If you are planning to buy a boat, you’ll first need to evaluate what you plan to do with it. If your primary purpose is fishing, then you’ll want to look into boats that are designed primarily for fishing. I know that sounds like a simple idea, however, there are many boats out there, all having various uses.
If you happen to be a tournament fisherman, or hope to be, then you probably wouldn’t be happy with a boat less than a 150 HP motor and shorter than 19 feet in length.
Those of you who plan to fish in really deep water, on a regular basis, will probably need a 200 HP motor and at least 20 feet of length. You would not want to get caught out there with the wrong size motor.
If you don’t plan to tournament fish, but still go after bass, you’ll want a 17 – 18-foot boat with at least a 115 HP motor. This way, you can enjoy the lake or the river comfortably, without fighting any currents. Those of you who like to fish for lots of different kinds of fish and with friends, may want to look for a more versatile boat with plenty of walking around room, higher sides and a different seating arrangement. This type of boat is ideal for several people, even a trip out with the wife and kids.
Maybe a pontoon boat that you can just as easily go to the lake and have a party on the water comfortably, without all the equipment in the way.
If you plan to fish on occasion and love to water ski, but not enough to invest in both a fishing boat and a ski boat, you may want to look at a fish and ski model. This is a hybrid boat, a cross between a bass boat and pleasure boat. This can easily serve dual purposes.
Lastly, one of the most important parts of the buying process, is getting what you can afford. Luckily, there are many boats available and in all price ranges – fitting within any budget. If you prefer, you can shop and find a used boat that fits both your needs and budget too.
If you are not sure about buying a big purchase like this, shop around, maybe even rent a boat a couple of times just to make sure you want a boat at all.
As I heard a friend say one time, you can always just make friends with someone who owns a boat, bring the “drinks” and you will never worry about “buying a boat.”
Chef Bobby is a Chef and Cookbook Author. He loves to share his knowledge of cooking and handling of fish with our community.