So you want to buy your first boat. You are having daydreams of speeding across the Georgian Bay, fishing off the shore of Rice Lake and cruising down the Rideau Canal. But hold up… aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? Shouldn’t your first question be “what is the perfect boat for me?”. This is where Walker Marine can help. With our years of experience servicing, selling and owning boats, we are here to put together a list of items you should be considering before making the dive on your first boat.
1. Boat Size
You need to choose the boat that has the appropriate room and storage capabilities to suit your needs. Questions to consider:
- How many passengers will I have?
- What will my passengers be doing?
- What equipment will I need to store in my boat?
- What supplies will I bring with me in my boat?
2. Boat Trip Length
You need to choose the boat that will have the accommodations you and your passengers need to be comfortable for however long you are on the water. Questions to consider:
- Will I be planning overnight trips on the boat?
- Will I need to bring/prepare food on the boat?
- What personal hygiene accommodations will I need?
3. Boat Trip Destinations
Your desired boat trip destination will change the requirements you need when selecting your vessel. Questions to consider:
- Will I want to take the boat on saltwater (out of Ontario)?
- What weather will I be experiencing during my boat trip?
- How far will I tow the boat to reach my destination?
4. Towing & Marine Storage
The size of the boat ties directly into how you will be moving the vessel around and storing it during the off season. Questions to consider:
- What vehicle will I be using to tow the boat?
- Where will I be storing my boat during the winter?
- Will I need to rent a marina spot to store my boat?
5. Boat Cost & Maintenance
You should have a set budget for your boat and boating needs to understand what will be within your means. Questions to consider:
- What will the boat model I desire cost?
- What will the boat maintenance cost?
- What will it cost for boat storage and winterization?
- What will the insurance of this boat model cost?
6. Boating Activities
Specific boat models are better equipped to handle the water activities you and your passengers wish to partake in. Questions to consider:
- Will my boat need a water deck feature?
- What level of marine performance do I require?
- Will my boat need fishing attachments/requirements?
- How many passengers can be on my boat comfortably?
This is not everything to know about boating, but it is definitely enough to have a successful (and enjoyable) start into the world of boat ownership. Follow this article next time you are thinking about your future boat on the beautiful waters of Lake Erie or Lake St. Clair and your daydreams may just become a reality.