Looking at sportfishing boats? Five tips before you buy

Whether or not to buy a boat will be one of the biggest decisions any angler can make. This is an investment that you need to consider carefully before making a decision to buy. Having your own boat means that you can get out and go fishing offshore any time you have the time. It’s a great feeling being out on the water and being in the middle of the lake reeling in the fish. Once you make the decision to buy your very own sportfishing boat, you’ll need to know a few things before you start looking.

Here are five tips to consider before you buy:
1. New or Used – The biggest question you’ll face is whether you should buy a new or a used boat. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages so you’ll have to weigh out the odds and pick the one that is best for you. For example, if you buy a new boat with a warrantee you will not have to worry if something goes wrong because any reputable dealer will have the problem fixed for you. On the other hand, if you buy a boat used and something goes wrong with it, then it will be up to you, the owner, to fix the problem. If you’re handy with tools and know a lot about boats, then buying used is a good idea. It will save you money and even if there is a problem, you’ll be able to fix it yourself or know someone who can. If you prefer to not worry about anything that may happen and you want to just get on the water and go, then you should probably buy new.
2. Make, Model and Year- This is not as important to some anglers as it is to others. Sure, it matters somewhat how old the boat is to anyone but the make and model are personal preferences. If you have a preference then you should try to find a dealer that specializes in that particular style of sportfishing boat.

3. Size- Choosing the size of your vessel is important. You should take a look at the number of passengers on average that will be on the boat and combine their weight. When you have that figure, add in the weight of everyone’s combined gear and equipment. That is the minimum weight limit you should buy and it is recommended that you get a little larger to accommodate any changes that may happen. Based on your weight limit you will find boats of different sizes that will work for you or you can choose to buy one that is bigger. Just remember, having too much boat will pose as many problems as having one that is too small.
4. Storage- Another thing to keep in mind about your boat is where will you store it when not in use. If you don’t have a good place to keep it, you may have to rent a spot on the closes lake or docking station. This can get very expensive so think about it carefully. It would be best if you could keep it at your home when not on the water if you have limited funds. You also need to consider hauling it back and forth to the water to determine if that will be a problem for you.
5. Choose a Reputable Dealer- Regardless of what type of sportfishing boat you decide to buy you should always make sure that you’re buying from someone reputable. Check out the boat for yourself or take someone with you who can check for anything abnormal before you buy.

Following these 5 tips will help you avoid a dud when shopping for your new boat. The last thing that you have to do is gather your equipment, friends and family and hit the water. Good luck on all of your future sport fishing
adventures with your new craft.

Having a sportfishing boat will allow you to travel to areas of the water you never even dreamed about before. You don’t necessarily need a big boat to fish and you don’t have to go miles offshore to have a good time or reel in a nice catch but having one can make a big difference in the amount of fish you catch each fishing trip. You can get into coves and similar areas where the fish are hard to reach and that increases the number of bites you get and the chances of reeling in more fish.

If you’re unfamiliar with boats, it’s recommended that you take a safety course to learn how to handle the boat correctly and to help you get familiar with the controls. You’ll also need to learn how to use all safety equipment before getting on the water. Fishing is a great sport that is enjoyed by men, women and children of all ages and having a boat just makes it a little more exciting for everyone.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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