The gentle lapping of the waves, the feeling of freedom on the water, the access to the best fishing spots, the feeling of being surrounded by the beauty of nature … there are many reasons to take the first steps for the first time To become a boat owner.
But how do you know which boat is best? And how do you start choosing the right boat? Choosing the best boat for beginners is not difficult, but you need to ask yourself a few important questions.
The most important thing is that the best beginner fishing boat for one person may not be the ideal beginner fishing boat for another. Follow these seven steps to find a boat that suits your fishing style:
- Ask yourself what types of activities the boat is used for. Do you only use your boat for fishing? Or would you like to use your boat for skiing and wakeboarding? If you plan to use the boat primarily for fishing, consider models with a livewell ventilation system and plenty of clearance for handling fishing gear and fighting fish. If other water sports are important to you, check out the fish and ski models.
- Where do you want to park the boat? Do you have space for a boat at home? Or do you need to keep it in a marina or boat storage facility? When learning how to fish from a boat, you might want a small boat that you can easily store at home and launch easily.
- Consider the waterways the boat will be used on. Are you planning to use the boat mainly on small freshwater lakes? Or would you like a boat with which you can fish saltwater bays? You might want to consider jon boats or aluminum fishing boats designed for small freshwater lakes, while a center console model might be the best boat for beginners looking to fish saltwater coves.
- Do you want to be able to easily transport your boat on different waterways? Or do you intend to use it on the same waterway? You should know that every state has different towing laws that dictate the maximum allowed vehicle and trailer length.
- Think about how many passengers you would normally want on board. Is the boat just for you and your spouse? Or would you like to take extended families and guests on fishing trips when they visit? This is another consideration to help you make a sound decision about the best model and size boat for your situation.
- Attend an in-water boating show where you can take some of your last boating options for a sea test. Taking a boat out to sea is really nothing more than taking a car for a test drive. You want to pay close attention to how the boat is moving, assess the trim of the engine, and play the role of the passenger for comfort.
- Consider long-term maintenance and servicing of the boat. Will you be doing basic boat maintenance yourself? Or do you take the boat to a service professional? For example, find out about specific engine maintenance requirements that may apply to the boats that made your final listing.
When making your final decision on the best beginner fishing boat for you, don’t forget to sign up for a beginner boating course and enroll your boat. Look for U.S. Coast Guard approved boat trips for beginner courses that will help you learn state boating laws and regulations before you step into the lead.