Buying a fishing boat is a big decision that deserves serious consideration. For most people, it is a dream come true. While fewer things in life are more relaxing and calming than a day on the water with a fishing rod, the process of buying a fishing boat can be stressful and expensive.
Every expert on fishing boats is likely to give you the same advice: an informed buyer is a smart buyer. Here are a few suggestions to determine what type of boat to buy before you head out to the boat dealership:
What kind of boat should I buy?
As you begin your research, you will quickly discover there are several types of fishing boats to choose from. Here is a list of the most popular styles:
- Aluminum fishing boats are among the most popular and inexpensive models.
- Bass boats are specialized crafts that are perfect if you love fishing for, you guessed it, bass.
- Pontoon boats are ideal for casting a line on a lake or bay.
- Deck boats are usually used for watersports or lounging, yet many are designed for fishing and other activities.
- Center consoles are versatile fishing boats that are appropriate in different environments.
- Sportfishing yachts are designed for deep-sea fishing beyond the sight of land.
- Walkarounds have a cabin that encloses the bow, making them the choice of those who fish in foul weather or with kids who need a break occasionally.
Here are the primary considerations as you mull over all these choices in boats:
Where will you use your fishing boat?
Often overlooked by boat buyers, thinking about where you will take your boat could save you from damaging your new watercraft. For example, if you plan to fish in saltwater but bought a boat meant only for freshwater, you will speed up the deterioration of your boat’s paint job, costing you thousands of dollars. Keep this in mind as you shop.
Think about all the costs of owning a fishing boat
Understand that there is more to owning a boat beyond the purchase price, fuel and insurance. You will also be paying registration fees, purchasing safety equipment and perhaps paying to moor your boat at a marina. You can count on various other expenses as well. Keeping in mind the total cost of owning a boat now will help you avoid unpleasant surprises later.
Even if it is not required, consider taking a boating safety course
Depending on where you take your fishing boat, it could be mandatory to have taken a safety course. However, if it is not required, take one anyway. No matter your age or boating experience level, a safety course will help you avoid expensive accidents and keep you and your family safe on the water.
Consider a trailer
Don’t forget that you will have to move your boat sometimes. Consider a trailer as being an essential part of purchasing a boat. Be sure to thoroughly check out any trailer you include with your boat purchase. Inspect it even more carefully if it has been sitting outside for some time.
Specific features to consider
After you have narrowed your choices to a particular type of fishing boat, you can start considering a few specific factors:
- The number of fishing rod holders.
- The size and capacity of the baitwell, if you use live baitfish.
- The size and capacity of livewells, if you plan to participate in individual catch-and-release tournaments.
- The size and capacity of the fish boxes, if you are going to eat your catch.
- The presence of specialized gear such as outriggers, downriggers or electric reel plugs.
- The number of built-in tackle boxes.
Summing it up: how to buy a fishing boat, step-by-step
- Carefully research the different types of fishing boats.
- Decide how and where you will use your fishing boat.
- Narrow down your choices, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Think about the features you will want and need, including rod holders, baitwells, livewells, outriggers, tackle boxes, etc.
- Pick the appropriate fishing boat that suits your lifestyle.
- Getting insurance coverage for your fishing boat.
When it comes to getting insurance for your fishing boat, NSI Insurance Group is the place to get proper guidance. We will help you protect your investment, no matter what type of fishing boat you decide to purchase. We represent the finest and most reputable insurance companies in the country, and we will work with you to find the best coverage.