Is this the year you are going to buy a boat?
If you’re serious, you and the family should go boat shopping. I’m sure all the marina dealers in our area have plenty to show, new and used. If nothing else, it’s a great way to spend a weekend and temporarily reduce cabin fever.
The first decision is “do you need it?” This should be easy. “Of course you do.”
Here are just a few of the reasons.
Number one is you deserve it. If you’re a fisherman, a boat will definitely help you catch more fish than you’ve been catching from the shore. Also, you work hard all week, and come the weekend, a boat is great way to relax, fishing and/or boating or just getting away from the crowd.
If you have children, ask them if they would like a boat. I think you know what their answer will be. By now, you should be able to see that it is the ideal vehicle that will offer some fun-filled family outings. Here are a few family fun-in-the sun things that can be enjoyed, besides just fishing, with your own boat.
A shallow sandy bottom bay can become your swimming pool and an enjoyable picnic spot near the water. Just drop anchor or beach the boat, and the only noise you’ll have to contend with is the laughing you and your family make. If there are kids, a few accessories such as water skis and/or a towable water toy will add a lot of fun for all.
Another option is to take advantage of the many state lakes offering island picnicking and camping. Lake George is the closest with 44 islands and a total of 398 campsites. Fees are a reasonable $28 per night. There are also day-use island picnic sites.
In addition to island camping, there are a number of campsites on the shores of many of our state’s lakes where a boat can be moored or docked in front of a campsite.
Let’s discuss several accessories a serious fisher-person will need on a boat. The first is an LCD depth/fish finder — really, a must for all boaters. Knowing the depth at all times is very important, and some insurance companies give a discount if there is one on your boat. An LCD will not catch fish, but it will definitely show structures where they hide, and if they’re there, it will also reveal that.
I also recommend an electric trolling motor for fishing. Your type of fishing and boat selection will determine whether a bow or transom mount should be used. I suggest letting the marina determine what size trolling motor you need. Avoid buying a trolling motor that does not have enough thrust (power) for the boat’s size and weight.
The boat trailer is another important decision that offers several choices. Having had more than 20 boats in my lifetime, I have only one choice, the drive-on trailer.
I’m not a fan of cranking my boat on to a trailer with a hand winch. I highly recommend a drive-on trailer that allows powering the boat on with the gas motor and snugging the bow eye right into the bow roller. All you have to do then is snap the winch hook on and tighten it up.
Speaking of trailers, if this is your first boat, I suggest taking the new boat and trailer to an empty parking lot and practice backing up. It really takes some getting used to, and will save you some embarrassment and aggravation at a crowed launch site.
Good luck with that new boat, and when you start catching all those fish, remember to email me with your fish tales.