Choosing the right boat
What kind of boat should you get?
Boats are designed and built for different purposes. There are different hull shapes to suit different water conditions and loads. Before you get a boat, do some research and talk to other boat operators, manufacturers or retailers and consider the following questions.
What size boat do you need?
The right size boat will depend on the number of people you intend to carry, the amount of equipment, provisions and goods you intend to load into it, and the type of water conditions you expect to experience.
What will the boat be used for?
Fishing? Cruising? Water-skiing? Sailing? The design, construction, stability, flotation and maintenance will all be factors in the safety and performance of your vessel.
Where do you plan to go boating?
Boats designed for use on inland or sheltered waters are not usually suited for use in open waters or along the coast where waves are larger.
What engine power does the boat need?
Boats have both minimum power needs and maximum power limitations. Don’t overpower a boat to gain more speed. A bigger engine may be unsafe by unbalancing the boat and lowering the freeboard. It is an offence to fit an engine that exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications.
Is the boat fitted with built-in buoyancy?
Boats fitted with appropriate internal buoyancy, such as foam, will remain afloat when capsized or swamped. This improves the chances of rescue and survival in the event of an incident, particularly in isolated areas or offshore.
Buying a second-hand boat
Buying a second-hand boat can be a good way of getting into boating. While the price of a second-hand boat should reflect its condition and specifications, extra care is required.
Unless you are experienced or specially trained it may be a good idea to get a person with appropriate marine knowledge to conduct an assessment before you make any decision to buy a second-hand vessel.