Every boater is different. Some want the fastest boat possible for zipping across the water at lighting speed. Some want a large, luxurious craft for a relaxing cruise across the water. Some want an elite fishing vessel that will create a more successful catch. With so many different options, you may need some guidance to find the perfect boat for you. No problem. Here’s a quick guide on how to buy a boat you’ll love.
Think About Your Preferred Activities
Possibly the most important consideration you need to think about is the kinds of activities you want to pursue on the water.
- Will you mostly be fishing? Then you’ll want a boat with live wells, rod holders, and tackle storage. See our best fishing boats.
the boat be used for casual and leisurely cruising? Then you need a boat with plenty of comfortable seating; perhaps a dining table and refrigerator as well. See our best cruising boats.
- Will you be pulling skiers behind the craft? Then you want a strong engine, and you’ll probably want to add a ski pylon. See our best fish and ski boats.
Thinking about your activities will guide you to the right boat with the right features.
Make Sure You Have Enough Room for Your Family or Group
While having too much space on the boat is rarely a problem, having too little room for your family or group can make your boating experience far less enjoyable. What’s your ideal boating experience: fishing with one other angler, or spending an afternoon with a dozen people? This can help dictate the size of the boat you need to buy.
To make things easy, you can simply check out our best family fishing boats.
Choose a Boat the Reflects Your Experience
Some people have trailered, driven, winterized, and cared for boats for decades. Others have no experience with boats
whatsoever. In general, if you are new to boating, you may want to choose a smaller craft, as a large boat may be overwhelming and difficult to manage. However, if you have years of experience and understand how to control and navigate a large boat, then by all means choose a larger craft.
Stay within Your Price Range
Most boat buyers define a price range when they first start shopping, but many go above and beyond the limit they set for themselves. However, over-spending can add worry about payments and concern over whether you made a good financial decision. By sticking to a budget, you’ll be much happier with the boat, even if it doesn’t have all the
fantastic luxuries you think you want.
Test Drive Before Buying
Just like a car, you can, and should, test drive your boat to make sure it fits your needs. Especially when you are purchasing a boat that costs tens of thousands of dollars, you must drive the boat first.
If you are interested in a Scout, schedule your test drive, and you’ll be confident that you are buying a boat you’ll love for years!