Just when you think the decision making process is over, it isn't. Not by a long shot. The spectrum of floating fun is seemingly endless.
Yet, as you move further along in the process it should become increasingly clear as to which direction you should head.
And at this point you shouldn't need a GPS to get you to your desired destination.
Agreed, the choices are many and can appear overwhelming but once you begin to narrow down your list of preferable uses, things will undoubtedly get easier.
Will you be staying close to shore. Are the local Lakes and Bays calling your name, mostly freshwater in your future. Or will you be venturing a bit further out, past the breakwater, with bigger fish to fry. If fishing is on your mind, then that in and of itself will send you in a direction towards your goal. See what we mean? The further you go in the process, the easier the choices will be.
Speaking of choices, when it comes to a desire to go fishing, the only thing you may be fishing for is a great place to go Wakeboarding, Water Skiing or Tubing. If so, the larger lakes as well as destinations such as the Colorado River might be on your Dream Destination list.
Speaking of The River, that opens up another entirely different powerboating experience. The world of Speed! Yep, we've all seen the Jet-Powered speed boats that frequent the shallow-depth,wide open water filled spaces. Heck, some of the paint jobs alone can cost more that an average outboard powered Center Console style boat.
And when you factor in the engine(s), you're looking at a home mortgage level investment. Not likely your initiation to powerboating but if there's anything we've learned in all these years on the water, it's never say never. Just when you think someone won't, they do. We've learned not to be shocked. By anything.
This also opens up more of a "family" side as well. Perhaps you're in need of more of a family & friends geared powerboating experience while at the same time offering plenty of power for watersports like waterskiing, wakeboarding and such fun stuff.
This is where deck/pontoon style boats really shine. Originally these boats were aluminum "decks" bolted on top of large floating barrel-shaped tubular pontoons with a simple aluminum railing around the perimeter and most often powered by a smaller outboard motor of some sort. While great at serving their intended purpose, they tend to fall short when it comes to style points as well as the ability to tow.
Hence today's versions of the Deck boat, renamed "Party Boat". And when you see them filled with people out doin' their thing, it's more often than not a floating party on the water. Designated Skipper, of course.
And nowadays these are much sleeker, made of fiberglass and powered by powerful I/O (inboard/outboard) powertrains. Be it a modern V6 or V8 connected to an outdrive, more than enough power to get up and go.
You also see many of these Party Barges powered by outboards as well. And with all the sleek quietness of today's modern outboard motors, again, pulling power and speed aren't a problem.
Moving on, back to the coast we go. Will you be pursuing more than bay or lake family fun and will fishing play a large role in that. If so, then that opens up an entirely different style of boat. From a small rubber inflatable, perhaps an aluminum skiff or something along the lines of a fiberglass center console style boat such as a Boston Whaler.
Take it up a notch, while still sticking with the popular center console theme and now you're talking some serious fishing fun. However, a few excursions later you may find yourself wanting a bit more comfort in the form of more access to onboard facilities.
And by facilities we're referring to both Galley as well as restroom facilities. While the typical center console Ponga style boat can offer those options, comfort nor privacy aren't in abundance. And neither are overnight options. If you think you're only going to be out on the water a day or less at a time, then you're covered.
But if your desire is to make an overnighter of it, for you and a couple passengers, then you'll at least have to step up to a Cuddy Cabin style hull. And honestly, you'll still be roughing it at that. Which isn't to say you won't have fun but it's like the difference between camping in a tent vs a motorhome. You'll know the difference.
Speaking of motorhomes, that brings us up yet another notch. If you're in search of a full on boating experience, not only for yourself but for you and a few buddies. Then you might want to consider something in the 30ft. range of Day Cruiser/Sportfisher's. The Marina's are full of these boats.
These boats are basically no excuses, full amenities, floating Condo's on the water. They blur the line between the tow and no-tow zone. Yes, they can still be towed, if you have the vehicle that can manage it, but most people choose to keep boats of this size in a slip at their favorite marina (providing they can obtain a slip) as they can be a bit overwhelming to tow.
And the ability to simply show up, ready to go, only requiring the loading of you, your buddies and a few carry-ons can truly be magical. Of course you will have been spent the previous week's evening hours going through your pre launch Checklist to ensure a successful weekend outing.
Another factor to keep in mind as you scale up your boating options is the cost of fuel, which can increase exponentially with each foot of length. Which brings us to our next thought. Which is many of these boats never leave the dock. Yes, they never leave.
Or it sure seems that way, anyway. If they do, it's extremely rare and for the most part it will only be for a quick liquid-lunch or a wine-n-dine cruise around the local bay but most definitely inside the breakwater. There is a community of dockside boaters that, rather than go camping in a motorhome, they choose to enjoy their weekend BBQ's at the dock as opposed to amongst the trees.
Well, there you have it. A not-all-that-quick overall synopsis of basic powerboating in a nutshell. And to be honest, there's much more to the equation. When you stop to consider all of the various choices mixed with all of the costs of those choices, while it can be a bit overwhelming to narrow things down, once you create your available resources, that will quickly help determine which direction you'll be heading.
Please cllick on the button below and you'll be directed to a page giving you a better description of the various boats, helping you to know what style powerboat you're after. We look forward to seeing you out on the water.