If you’ve just decided to buy your very first boat, congratulations! You can expect plenty of fun, enjoyable moments on the water from now on-- but only if you choose the right boat. This can be tricky as boats come in all shapes, sizes and with different features nowadays that picking the right one can be somewhat challenging for first-timers. But not to worry, by asking yourself these three simple questions you can already get a clear idea of what your first boat should be.

What Are You Using It For?

The first thing you need to determine when buying a boat is what you’ll be using it for. Are you planning to go on quiet fishing trips? Exciting, offshore fishing trips? Cruising? Engaging in watersports? For every one of these activities, there’s a boat most suited for it.

Fishing - If you’re planning to go fishing, you’ll need a highly functional boat that’s well-protected and easy to wash down. For exciting offshore fishing you’ll need something robust that can withstand deep and rough waters and provide some cabin protection. Something like an aluminium cuddy cabin boat would be great for this activity. If however, you’re looking forward to some peaceful inshore fishing on shallow, calm waters then you can opt for smaller and simpler models.

Cruising - If your boat will primarily be used for travel, socialising and entertainment, you’ll need something slightly larger with ample and comfortable seating, drink holders and other conveniences, and good viewing areas. For overnight cruising you’ll need a cabin model, which includes a galley, toilet and sleeping areas.

Watersports - If water skiing, wakeboarding and other watersports are your thing, you’ll want to choose a boat with relevant features, like a dedicated towing point. With wakeboarding you’ll probably want a boat that can produce a bigger wake for a more fun experience. If you like going fast and planing, you’ll want a boat with a flat bottom (for calm, shallow waters), vee hull or multihull boat (for choppy waters), as well as a powerful engine; however you’ll need to have excellent manoeuvreing skills as stability may be compromised at high speeds.

What Is Your Level of Boating Expertise?

Since you’re thinking of buying a boat then you probably already know the many joys that it can bring, and may have even had some experience handling a boat a few times before. This does not mean however, that you’re all set to handle just any boat. You may want to own a large, luxurious boat but are unaware that it takes much more skill than you currently possess to properly manoeuvre it. You may be daydreaming of cruising down calm waters but only have access to rugged waters. Or you may find maintaining the boat you want requires much more time or money than you are currently willing to offer.

Before purchasing a boat then, it’s also important to consider your skills at operating a boat, what the environmental conditions are in the area where you plan to use it, and all other aspects involved in owning a boat. For beginners, it’s best to start with a smaller boat and in calmer conditions, and gradually trade up as your experience grows.

How Much Can You Afford?

Last but not least, always take note of what you can afford. There may be some features you have to sacrifice to stay within your budget. If getting all the features you want is a priority for you however, you can always get a smaller boat or opt for second-hand boats. There are some pretty good used boats for sale that cost a lot less than brand new, although you may have to inspect these carefully before buying. Also take note that the boat itself will not be your only expenditure. You will also have to pay for insurance, maintenance, fuel, storage and other costs.

Ready to buy your first boat? Make sure you check out the great selections here at Waves Overseas. We’ve got an awesome array of brand new and used boats for every occasion and budget. Take a look at our boats for sale now or call 02 9745 5555 for more information.