Are you looking to purchase your first watercraft? Buying a boat can be an expensive decision, particularly if you haven't owned one before. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to get your feet wet without soaking your wallet. These three affordable choices can be an excellent way to decide if investing in a more expensive boat is right for you.
When you think of inflatable watercraft, do you picture something that looks like a pool toy and handles about the same? Modern inflatables are surprisingly capable and affordable, and they're available in many different varieties. High-end inflatable watercraft manufacturers use drop stitching, which consists of thousands of internal threads, to create inflatable boats as rigid as any hardshell vessel.
Additionally, a wide variety of inflatable options exist to fit many different needs. For example, inflatable kayaks or canoes are great if you're looking to spend some time on lakes, rivers, or even in heavier rapids. Higher-capacity rafts, dinghies, and pontoon boats are also available. These boats are affordable, durable, easy to transport, and an excellent way to start your journey on the water.
2. All-Purpose Fishing Boats
If you enjoy fishing, then an all-purpose fishing boat may be another option to consider. These boats are typically large enough to accommodate between two and four individuals, and they're customarily motorized rather than manually paddled. These boats usually feature fewer luxuries and have a simpler construction when compared to other boats and cruisers.
Despite the name, these boats can be an excellent option even if you're just looking to spend some time on the water without reeling in any fish. If you can store the boat at your home, maintenance is usually minimal, aside from the routine tasks of keeping any small engine running. Unlike paddle boats, most states will require you to register your boat and obtain a license.
3. Personal Watercraft (PWCs)
For a sportier option, personal watercraft (jet skis) are another relatively affordable choice. You can use jet skis in various conditions, from rivers and lakes to bays and open water. However, using a PWC on open water is an activity best reserved for more experienced riders. Like other motorized boats, most states will require you to obtain both a license (or certificate) and registration for your jet ski.
Jet skis can vary widely in price, so you may be able to find options that cost slightly more than a high-end paddle craft. On the other hand, higher-end models can rival the price of many small boats. If you're buying your first PWC, it may be worthwhile to consider a cheaper model to decide if the sport is right for you.
To learn more about your options, contact a watercraft supplier.