I am thinking of buying a boat, Should I? Obviously this is a tough question. And there are so many questions to ask, what do you want to use the boat for? How much can you afford to spend on the boat? How much can you afford annually to upkeep the boat? How big a boat do you think you could handle?
The first question is important as if you want to fish offshore you are going to need a bigger boat with two engines, where if you want to take your family to the beach for the day you will want a boat with a shallow draft that you do not beating up. Most people want a combination package, something that can do it all. As with most things, use the right tool for the right job, otherwise nothing else will be perfect. Now can a 24 foot boat go to great point and get up on the beach of course. There are boats that can do both, but a 24 foot is not perfect for either, but if you want two tasks done, one boat can accomplish two tasks.
Next question is big and obvious, what can you afford to spend? But what is most important is not up front, but annual expenditure. Even a 20 foot runaround will cost you 4-6k per year before fuel in maintenance, dockage, insurance, storage, winterization etc… While a 24-30 foot boat can easily set you back 8-10k. Can you afford this upkeep?
Also its important to remember that when you sell your boat you will lose a good deal of money. If you purchase a boat for 50 and sell it 3 years later because you didn’t use it for 35, that is a loss.
Another great option is to A) join a boating club so you can see whether you actually use a boat enough for it to be worth it. B) go out on a charter 8-10 times a season to see if you like being on a boat as much as you think? Unless you are just looking for a runabout, both of these options tend to be cheaper than buying a boat.
Another great option is to buy a runabout so you can do the family stuff together, but commit to 4-5 charters so you can get the fishing in that you want. Either way, you are thinking about getting on the water, which we love!