There are two questions that should be considered when choosing the right boat: “What will the fishing be for?” and “where will the fishing activities be?” Always look for the signs of quality, check the carpet and the compartments – they could be plastic, metal or fiberglass. Look at the little but very important things like the 1000 GPH bilge pump, the six gauge wiring instead of ten or eight that is because heavier wires give more power from the battery up to the trolling motor.
There is the Five Star Advantage that ranger dealers often speak about to their customers: Quality, Safety, Innovation, Performance, and Value. Below is a list of “must have” things when buying your first boat.
Tow Vehicle – This is one of the most important pieces of your equipment, ensure that it has the rating to get the job done, like loading up to 3500 lbs. of weight that will easily pull the boat up the hills and mountainous treks.
Bass Boats – For first timers, consider a second-hand boat. This will be a trial and error stage where fishing skills can be tested. Consider a larger boat, which is about 19 feet with 20 to 30 miles speed for larger bodies of water.
Aluminum – In smaller lakes, a 16-18 foot aluminum boat is a good choice. It is cheaper than fiberglass and more forgiving of bangs, running up into shallows and hitting stumps and rocks. The only downside is that it rides rougher even with the slightest winds.
Fiberglass – This two-stroke engine is much more expensive which could cost from $20,000 to as much as $50,000. The good thing with this boat is that it could handle bigger, rougher water and still give you a smooth ride.
Brand new versus Second Hand – Buying a second hand boat is not only cheaper but holds its value longer and better. The downside is that you could probably inherit someone else’s troubles. During casual inspection, outboard engines’ problems are not easily identified. The best thing to do is bring someone you trust with you to inspect a prospective boat or buy from someone you know instead.
Handling the Boat – Listen to the pitch change when trimming down. It will be very difficult for beginners trying to launch and retrieve the boat, backing it down the ramp. Don’t worry, because everyone passed that stage and there’s no boat owner not willing to help a first timer learn. Sometimes all it takes is just 4 hours to learn the basics.
Buying a dreamboat is very exciting. It is not the boat that really matters but the experience that comes with fishing.