To help in this decision, you should ask these questions:
- What can you reasonably afford?
- Is it big enough for you and your expected passengers?
- Is it small enough for your current level of boating knowledge and expertise?
- Does it have a design (draft, hull configuration, deck layout, power train) that meets your needs?
- Can it handle the conditions common to the geographic area where you’ll be boating?
After you have answered these questions you should be looking at what type of boat you want. Here are a few examples:
- Bowrider/Runabout Water sports, fun day trips
- Cuddy Cabin Water sports, overnight trips. Better for rainy or chilly weather
- Express Cruiser Weekend trips, entertaining
- Cabin Cruiser Coastal cruising, entertaining
- Trawler Long distance cruising, live aboard, entertaining
- Sportfisherman Serious offshore fishing and coastal cruising, entertaining
- Centerboard Boats Fun day trips in protected waters and good weather conditions – trailerable
- Fixed keel Small Cruisers Weekend trips and coastal cruising, entertaining
- Large Cruisers Coastal and extended off-shore cruising, live aboard, entertaining