Be a smart boat buyer


Be a smart boat buyer

We’re headed into the boat show season, a time that can be overwhelming for the first-time bass boat buyer.If you’re one of those prospective buy

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We’re headed into the boat show season, a time that can be overwhelming for the first-time bass boat buyer.

If you’re one of those prospective buyers, make sure you consider key factors before signing off on a major investment.

Your budget will impact the size of boat you can buy. While the bigger bass boats are eye-catching and provide a lot of benefits, they may not be a fit for you.

If you plan to store it in a garage, get exact measurements to make sure it fits. The actual boat length is only part of the equation; allow room from the tip of the trailer to the back of the motor.

And don’t forget to compare the weight of the rig to your tow vehicle’s capability.

The size of water you will be fishing is another factor; bigger the water, the bigger the boat.

Are you dead set on a 250 horsepower outboard? It’s not always necessary, as you can pare down the horsepower and save money and fuel economy. If speed isn’t an issue, make sure there is enough power to get you on plane quickly and capable of carrying a heavy load. The dealer can help you with that.

Dropping down from a 21 to a 19-footer and going with a 225 over a 250 doesn’t sacrifice much speed, and you might actually gain a little. You may lose a little top end with a 200 horsepower on a 19-footer, but with our Phoenix 19s, that’s still a lot of boat for the money.

Do you fish often with the wife or children? You may want a dual console setup. The one we offer can be removed or mounted in about 30 seconds. That gives you the option of putting it in when the weather is bad or taking it out when it’s not necessary.

Accessories will run up the cost of the boat, but they are worth serious considerations and research. The bigger the size of the graph, trolling motor or anchoring systems, the more you will pay, but the performance may be worthwhile in your fishing environment. Your local, experienced bass boaters can provide insight into the pros and cons.

You can buy accessories from the aftermarket or have it included in the purchase price and financing and eliminate a lot of hassle.

For example, at Phoenix we offer all brands and sizes of trolling motors, graphs and anchoring systems. We install them and all of the necessary and proper voltage wiring at the factory. It gives you a cleaner look and assurances it was rigged properly. With our boats, there is no need to buy and add aftermarket wiring to handle your added needs.

And remember, wiring is critical, especially if you are running big electronics and forward-looking sonar. Ask your dealer if the boat is built with the kind of wiring needed to handle high-voltage electronics.

And finally, don’t forget to research insurance pricing. The more boat, horsepower and accessories you add, the more you will pay in insurance. If you’re planning to fish tournaments, make sure the company you use will cover you; some will not.

My final piece of advice is to include the spouse in the decision making, especially when picking out boat colors. While you’re imagining yourself hauling big bass over the gunnel, she’ll make sure you look good doing it.

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