With more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface covered by water and more than 100,000 lakes in the continental United States, Americans are never very far from water. In fact, 95 percent of Americans live within an hours drive of a navigable body of water.
More than 87 million U.S. adults participate in recreational boating and in 2017, 13.4 percent of the U.S. population participated in water sports. What’s more, 19.6 percent of millennials participate in water sports and in 2016, about 2.91 million Americans participated in wakeboarding.
Anyway you slice it, whether you’re using a personal watercraft, a pontoon boat or a wakeboard boat, Americans love the water and they love boating. Annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products and services climbed three percent in 2016 reach to $37 billion and that trend is expected to continue throughout 2018.
If you’re considering buying a boat, there are many types of boats to pick from:
- Sport Fisher: These boats come equipped with a galley, a cabin and a bathroom. These are typically bigger boats that have a fishing cockpit and a flying bridge.
- Bass Boat: These boats are build for casting and come with platforms that offer ample room to cast out from wherever you are on the boat and whether you’re sitting or standing. These boats also come with trolling motors, allowing you to move around an area you’re casting in.
- Panga: These boats are used for deep sea fishing, but are low to the water and are a basic sort of boat with a bench to sit on and a bit of space for anything you might bring on board.
- Wake Boat: These boats are designed to increase and maximize a boat’s wake so that wake boarders can ride over them. Wakeboard boats also come with a ballast bladder which is filled and drained to increase the size of a wake.
- Pontoon Boats: Lady Antebellum extoled the virtues of pontoon boats in their 2012 hit ‘Pontoon’ and for good reason. Pontoon boats are the perfect boats for taking your family out and going for a slow cruise out on the water as the song suggests. An average pontoon boat with only one person can reach 31 mph and even at max capacity, a pontoon can still reach 22 mph.
If you’re looking for a boat that does a little bit of everything, pontoon boats are the answer. Pontoon boats can be used for fishing, water skiing or just cruise around the local lake. They’re easy to maintain and last a long time. With their high railings, pontoon boats are also much safer than some other types of boats, especially with kids on board. There’s also plenty of storage aboard pontoon boats and there’s plenty of room to stretch out if you and your family and friends want to spend a relaxing evening out on the water.
- Sailboats: If you’re looking to spend a leisurely day out on the water, a sailboat might be the best option for a boat rental. Sailboats vary in size from 10-15 feet to 15-25 feet depending on your preference. The typical sailboat has a cockpit and a small cabin, but the idea is to enjoy the time out on the water and on a sailboat there’s always something to be done.
If you’re a new boat owner, you’re going to need boating accessories to get the most of your new watercraft. Your local boat dealer can likely sell you all kinds of necessary boating accessories like boat seats, buoys, coolers, lifejackets and essential instruments and gauges. If you’d like to go a different route, outdoor shops and sporting good stores offer plenty of options for boating accessories both in-store and online. If you’re got yourself a new bass boat for example, sporting good stores are a treasure drove for fishing and boating accessories.
If you’re interested in buying a boat, sites like Boat Trader can help you find boats for sale as well as boat dealers in your area.