Now that Spring has arrived, we are anxious to get out and enjoy the warmer weather.  With that being said, many people are considering newly purchasing a boat or upgrading their current one!  Here are some questions to think about before going boat shopping:

  • Use

What are you hoping to use your boat for? All boat styles have a different design tailored to the use. Speed boats may be better for tubing and water skiing, but wouldn’t hold as many people or be as fish-accessible as a pontoon or fishing boat. Maybe you’re in the market for a sailboat, or leaning towards a houseboat. There are so many different varieties of boats, so make an informed decision on which one is right for you (information provided by Discover Boating).

  • Cost

    What’s your budget? This may help decide whether to purchase a pre-owned boat. According to Discover Boating, new boats depreciate anywhere between 25%-33% immediately after leaving the dealer’s lot. So if you buy a pre-owned boat, someone else has already paid that depreciation cost – more boat for fewer dollars! However, buying a new boat will offer a warranty, the newest technology, and that nice shiny look as you move across the water – the choice is up to you!

  • Capacity

    How many people are you hoping to go on your boating excursions with? The capacity on personal fishing boats is generally smaller than a pontoon boat, which are made to hold anywhere between 8-15 adults comfortably.

  • Equipment

What type of equipment will you want onboard? Here’s some suggestions:

  • Trolling Motor
  • Lights
  • Depth finder
  • Live well
  • GPS
  • Canopy/bimini
  • Stereo
  • Tables
  • Emergency survival kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Towing

Will your car be able to tow the new boat? According to Auto Bytel, the average 21-foot boat trailer weighs between 500 and 1,000 pounds, while most boats in this size range hover in the 4,000-5,000 pound range. This means that you’ll want an SUV or truck that is rated to tow between 4,500-6,000 pounds in total.

  • Storage Limitations

    Will your new boat fit in your garage during the off season? Alongside your garage? In a separate storage space?

And a few other components to consider…

  • Horsepower
  • Engine Type
  • Hull (Deep V, Modified V, Pontoon, etc.)
  • Storage Onboard

No matter what you decide, get out there, matey, and enjoy the open season!