Living in Florida without a boat is like living in Colorado without snow skis...but it's a heck of lot easier selecting snow skis than it is a boat!
There so many different makes, models and styles of boats available that it can make your head spin! It's very easy to end up spending a lot of unnecessary time and money traveling to see boats that look attractive in style and price, but are really not the boats that are right for your needs. The very first step to get started in the right direction is to know exactly what type of boating you plan on doing and how you realistically plan on using the boat. Ask yourself these questions...
Are you more interested in a Powerboat or in a Sailboat? If you live in a shallow water area, remember that sailboats require more depth to operate.
Where exactly do you plan on doing most of your boating adventures?
Do you intend on taking short weekend trips and spending just a night or two on the boat?
When you head out to go boating, how many people do you plan on taking with you each time?
Do you intend to do lots of long range boating spending weeks at a time on your boat?
Are you planning on simply entertaining friends and family for some day boating sightseeing adventures?
Do you need a boat that you can waterski or wakeboard behind and if so, how many people to you plan on taking with you?
Do you feel that you will be using the boat primarily for Offshore Deep Sea Fishing?
Would you prefer a boat that enables you to Cruise and Fish?
Are you planning to primarily do backwater saltwater / fresh water fishing in more shallow waters?
How are you planning to store your boat? (Inside Dry Rack Storage - In the Water at a Dock - On a Boat Lift - On a Trailer)
Do you need a trailer with your boat? If so, the beam of the boat is something to consider so contact your local DMV regarding trailering requirements.
If you're considering smaller boats in the 18' to 24' size range, many people would like a Cuddy Cabin to get out of the sun or rain. However, here in Florida unless you have a generator with air conditioning a Cuddy Cabin boat is not really that practical especially in Florida's hot Summer months. You can plug in 12 volt isolating fans and open the cabin hatch(s), but it still can get pretty darn hot in the cabin. In addition, having a small Cuddy Cabin will limit the number of passengers you can take with you on the boat since you lose a large part of the outside seating areas compared to a Bowriders or a Deck Boat. If having a privacy head is the only reason for your considering a Cuddy Cabin, it's important to know that many small Bowrider models have a locking privacy head and locking dry storage area compartments as well.
Once you know exactly how you plan on using the the boat, you're half way there! The next step is to decide on a budget that you would like to keep within and be sure to realize that there will be State Sales Tax added to your purchase and you will need to insure the boat as well. Having a Certified Marine Surveyor inspect the boat before closing is something that we always suggest to our clients. In addition, if you are financing the boat, most finance companies will require a Certified Marine Survey Inspection on the vessel and the time to have the inspection conducted is before closing on the boat, not after.
Our Sales Team at GOLDEN GATE BOAT SALES knows all of the right questions to ask when inquiring on boats for our clients. It's real easy to spend a lot of time and money going after boats because they appear to have a good value...but instead have known issues with particular makes and models that you may not be aware of. GOLDEN GATE BOAT SALES offers a FREE YACHT & BOAT SEARCH page at our web site. This is not a general computer search scan that sends you automated results. When you utilize our free Find a Boat page, we research each and every boat before sending the vessel specifications and photos to you for consideration. Our goal is to get you into the right boat at a price we know we can get you out of without taking a big hit (if any) when you're ready to move up in size or into a newer boat down the road. We handle all of the negotiations to help land the lowest possible purchase price, the closing process, and assist you with delivery and financing if needed. Please take a moment to view what our customers have to say about us along with our credentials at this this link. Our goal is is to make your boating dreams become reality!
We hope you found this article helpful and welcome your comments and questions to share with our boating community.