Choosing Your First Fishing Boat
Once you become hooked on fishing you will want to venture further, fish on wider rivers, even going off shore. Fishing boats range from small dinghies to larger charter cruisers but unless you intend to take up fishing professionally you should look for a boat that you can use for fishing and for leisure purposes.
In years gone by fishing boats were traditionally made of wood but this material is avoided these days as wood tends to rot and the maintenance is very high. Fibreglass is now the most common material used for boats less than 100 tons and up to 25 meters in length. Steel is used for larger boats more than 25 meters.
First of all you need to decide what sort of boat you want and where you are going to keep it. If you want to keep it at home and transport it on a trailer you have to consider whether you car can tow a heavy load. The boat may seem quite light when you buy it but will be much heavier when you have loaded it up with fishing gear. A heavy boat or a heavy load being towed behind your vehicle uses more fuel and the cost of petrol and diesel is rising annually.
If you decide to keep it on a mooring you should check out mooring fees before you purchase the boat as marina charges are quite high and you have to add those to the cost of your boat. Check out several locations and ensure they accept permanent moorings and not just weekend sailors. You can check these out online.
It is best to go for a boat at the lower end of the market when you start out so you can afford all the extras you will need. These include GPS, fish finder, two anchors, chain and warp, compass, flares, outboard and auxiliary engines, fuel tank and ropes.
Don't buy the first boat you see even if you fall in love with it on sight, shop around to get the best price, best boat and just as you get it checked when you buy a car get an expert to check your boat over to ensure it is seaworthy.
You want a reliable vessel that won't let you down and if possible go for a test run to make sure the engine runs smoothly and starts easily.
If fishing is purely a hobby and you want a nice day's fishing a few days a week you can go for a small boat up to a maximum of 15ft. The next size is 15-19ft and the most luxurious are boats over 19ft which tend to be sleek speedboats which are ideal for leisure and fishing.