Two questions are paramount when considering to buy a fishing boat: “What kind of fish will you catch?” and “Where will you be fishing?” Some basic idea of how to assess the quality of a boat is essential to help you spot a winner. Check for little details which make a big difference overall such as the carpet, the compartments, the bilge pump, etc.. The gauge of wiring also makes a difference in the power going from the battery to the trolling motor – is it six gauge instead of ten or eight?
Boat dealers often use the Five Star Advantage motto when speaking to customers: “Quality, Safety, Innovation, Performance and Value.” Here is a list of things to consider when purchasing your first boat:
Towing Vehicle. A real amateur may not factor this in, but it is definitely a vital piece of equipment; it should be able to handle a load of up to 3500 lbs., and easily pull the boat up whatever hills or mountainous terrain you intend to cross to that perfect fishing destination.
Bass Boats. If it is indeed your first time buying a boat for bass fishing, you should really consider getting a used vessel as you will undoubtedly be doing a lot of trial and error while negotiating your fishing and boating skills early on. For large bodies of water, you may wish to look into a larger and faster boat – nothing is worse than getting dangerously stuck on the open water if a storm rolls in!
Aluminum Boats. Small lakes are good for aluminum boats between sixteen to eighteen feet. It's a good choice because it is cheaper than fiberglass, while being more forgiving of getting banged around such as by hitting stumps or rocks in the shallows. The trade-off is that it will be a rougher ride with even the slightest wind.
Fiberglass Boats. A two-stroke engine fiberglass boat is a real investment, costing anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, but the good thing is that it will be able to handle bigger bodies of water, and even when things get choppy, you'll still have a reasonably smooth ride.
New VS Used. Not only is a second-hand boat cheaper, but like an automobile, it will hold its value over time better. A casual inspection may not allow you to easily identify problems, so you will definitely want to bring in someone you trust, if not buy from someone you already know.
Boat Handling. Expect a challenge when attempting to launch and retrieve your boat as a beginner! It will be very difficult, but you needn't worry too much, as every new owner must pass through this stage. It takes most people about four hours of devoted learning to get all the basics down, such as listening to pitch when you need to trim down. When other boat owners are around, you could bet on someone stepping up to help out a first timer, so try to plan on a reasonably populated location.
It's a very exciting thing to buy a boat, whether it's your first one, or it's that dreamboat you've always wanted. In the end, it isn't the boat which truly matters, but the great experiences you will have while fishing in your own vessel.