If you are unsure of what questions to ask when buying a boat, don’t worry. This list helps you by encouraging you to think about everything from buying a used boat versus a new fishing boat to important features related to habitat and rod storage.
1. Where do you want to use the boat?
In other words, will you be fishing for redfish in just a few meters of water in the apartments? Fishing nearshore reefs? Or on the way to the coast to troll for Kingfish? These are some of the first questions to ask when purchasing a fishing boat.
2. How many people do you expect on average on board?
Smaller flat boats or skiffs generally can accommodate up to three or four anglers, while larger bay or offshore boats can accommodate five or more.
3. What is your price range?
One of the next questions when buying a fishing boat is the budget range. If you’ve asked yourself, “Given my budget, should I buy a fishing boat?” Remember, there are fishing boats in different price ranges to suit all budgets.
4. Should you buy a new or used boat?
Buying a used boat can be a good idea for experienced boaters, but new boaters may be better off with a new boat that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. When considering a used boat, it is wise to identify the best used boat brands and models.
5. What guarantee does this boat come with?
Find out what the manufacturer’s warranty covers and for how long.
6. What features are important to the type of fishing you plan to do?
This is one of the most important questions to ask when buying a new fishing boat. Check that there are a sufficient number of rod holders and fish boxes.
7. Are there enough pole compartments and spaces to mount additional pole holders if necessary?
Many boats have rod lockers or below deck rod stores and gunnels, but make sure you have enough flush mounted rod holders so that your rods are easily accessible when the big ones bite.
8. What type of habitat does the boat have?
Make sure the boat has a conveniently located, ventilated livewell system. Look for livewell features that include a recirculation function, a timer for automatic water / oxygen circulation, and a pumping system for water removal.
9. Is there a sufficiently large casting deck?
Two anglers should be able to cast comfortably from the front deck. Having enough deck space is important when you have a family who loves fishing together.
10. How much horsepower do you need?
Many boating experts suggest that you consider where your boating needs may be in four years and that you buy plenty of engine power.
11. Have you considered storage, insurance and maintenance?
Think about where to store your boat, get insurance, and consider fuel / maintenance. You should also check your state’s boat registration requirements.
12. Have you selected your two best boats to test drive at a boat show or at a dealer?
If you were to buy a new car you would take it for a test drive, a new boat shouldn’t be any different.
Since you have a sample list of important questions when you buy a boat for fishing, it will be easier for you to start shopping for boats. If you are new to boating, check out our boat basics page for new boat owners. Tight lines and have fun boating!