a boat or anything capable of being on the water.

2. Power boat:  A power boat is any boat or vessel that's propelled by machinery.
Fishing boats are great examples, as they are powered by motors or engines.

3. Houseboat:  A houseboat is fitted for use as a living vessel or for leisurely
cruising. Normally, a houseboat will include living accomodations such as
sleeping quarters, kitchen facilities, and even a full bath. The cruising models
are normally propelled by power.

4. Sailboat:  A sailboat is any boat that's under sail along with no mechanical
means of propulsion. The modern sailboats range from one person boats to luxury
yachts that can accomodate several people. They are divided into three basic

  1. Daysailer -- This is a small boat that's designed for comfortable sailing
  without sleeping accomodations. It offers a roomy cockpit and can also contain
  an outboard auxillary engine as well.

  2. Cruiser -- Cruisers are medium sized or large boats that contain a cabin
  with sleeping quarters, toilet, food area, and usually an auxillary engine
  that's built inside.

  3. Racer -- Racers are boats built for speed and ease of handling -- normally 
  at the expense of comfort.

5. Zodiac:  The Zodiac brand of high performance aluminum boats are some of the
most popular in the entire boating industry. These boats are constructed with a
conventional rigid hull with increased buoyancy and stability. The deep V hulls
offered by these boats are made to take any weather. They are well known for
their prowess and are used all over the world for commercial search and rescue

6. Catamaran:  These boats come with twin hulls. They provide safety, comfort,
speed, and stability that's unmatched by single hulled boats. Popular with
boating, they offer you a new twist to hitting the water.

Types Of Boat Sellers

Below, you'll find many people who sell boats, and how to go about dealing with

Private sellers looking to upgrade

These sellers are those who have outgrown their current boat and are looking to 
buy something bigger. Normally, they are knowledgeable and take care of their 
boats. They are also less than likely to give you a great deal, as they need the 
money for their next boat. They are also likely to strip the boat of electronics 
and accessories, as they need them for their next boat.

Private sellers wanting out

These types of sellers decide to sell their boat because they don't use it much. 
Even though it may sound great because the boat may have sat for a long time, 
this is actually a bad thing. When a boat sits for a long period of time, the 
boots can crack, batteries can dry up, and many other things can happen.

Sellers who want out may not have maintained their boat well, as they didn't
have a passion for it. You can get a good deal with these sellers, although you
should be prepared to make some repairs after you make the purchase.

Forced sales

Sometimes, you are able to find an experienced boater who is selling due to an 
injury or disability. Many times, these boats come well equipped and have been 
very maintained. These boats sell quick, as you can normally get a great deal 
because the seller needs the money.

Private sellers who aren't serious

These types of sellers aren't serious about their boats, as they are trying to 
get a high price so they can buy a lower priced boat. They normally don't care 
if they sell the boat. If they can't get a high price, they will normally keep 
the boat. They should be avoided, as they can be very frustrating to deal with.


Dealers of used boats normally get their boats on trade or consignment. They 
know how to make the boat attractive, although most times they don't know the 
history of the boat too well. Dealers are more middle men, as they have a profit 
margin that has to be met.


These sellers normally don't waste time with smaller boats, as reputable brokers 
can easily put together high dollar sells. They aren't really the ones to help 
you, as they aren't likely to help you get a great price on a boat.

When you decide to buy your boat, always proceed with caution and really think
about who you plan to buy the boat from. This can help you get the best
possible price, avoid headaches, and help you get what you want. There are many
sellers available, all you have to do is compare prices and see what each one
has to offer you and your family.

Towing And Trailering

A trailer can add a new dimension to the sense of freedom associated with
boating. Once you have a trailer, you're pretty much free to boat anywhere you
decide, lakes, rivers, or inlets. A trailer allows you to explore your area,
and is also the most affordable way to store your boat.

Starting out

If you've never owned or trailer or trailered a boat before, there are several 
things you should know and consider. The first thing is the towing capacity of 
your truck, car, or SUV. If you don't know, you can easily find the information 
in your owner's manual.

Normally, small cars or family sedans aren't suitable for towing, although small
boats may not be a problem, if you have the proper towing equipment installed on
the car. Most standard trucks or SUV's can tow boats up to 25 feet, although
you'll need to check the owner's manual to be sure.

Weighing in

In your boat's owners manual, you'll find the dry weight of your boat. The dry 
weight is the weight of the boat without fuel or gear. Always make sure you 
assess your vehicle's towing capacity, and add a few hundred pounds to the dry 
weight to cover these types of extras.

Muscle and power

As the weight, length, and beam of a boat increases, so does the power needed 
to retrieve and launch it. Smaller boats may be easier for one person to handle, 
although larger boats will require more than one person. If you need extra help, 
don't be afraid to ask for it -- as trailer boaters are always ready to give you 
a hand if you need it.

Storing Your Boat

One of the keys to owning a boat is the question of where to keep it when you
aren't using it. Your budget, convenience, and availability are all keys that
should be talked about.


There's no less expensive way to store a boat than on a trailer in your driveway 
or yard. A trailer offers you the advantages of taking your boat into different 
areas of water, taking your boat out whenver you like, or just saving fees on 
your winter storage. Before you look into a trailer, make sure that your vehicle 
has the towing capacity for your boat and the equipment you need.

Rack storage

For smaller boats, a great alternative to storage is rack storage, or dry stacks. 
Typical rack storage facilities will keep your boat in a covered shed filled with 
plenty of room. Simply call the facility before you want to use the boat and they 
will retrieve it for you. When you are finished boating, simply bring it back, 
tie it up, and they will return it to the storage area for you.

Marina advantage

If your a boat owner craving convenience, a marina slip is just what you need. 
Simply drive your family to the mari na, get in the boat, and go. Rates will vary 
from state to state, although most offer you several other perks as well.

Buying your slip

In some areas, you can actually buy a permanent slip at a marina. This can be 
great to have in high demand areas, as it guarantees you a slip at the marina 
whenever you need to store your boat. The purchased slip is a long term asset, 
and is good for as long as you own a boat.

Reasons To Buy A Boat

Many studies have shown, and many people already know that being with friends
and family, relaxing in the outdoors and being close to nature are the best
reasons to buy a boat and spend time on the water. Your family doesn't need to
spend a forture or travel to a theme park to have an experience that everyone
will enjoy.

Boating is family If you've ever felt that your family is going in different
directions, a boat can help to bring things back together. When you spend time
with your family on a boat, it's all quality time. No matter if you're fishing,
tubing, swimming, or just cruising, your doing it together -- as a family.

There are no distractions on the water, so you can focus your attention on each
other. You can share stories, laugh, have conversations, or reconnect and
create all new memories together. To put it in simple terms, a boat will make
life much better.

Boating helps you relax Being on a boat makes it easy to relax. There are no
faxes, computers, or interruptions on a boat. You have the open water, fresh
air, the warm sun, and adventure that you won't be able to find anywhere else.

With a boat, a great getwaway is all but a weekend away. You may be a few miles
from home in reality, although you'll feel like your a million miles away.

Having fun On a boat, the fun will never stop. There are always things to do,
places to see, fish to catch, and new memories to create. Buying a boat is easy
to do, even if you are on a budget. If your ready to start a new journey in
life -- a boat is something you and your family simply must have.

New Or Used Boat

Similiar to cars, there are a few pros and cons to new and used boats. Even
though there are hundreds of used boats available, you should look at the newer
ones first.

New boats With new boats, you'll know each and every piece of history with the
boat and the motor. If something happens to go wrong, you'll have a warranty to
fall back on, so you don't have to focus on restoring or repairing your new
boat. This way, you can get out in the water immediately.

When you finance a new boat, you can usually get a much better interest rate as
well. By shopping new you'll also get a better idea as to which type of boat is
best for you and your family. Just like a car, the depreciation value is the
highest in the first season of use.

Used boats Used boats can be a great option, especially for those who don't know
what they want to do with the boat, or those with tight budgets. Even though
you may be planning to buy a new boat, it's always a good idea to shop new ones

Attending boat shows are a great way to see the boats that are out there,
helping you to get an idea of what you want. You can look at the many used
boats that are there, then narrow your list down as to what type of used boat
you prefer.

Whether you plan to shop for your used boat online, through the newspaper, or by
visiting one of the local boat dealerships, make sure you get a marine survey of
the boat before you make the purchase. A marine survey may be a bit expensive,
although it's money well spent.

Often times, structural defects or mechanical problems with used boats that
weren't cared for properly will be quite difficult to detect. A marine survey
is similiar to a home inspection, as the surveyor will inspect every inch of the
boat, from the engine to the electrical system and the hull to the steering

Depending on the results you receive, you can use the results to get a lower
price, or just stop the deal altogether if the results are that bad. The marine
survey is the smartest way to buy a used boat, as it can save you a lot of time,
headache, and even money -- which makes it well worth it.

Inspecting Your New Boat

The viewing, or inspecting your boat is a very important part of the buying
process. Inspecting will allow you to see what you are buying before you pay
any money.

You may want to use a surveyor to do this, as they will perform a very detailed
inspection of the boat you are interested in. You can be present if you like,
as this will give you the chance to ask questions if you like.

Although using a surveyor is the best way to do an inspection, you can do it
yourself if you are experienced and confident enough. There are many parts of
the boat to inspect, which makes it nearly impossible for beginners.

If you inspect yourself, make sure you look at the bottom of the hull, the
interior, the control cables, electrical system, pumps, and be sure that
everything is in working order. If the boat has been well maintained, you
shouldn't have a problem looking everything over.

The engine should also be checked, as it is very important to the boat. If you
don't know a lot about boat engines or engines in general, you should get a
mechanic to look over it for you. You may want to do this anyway, as the engine
can be very tough to inspect.

If everything is up to par, it's time to take a test drive. Before you fire up
the engine, check to see if it's already warm. If the engine has trouble
starting or smokes when cold, the seller could have warmed up the engine prior
to you arriving to disguise any problems.

Check for oil leaks as well, checking the bilges at the start and end of the
test drive. When moving around, see how the boat performs. You should
experiment with hitting the waves from different angles, looking for any type of
roll or pitch.

Make sure you also test that all the instruments are working correctly, then run
the engine for a period of time to see if it overheats.

If you are buying a sail boat, put the sails up and see how the boat performs
under wind pressure alone. Also, make sure you examine the mast and how the
boat rigs under load.

If the boat you are planning to buy doesn't pass any of your tests, don't rule
it out just yet. If you are willing to put both time and money into making
things work, you can use any problems as bargaining tools to try and get a lower
price on the boat.

How To Test A Boat

If you think you've found the boat of your dreams, it's time to test it.
Testing your boat is more than just taking it for a test drive around the
harbor. You should look at everything closely, as a professional boat tester

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell a top quality boat from one that may have
problems later on. To an untrained eye, both can look good on the surface. When
you start to break everything down and give it a careful inspection, you'll be
able to tell a great boat from a not-so-great boat.

By opening up all doors and access plates, you can get great insight on the the
construction of the boat. You should also stick your head into the anchor
locker of any boat you are considering to buy, as if they've cut any corners
you'll normally be able to see it here.

Looking into the anchor locker also lets you look at the hull to deck joint. If
there is light coming from through, or if the fiberglass around the joint can be
seen through, it normally means the boat has poor construction.

When you buy a boat, you should put it through a rigorous visual inspection.
It's also equally important to conduct a vigorous test on the water as wel l. A
private seller or dealer will normally want to stack the deck, ensuring that the
boat will perform well.

Normally, this involves a near empty gas tank, no gear or extra passengers, and
keeping the boat in sheltered water. Therefore, it's up to you to insist on a
more realistic test. Think of the test as an actual day out on the water, and
you'll find out if the boat is indeed something you should spend your money on.

During your water testing, you should determine if the boat performs well and
meets all of your expectations. You should determine if the boat travels at the
right speeds, and whether or not it is capable of doing everything that you plan
to do with it after you buy it.

When test driving the boat, you should put it through all paces in open water,
cutting waves at all angles. If you plan to test a saltwater boat, you should
bring along a 5 gallon bucket and try throwing some water onboard. Any boat you
plan to use offshore should quickly shed water through the scuppers. Some boats
will pool water in the bow and drain slowly -- which can be very dangerous in
rough waters.

If a seller or dealer balks at the mention of any requests you have, simply find
yourself another dealer or another boat. There are plenty of great quality
boats available, ranging in prices. Make sure to check everything very
carefully before you make any decisions.

Getting Started With Boating

One of the best things about boating is the fact that there are many boats
designed for many different activities. For the majority of boaters, a general
purpose craft that serves as a fish, ski, and picnic boat is ideal.

To help you narrow down your search, ask yourself how you plan to use the boat.
Fishing, cruising, water skiing, watersports, racing, or a bit of everything is
what you should be wondering. There is a boat out there for you, all you have
to do is find it.

Finding the right size Finding the right size of boat depends on how many people
you'll have boating with you and where you plan to go. All new boats have an
"NMMA capacity plate" that wil you how many people you can safely have on the
boat at a time. If you plan to use a trailer, you shouldn't get a boat bigger
than 26 feet in length.

Power needs Those who plan to water ski will need more power while those
planning to fish will need less. The boaters of today will also be able to
choose from new engines that are more efficient in fuel and very friendly to the
environment as well.

Boat costs There are boats for every type of budgets. Many new boat owners are
very surprised to find that they can get their dream boat for much less than
they ever expected. You can get new or used boats at a reputable dealership
with financing, taking advantage of low monthly payments.

Boating can be a lot of fun, as you long as you don't go overboard when you
first begin. There is a lot to know about boats, costs, and types, which is
something you'll learn over the years. Always have fun -- and you'll enjoy
boating for many, many years.

Choosing The Right Boat

The first thing you should know when choosing a boat is that no single boat will
do everything. If your looking for a boat that inspires confidence, don't
expect it to shine in light air. Boats that are exciting to sail on the
weekends aren't the ideal boats for a passage through the ocean.

You shouldn't expect to find quick acceleration and load carrying capacity
together with the same boat. You can buy a boat now to race or fish, then sail
around later -- as you can only do one or the other with a specific type of boat.

The logic to choosing the right boat is determining how you plan to use the
boat. Think about why you want to own a boat, what you plan to do with it, and
how you plan on using it.

For some, beauty is the first consideration. For sail boats beauty is very
important, as you'll spend a majority of time floating and sailing around, with
many people looking at your sail boat. With people looking at your vessel, you
want to make sure that it looks nothing short of amazing.

If you are planning to race instead of cruise, then speed is your primary
consideration. There are many cruising sailors out there who simply can't be
happy unless their boats are moving very fast. The ideal boat for speed demons
are those that can cut through the water, creating plenty of waves.

Fishermen on the other hand, want to look towards fishing boats. Trackers and
other boats that are designed for fishing are ideal here. Fishing is one of the
most popular boat activities, meaning that you'll have plenty of boats to select

When it comes down to it, selecting the right boat is up to you and what you
plan to do with it. Take your time, weigh your options, and you'll have the
right boat before you know it.

Cash Or Finance For Your Boat

Before you go out and purchase your boat, remember that boating is a hobby and
you shouldn't go overboard with it. Unlike your house, boating isn't really
worth going into debt for. First time buyers who aren't sure about boating
should always make sure they spend well within their budget.

To get the most out of your boat, it's always a better idea to scrape up your
recreational dollars, sell a few of your belongings, and simply save up for a
while. In the meantime, you should carefully study the boating market. When
you manage to save up 3,500 -- 25,000 dollars, go ahead and buy the boat you

Whatever you do, make sure you d on't spend all of your money on the just the
boat itself. When you purchase the boat, you'll need to have enough money for
taxes, registration, storage, towing insurance, gas, equipment, and even minor
repairs if your boat requires them.

When buying a boat, used or new, cash is always better than financing. You can
save money with cash, as there are no finance charges. Financing charges can
get high, very high in fact if you don't know a lot about it.

If you simply must finance your purchase, it's a smart idea to use a home equity
loan instead. This way, it'll be tax deductible. Always be on the lookout for
boat show financing, and never, ever use it. Several boat show financing ploys
will extend the loan out over the course of 10 -- 15 years.

A new boater will either advance with boating or get out of it all together.
Most boaters don't keep their boat for more than 10 years, which is reason
enough not to get an extended finance loan on your boat.

Buying The Right Fishing Boat

If you are planning to buy a boat, you'll first need to evaluate what you plan
to do with it. If your primary purpose is fishing, then you'll want to look
into boats that are designed primarily for fishing.

If you happen to be a tournament fisherman, or hope to be, then you probably
wouldn't be happy with a boat less than a 150 HP motor and shorter than 19 feet
in length. Those of you who plan to fish in really deep water on a regular
basis will probably need a 200 HP motor and at least 20 feet of length.

If you don't plan to tournament fish, but go after bass fish instead, you'll
want a 17 -- 18 foot boat with at least a 115 HP motor. This way, you can enjoy
the lake or the river.

Those of you who like to fish for species may want to look for a more versatile
boat with plenty of walking around room, higher sides, and a different seating
arrangement. This type of boat is ideal for several people, even a trip out
with your wife and kids.

If you plan to fish on occasion, but not enough to invest in a boat, you may
want to look at a fish and ski model. This is a hybrid boat, crossing between a
bass boat and pleasure boat, and can easily serve your purpose.

The biggest part of the buying process is getting what you can afford. Luckily,
there are many new boats available, giving you several that fit your budget. If
you prefer, you can shop and find a used boat that fits both your needs and

Buying The Right Anchor

The right way to use an anchor is probably one of the least understood areas of
boating. If you are new to boating, you may be thinking -- how hard can it be?
You simply throw the anchor in the water, wait until it hits the bottom, then
tie it off, correct?

Anyone who is experienced with boating has probably seen the types of problems
that type of attitude can cause. Just like everything else in boating,
anchoring requires the right equipment, careful thought, and a lot of practice.

The starting point is selecting the right ground tackle (the proper term for the
anchor, line, chain, shackles and swivels) for your boat and your style of
boating. There is no single anchor that will do everything perfectly. Each
style has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, and each one performs best
under its given conditions.

The Danforth anchor

The Danforth anchor is one of the most popular, being easily identified by its 
two long, sharp pivoting flukes and long shank. The Danforth is also a great 
choice for small to medium sized boats as well. The anchor is light and easy to 
store, digs well into sand and mud, and releases easy when pulled from different 

The flukes on the Danforth pivot so that the shank can be pulled at a more
vertical angle. It's ideal for fishing, which requires quick release and moving
around to different locations. If you fish overnight a lot or travel to
different areas of water you may want to consider a different anchor, which will
hold better in changing conditions.

The plow anchor

The CQR, or plow anchor, features a single shaped fluke that pivots at the end of 
the shank. This design works well on many bottoms. The plow shank pivots from side 
to side, while remaining parallel to the fluke. This design also makes releasing 
a snap when the anchor is pulled vertically.

The Bruce anchor

This anchor was originally created for offshore gas and drilling rigs. The more 
scaled down version of this anchor is popular with boaters. The anchor holds 
fast, yet it will still come loose when pulled vertically.

Always make sure to select an anchor system that matches the length of your
boat, displacement, and the windage. If your looking for strength, elasticity
and durability, you should use only top quality braided nylon anchor line.

It's very important that the size and length of your anchor line is appropriate
for your boat and it's requirements. Small or medium boats should use a section
of galvanized steel chain between the line and the anchor.

If you are new to boating, anchoring is something you should become familiar
with. As you use your boat more, you'll pick up the proper anchoring
techniques. Or, if you prefer, you can always take classes and learn everything
you need to know about anchoring from a qualified professional.

Buying Inflatable Boats

As you are probably already aware of, inflatable boats are very popular today.
Each distinct group of inflatable boat is designed for a specific use and
therefore equipped with different components and equipment.

If you're looking for a small boat to get you from your ship to the shore, a
typical inflatable boat is the best answer. If you are looking for a medium
sized boat for diving or swimming, there are many choices in that area as well.
For recreation or rescue work, there are large inflatable boats available as


The location of a reputable dealer is very important, as you don't want to 
travel too far to get an inflatable boat. Whether you need parts, repairs, or 
just technical support -- a close dealer can also be a close friend. As a new
boat owner, you may also have questions, need to claim your warranty, or just
need regular servicing. No matter how you look at it, a close dealer is always
better than having to travel.


Many years ago, inflatable boats were the most expensive types of boats and only 
a small amount of people could even afford them. The reason for this, was the 
use of exotic materials and the numerous hours of hand labor that went into their 

Today, there are machines that do a majority of the construction work. Zodiac
and its sister company Sevylor, are the leading low cost producers today thanks
to technology. You can even finance an inflatable boat if you need to, making
them available to almost everyone now.


You may have heard claims from all competitors, with each one promising they have 
the best or even the longest warranty. A few years ago, a company offered a 
lifetime warranty -- although they soon disappeared shortly thereafter. Many 
manufacturers will use an attractive warranty to substitute for quality or even 
proper boat design.

In the back of your mind, you should be sure that the company you buy from will
be around long enough to deliver on their warranty. Zodiac has been building
inflatable boats for over 50 years, and offer a limited 5 year warranty on their
inflatable boats. Therefore, Zodiak is one of the best you can buy today.

With all inflatable boats, you should know which type you want before you
purchase. You can always look around and see what each dealer offer, then plan
your purchase accordingly. An inflatable boat is great to have, especially for
those who own big ships and vessels. You can't go wrong with these boats either -- 
as they serve many different useful purposes.

Buying Boat Insurance

Those of you who own boat will want to make sure you get watercraft coverage.
Often times, people don't realize that they need this type of coverage for their
boats. There are many boat owners that don't even realize this type of
insurance is even available.

You need boat insurance if you own a boat, it's that simple. Before you buy
boat insurance, here are some things you simply must know.

-  Many states now require that you carry watercraft liability coverage. What
this coverage does, is protect you against any damage that you cause to other
people or their property with your boat. This insurance will also cover you for
vandalism, theft, fire, stranding, sinking, and even collision. You should
always call your insurance agent and see what's required with your state and
what policies they cover.

-  There is also optional coverage that you should really consider. One type of
coverage that you should strongly consider is Wreckage Removal. In most areas,
the removal of sunken or wrecked boats is required by law, and the
responsibility of the owner to pay for the removal, which can easily be very

Wreckage Removal coverage will pay these costs for you. You should also
consider adding coverage that will pay for repairs and mechanical failure as
well, along with towing charges -- should you ever need to be towed back to the

-  Not all insurance companies cover everyone who operates the boat. This is
something you should always ask about, find out who is covered when operating
the boat. There are several companies that will only cover the owner of the
boat. Make sure that the insurance agent defines who is covered when operating
the boat.

-  When you shop for boat insurance, call your current company first, then check
with other companies to see what type of rates they offer as well. Always
remember that insurance agencies are in competition with each other, and they'll
work with you to get you to join them. Let one know about a better rate that
you've been quoted and see if they'll go one better.

Before you shop for boat insurance, think about the investment you have made
with your boat. Boats are not cheap, replacing or repairing them isn't cheap
either. Therefore, you should always make sure you get the coverage you need to
protect you against anything that happens with your boat.

Buying A Used Boat

Those of you who have the money and plan to keep one boat forever, should buy it
new. If you happen to be on a budget and skeptical about owning a boat, you
should buy it used.

Buying used is great for some, although it isn't always the most glamorous
decision. The oceans and lakes are filled with boaters who are far wealthier
than most. Many boaters go well beyond their means and finance their boats at
extreme levels.

What really counts with a used boat is being out there on the water. Someone
who is out there every weekend on his beat up boat is a great boater. A
businessman who only has time to ride on his 60 foot yacht once or twice a year
isn't considered a boater at all.

If you look around the water, you'll se that the little boats are the ones that
move, while the big boats are the ones that never move. Those that are too busy
earning money and never have the time to go boating shouldn't really have a boat
at all.

New boats can lose half of their value in less than 2 years. With a used boat,
the previous owner has already fixed the problems that are associated with new
boats. The previous owner has also already hassled with the dealer to get the
warranty service taken care of.

A used boat normally hasn't be used very much at all. A boat will sit a
majority of the time, which is nothing like a used car. You can find many boats
with less than a couple hundreds hours of engine time. For the sake of
comparison, look at how many hours are on the engine of your car.

A used boat will already have scratches and dings, so you won't feel half as bad
when you add a few of your own. When you purchase your used boat, you should
leave at least a grand to outfit the boat and make any necessary repairs.

A used boat will normally come with dock lines, life jackets, spare props, a
radio, safety equipment, and other nice additions. New boat owners will have to
pay hundreds of dollars for these kinds of things.

The wild card is, of course, whether or not the previous boat owner did the
proper maintenance of the boat. Prior to buying you should always get the boat
surveyed to be sure that it's in reasonable condition. This way, you'll know
your getting a great used boat.

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