BUYING YOUR FIRST BOAT

  So you are interested in buying your own fishing boat. Well, I hope this site will give you some ideas on what boat and equipment you would like.
In case you are wondering, I am no expert, in fact I bought my first boat only a few years ago. I knew what I wanted but my finances would not allow the gin palace that some aspire too.

My bit of advice I would pass on to anyone thinking of getting any sort of boat to use on the sea, is first get on an RYA training course. I have studied for the "Day Skipper" course at a local evening class. I soon became aware how little I knew about tides, winds, navigation and the rules of the sea. It really got the grey matter working. I did the course with a colleague which made the whole session easier as we use to explain to each other areas, which did not seem clear at the time. We then both went on to obtain our VHF radio licences, which include the latest version with DSC emergency calling.

Prior to these courses I was one of the skippers in our local sea fishing club, Bedford Sea Angling Club, and learnt a lot about handling a small boat at sea in different conditions. So I suggest you get yourself on a RYA course and get to know someone with a boat and see if you can crew for them. Learn as much as you can so you can put it into practice when you get your own craft.

Having got that under your belt, what sort of boat do you want? Do you want to trailer the boat around or have it static at one location? What size of boat plays a bit part if you want to trail it behind a car. By the time the boat is loaded with all the essential equipment you then add all the fishing gear it soon pushes up the total weight, so a good tow car is required especially for launching and recovery at slips. A heavy boat will also increase fuel consumption.
If you want to leave it at location will it be moored or retrieved each time? Moorings can be expensive, just go to a marina web site and check out some of the prices. All these add to the cost of owning a boat.

Onto the boat its self, if money is no object then you will be spoilt for choice but whatever boat you want think about the area where you are going to fish. Check out the local area and see what sort of boats are being used.
As this was my first boat I did not want to commit a large investment into a boat, which I might find that I did not enjoy, or use enough. So I bought one at the lower end of the price range but it came with a lot of extras, GPS, fish finder, 2x anchors chain and warp, compass, flares, outboard and auxiliary engine, fuel tank and ropes. I spent some time checking out prices, talking to owners of boats and their thoughts and went to look at some boats for sale. If you are unsure what to look for go with someone who does! Don't fall in love with the first boat you see, check out some similar boats and if it is the boat you want go for it. There is a lot of rubbish out there so take care. Make sure any electronics you buy all work correctly. If you can get a test run in the boat even better. Listen to the engine and when looking around the boat check to see if the owner has started it before you arrived by feeling it if it is warm. If so ask yourself why did he do that!

Before bringing the boat home, make sure your insurance has been updated if towing and the boat is insured. The last thing you want is to be involved in an accident and find you are not covered the boat is a write off and you have a huge compensation claim to pay out!

Now that you have a boat the fun begins. Be SAFE at all times, RESPECT the sea and do not take chances. Remember that if you take someone out in your boat, it is YOU who are responsible so make it clear at the start of the trip what you want everyone to do in an emergency.
ABOVE ALL ELSE ENJOY YOUR FISHING!