Pontoon & Deck Boat January (^201817)
How often will I use it?
Coming to terms with how often you’ll
be able to put the boat in the water is
vitally important. Some factors to consider:
the distance to the nearest lake, the
temperament of the local climate, how
often your family/friends will want to use
it. After all, we’ve all bought a pair of
shoes that we only wear a couple times a
year; who wants that mistake on a larger
Where will I be using it?
Do you have a local body of water
that is (relatively) easy to get to? If you’re
looking at a drive of more than, say, two
hours in one direction just to be able to
use your boat, you may not end up using
it as much as you’d like. Of course, we
hear stories about houseboaters who will
routinely drive 8 hours round trip every
weekend in the summer to use their
houseboat, so your mileage tolerance
(hah!) may vary.
What should I expect it
Owning a boat is
not cheap, and that’s
before you take into
account the ancillary
costs of ownership,
such as mooring fees,
fuel, insurance, routine
maintenance, and so on
(a general rule is to
percent of the boat’s total cost each year).
At the absolute minimum, you’re going
to be spending $20,000-30,000, and that’s
being pretty conservative. Remember, the
outboard alone is going to cost anywhere
from $4,000 to $20,000 depending on its
horsepower, so make sure the well is deep
enough to cover your new hobby.
How much am I willing to pay?
This goes hand in hand with the
previous question. Once you have an idea
of the ballpark cost for everything, you
need to determine your upper limit and
then adjust your expectations accordingly.
Where will I store it?
Do you have a big enough garage to
house a boat?
What about a
concrete pad to the
side of the house?
Can you rent
storage space for
the winter to keep
it out of harm’s
way? Is there a
local marina you can
keep it at during the
With those out of the
way, you should have
quite a bit.
Now you can
get into what
options you want
for certain things.