Choosing the Right Boat, Part II

In April , we took the time to help prospective buyers select the right boat for them. In a previous blog, we looked at bowriders, cruisers, freshwater fishing boats, runabouts and sailboats. For this blog, we’ll tell you a little about saltwater fishing boats, speed boats, pontoon boats, trawlers and watersports boats.

  1. Saltwater Fishing Boats
    There are a variety of options with these boats, depending on whether you’re fishing for striped bass close to shore or heading deep into the ocean in search of tuna and marlin. Bay boats are best for inshore fishing. They don’t offer much in the way of comfort, but they have center consoles and are less expensive. Center Console boats are widely popular and could include a console cabin with a television, a bow cockpit with luxury seating and a "kitchen" with an electric grill. Convertibles are the preferred choice for offshore anglers. They feature large aft cockpits and are extremely comfortable and opulent. Finally, there are walkarounds, which are smaller with side-decks around the topside. Consider these is you’re looking to reclaim some of the bow area for fishing space.
  2. Speed Boats
    If you want to go fast on the water and have the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, buy a speed boat. Just be aware that some things must be sacrificed to reach those speeds, such as cabin space and seating. And these boats are often quite loud. Finally, get ready to dig deep into your pockets, because everything about these boats is pricy, from the purchase price and the fuel to the insurance and the maintenance.
  3. Pontoon Boats
    These boats have undergone a metamorphosis over time. They no longer plod slowly along the water, but are now quick, comfortable and much more attractive. Don’t use them on rough seas, but in calmer waters they offer a stable ride. They also feature expansive deck space, numerous seating options and you can tack on luxury items like wet bars. Make sure to consult an expert when choosing the outboard motor.
  4. Trawlers
    Like Saab drivers, trawlers have a loyal following. Most often, they are single-engine boats that meander along at less than 10 knots, although they can go faster if needed. These days, trawlers offer comfort and a wide range. Although many think of trawlers as yachts, there are a wide variety of models less than 40 feet that can reach distance destinations.
  5. Watersports Boats
    For wakeboarding or water skiing, this is the boat for you. If you’re a serious boarder, go for the inboard motor. There is also now something new called Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive, which keeps the propeller under the boat and allows the captain to shape the waves. However, there’s not much versatility with these boats, so if you’re hoping to go fishing or do an overnight trip, you can forget it.