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Family Starter Boat Boaters have so many different tastes and preferences it’s difficult to recommend the perfect starter boat. For example:

  • Do you live near the coast or inland lakes?
  • Is your boating season closer to 90 or going on 300 days?
  • What are the ages and personalities of your children?
  • Which water sports you prefer?

If your starter boat accounts for your lifestyle, it leans toward a specific make and model.

A boat matches your main activities

A serious fisherman needs a fishing boat, but if fishing is an occasional thing scheduled around the family, a runabout or cuddy cabin is better. The length and beam should fit the size of your “crew”. The hull should match your water type – ocean, lake, or pond. Power, trailers, and electronics follow this decision with reality in mind on how you’ll use your boat.

A boat builds confidence

Whether looking at a dinghy, a long center console, or luxury motor yacht, the boat should help build your nautical skills. The boat, motor, and trailer should be in good shape, so you spend your time on activities on the water. If you’re doing repairs, you’re a boat mechanic instead of a captain.

You’ll need maintenance skills later. For your first year, focus on the basics: launching, hauling, docking, navigating, and maximum boating fun.

A boat encourages growth

You buy a 16-foot center console boat. Although it’s small, you are worried about trailering it down the highway. After a month of regular practice, you realized hauling the boat wasn’t hard after all. You outgrow that boat and upgrade the following year. Should you have bought a 20-foot model from the start?

Find a comfort level between confidence and growth and buy a boat in line with your abilities and need for adventure.


Keer, T., Best starter boat for your family, https://www.progressive.com/lifelanes/boat-first-family-boat/

Free image: Pixabay.com