There Is More To Boats And Boating Than You See On The Surface!

Boats were never your priority in life. Yet suddenly after retiring form a full-time job, the subject of boating, power crafts, sailing and boat building appeared with a vengeance. Hardly a day passes that you don’t hear about your old mate Nick getting to the final stages of outfitting his catamaran. Or, how much fun Rose and her family had on their latest fishing trip. It seems boats are present in everybody’s life boat ramps open near me.

And before you know, your wife asks you: “How about buying a nice, fast boat that we could entertain our friends on, and fill in all the spare time we have?”

Well, with your thoughts racing faster than a $300,000 speed boat, you say: “I’ll think about it.”

Yes, very wise decision, which unfortunately is not one that many “unhappy” boat owners ever made… Acting on a spur of the moment, or being pushed to action by the family and peers, they drive to the nearest boat dealer and choose their next “toy”.

A few months later, when the novelty wears down, this shiny, sleek boat hull seems to be more an obstacle in your driveway, that something you’d like to take to the water, for a few hours of fun. And the same people who used to encourage you to buy the best that marine dealership has to offer, left you for another friend; only, because his powerboat can pierce the water as fast as 80 mph…

Although it’s too late, let’s consider all the factors that you should have considered, before jumping into “deep water” and spending a large chunk of your savings on a new Riviera 620, with twin 250 hp Mercury outboards.

You need to decide first, what size of boat fits your needs. If you’re going for offshore fishing trips, a half-cabin sea-worthy boat is the starting point. Better still; think about a full-cabin setup, if you’re going to try overnight boating.

The size of you motors is another important factor. Tell the boat dealer how far you’re going to take your boat, how many people on board; what weather are you going to be sailing in, etc. This will enable him to better meet your needs. There’s nothing worse than an underpowered boat, or one that has motors 50% stronger than needed, and is very hard to balance. These marine engines, diesel or petrol, tend to be quite expensive; with added costs of maintenance and repairs only apparent at the later stage of your boat ownership.

Another important issue, which must be considered, is the boat storage. For larger boats, it’s much more convenient to keep them in a marina or boat storage facilities, than towing them for a launch at the boat ramp. Understandably, there will be costs involved. Expect to pay from $380 per month, to store you 21 feet boat in a boat shed, somewhere on the East Coast of the US. In very popular boating and tourist locations, expect to pay much more.

Financial outlays don’t stop there. Apart from the compulsory registration fees that vary between states, you should insure your boat for its full value. It’s compulsory for boats that are leased, or bought on a hire-purchase.

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