How to Choose the Right Boat


Much like you would with a car, there are many things to consider when choosing a boat. Depending on what you intend to use it for, whether it be for fishing, cruising or for water sports, boats are for specific activities. So, how to choose the right boat for what you need? Outside of cost, what are the key things you should consider when shopping for a boat?

How to Choose the Right Boat​

First things first – what purpose do you intend for your boat? Some questions you should ask yourself include:

The Cost

Though it may be tempting to dive in and lash out a lot of money for a top boat, the real costs can come from running it. On top of the initial cost of the boat, you should factor in mooring fees (if you can’t keep the boat at home), a boat trailer, annual fuel costs, boat insurance, registration and licensing, and general repair and maintenance. If you’d like to purchase boat but are unsure how to finance it, you can apply for boat loan financing with a marine finance broker, who are less likely to refuse a loan for entertainment reasons.

What Size Boat Do I Need?

If you intend to take people with you on your boat adventures, size is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of your boat. Other than cost, size should come into consideration if you intend to partake in watersports or invite the family along. A tinnie, for example, can carry a couple of people for fishing, but probably isn’t the best boat for water skiing.

Most boats can be narrowed down into the following recreational uses: fishing, cruising, and watersports.

How to choose the right boat – for fishing

The Tinnie

The humble tinnie is a favourite for fishing for a reason – it’s light, easy to run, and relatively cost effective. As with anything, the less money you spend, the less mileage you’ll get out of your tinnie. However, if you plan on only going fishing every now and then, a cheap tinnie will work just perfectly. If you consider yourself an avid fisher and intend to take a couple of mates with you, choosing a tinnie with a good brand name is a safe way to ensure you get some longevity out of it. For long trips with a larger amount of people, consider getting the maximum horsepower available.

the tinnie
the cuddy cabin

How to choose the right boat – for watersports

The Runabout

If you’d like to take the whole family with you, whether it’s for fishing or pleasure activities like skiing, runabout may be a better option. Doing exactly what it’s named for, a runabout is designed to quickly transport across the water – making it perfect for watersports. The most common types of runabout boats include bowriders, cuddy boats, walkaround and centre console.

Another consideration you’ll have to make is the propulsion (thrusting power) you’ll need your runabout to have:

Inboard engine: Mounted inside the hull of the craft, the power is delivered in a similar way a car engine is. Inboard boats can be left in the water year-round, as the prop is protected from harmful elements. It also produces less wake, making it a popular choice for watersports. However, if you’re new to boating, an inboard is a little harder to manoeuvre.

Outboard engine: Easy to remove and maintain, the outboard engine has a hull located on the outside of a craft. Relatively quiet and with a lot of floor space, outboard engines are a great option for those who wish to have converse freely with members of the boat.

Sterndrives (inboard/outboard hybrid): If you’re looking for power, a sterndrive definitely packs a bigger punch, but it comes at a cost – fuel efficiency. Sterndrives are deemed a good choice for first boat owners due to their similarity to automotive style engines, but aside from that, are a costly, high maintenance option in comparison to inboard and outboard motors.

How to choose a boat – for the family

The Cuddy Cabin

The cuddy cabin is a staple family friendly boat due to its ability to shelter from the elements. Coming in either a half cabin or full cabin, these boats are perfect for every kind of activity whether it’s fishing, sailing or fun activities. Cuddy cabins offer a large amount of storage space and good weather protection and make for a good compromise as it blends the best of both worlds – family friendly with a touch of excitement.

the cuddy cabin

How to choose a boat - additional things to consider:

  • What conditions will you be taking your boat out in?
  • New or Used: New boats will come with a warranty, though used boats are a cheaper option.
  • Where will your boat be stored? If you can’t keep your boat at home, you’ll have to factor in mooring costs.
  • Try before you buy: See how easily a boat handles on the water.
  • What vehicle will be used to tow your boat: Can your vehicle handle a larger boat?
  • What material will your boat be made from (fibreglass vs aluminium): Fiberglass is considered more durable and less resistant to rust.

We hope we’ve given you some good tips on how to choose the right boat. If you’d like to talk more about finding the right boat for you and how you plan on financing it, please get in touch or apply now, and member of our team will be more than happy to help you find the right deal.

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