Buying Your First Fishing Boat

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Spending some time out on the water fishing is about as pleasant an activity as there is. They key to enjoying your time out on the water is to have the right equipment. You need the right fishing pole, reel and tackle. Even more importantly, you need the right boat. A great fishing boat will ensure that fishermen have a great time on a fishing trip even if they don’t land a monster. Here is a guide for fishermen on everything they need to know to buy their first fishing boat.

Your Fishing Activities

The first thing you need to consider when buying your first fishing boat is what you will be using it for. Consider whether the majority of your time fishing is lake fishing, river fishing or deep sea fishing. There are major differences between the styles of boats that are used for these different types of fishing. You need to get a boat that is the right style for the kind of fishing you will be doing the majority of the time.

Find the Makes and Models That Work for You

Once you have decided what type of fishing you will be primarily using the boat for, you can start to search for makes and models of boats that will suit your needs. You must decide if you want fiberglass, wood or aluminum boats. You need to carefully review many different models to determine the ones that have the best reviews and best suit your needs. Ask friends, family and fellow fishermen for recommendations. If people you know are really happy with their boats, they can give you some guidance. Conversely, if they are unhappy with their boats, they can steer you clear of buying a lemon.

It is also a good idea to look for recommendations from sources like Consumer Reports that provide shoppers with detailed analyses and objective opinions on boats. A boating message board is also a good place where fishermen can ask for recommendations for fishing boats that will fit the kind of fishing they do.

Decide Whether You Want New or Used

Once you have found a couple models of boats that you are interested in, you need to start looking for boats for sale. Before you being your search, you must decide whether you want to buy a new or a used boat. New boats are great. They give owners that feeling of pride that they are the first person to get to use the boat. You also don’t have to worry about the boat being damaged from previous use. However, it is also much more expensive to buy a new boat.

Used boats may not have the glamour of used boats, but they do have other points in their favor. Obviously, they are less expensive than new boats. Also, used boats have been around for a while, which means that shoppers can get detailed reviews about the boat model’s performance that aren’t always available with new boat models. Also, you can sometimes get a used boat that has been upgraded with features that make it better than the factory models that you can buy new.

Start Shopping

If you are buying a new boat, then you know that you will be headed to a boat dealer to make your purchase. This means you won’t have to go through the search process of finding the boat you want. However, used boat shoppers will usually need to do extensive searching to find the make and model of boat that they wish to purchase.

There are several avenues shoppers can pursue to find the used boat of their dreams. They can keep an eye on the classifieds in their local newspaper. The local marina will often have boaters looking to sell their fishing boats. Shoppers can search online through boat-selling websites. They can buy boats on online auction sites like eBay. Online classified ads are another option. There is an abundance of ways to find a new boat. The key is to be patient and to keep persistent. As long as boat shoppers are willing to put in the effort to find the boat they want, they will eventually find the right one for their needs.

Test Drive

Whether you area a new or used boat shopper, it is important to take the boat for a test drive. You want to test the boat out to make sure that it will live up to your needs. If it is a used boat, you may even be able to convince the owner to take you along on a fishing excursion to see how it handles during the actual activity you will be using it for.

Make sure to put the boat through its paces while you are on the test drive. Test its acceleration and handling. Test to see how it handles on choppy water. Make sure to inspect the bottom of the boat carefully to ensure that there are no leaks letting water into the boat. When you take the time to take a careful test drive of the boat, you can feel confident that you are buying a fishing boat that will do well for you.

Ask for Maintenance Records

When you are buying a used boat, you want to know that it has been taken care of right by the previous owner. Ask the owner to show you his maintenance records for the boat. If he cannot produce these, then move along to the next boat. You need to be assured by these maintenance records that the owner has put in the effort to keep the boat in good condition. You want to know that he winterized the boat every year to keep it in good shape. Boats that have not been well maintained might not always show it on the surface, but their lemony qualities will assert themselves eventually.

Mechanic Inspection

Unless you are an expert in engines, you need to get the boat’s motor inspected by an expert mechanic before you buy a used boat. If he gives you a favorable report on the boat’s motor, then you can feel confident that you are getting a boat that won’t break down on you in the middle of a fishing trip.

Keep It Simple

When you are buying a fishing boat for the first time, the best advice is to keep it simple. You don’t need the fanciest boat with the biggest engine and the most technical gadgets onboard. You need a simple, reliable boat that floats. You will be so happy to be out on the lake fishing that all of the extra luxuries are not really necessary to enjoy yourself when you buy your first fishing boat.

Take Care of It

When you have spent the money to buy a boat, you need to protect your investment. This means taking care of the boat right. Do not push the engines too hard. Don’t bang the boat into the dock. Treat it gently while you are using it. Keep in mind that you have spent a lot of money for this boat. Don’t make this a waste of money. Perform the regular maintenance on the boat to keep it in good shape. Always put it in dry dock and winterize it to keep it protected.

Have Fun

If you follow this guide, you should have no trouble finding the perfect boat to increase your fishing enjoyment. The search for the perfect boat will not be an overnight success. It may take weeks to find the boat of your dreams. Once you have found the right boat, you will know it. The boat will call out for you to buy it. When you buy it, you will have a great time fishing with it. Have fun and enjoy the time in your boat with a fishing pole in your hand.

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