How to pick the perfect boat
Whether you’re a long-time sailing enthusiast or thinking about buying your first ever boat, it can be hard to choose the right vessel. At Sutton Harbour Marina, we welcome a huge variety of vessels from sailing yachts to motor boats, and we know how important it is to get the right boat for you.
How much are you willing to spend?
Money is a huge factor in deciding on a boat to purchase, so first consider how much you’re willing to spend, set a budget – and then stick to it. Costs depend on different factors such as the size or type of boat, as well as how much you intend on using it. Are you in a position where you could buy a fixer-upper and do the work yourself? Or will you want a shiny, new boat already fitted out? Once you’ve set a price range, be sure to search within that.
Sail over speed?
Most people are firmly in one camp or another when it comes to the choice between a sailing boat or a powerboat, but there are certainly advantages to each kind of boating. Sail power is obviously a lot less expensive than fuel – pretty much free indeed, once you’ve covered the cost of your sails – so running costs will be lower without having to rely on potentially increasing fuel costs. Sailing is also much more peaceful with no engine noise, and a fun activity to boot. Powerboats are often far more accessible though, and easier to manage for new sailors, as well as being a tad faster. They usually offer much more space inside for accommodations and living room space.
What will you be using it for?
Your perfect boat depends on what activity you intend on doing. Whether it’s fishing and relaxing on the calm sea or having the need for speed, it’s best to take time to research the best type of boat for your hobby. It’s also worth considering if you want the option to sleep on board, or if you want an inside cabin at all. Think about the distances you plan to travel, and if you want to race, as well as your fitness levels if you’ll be manning the sails independently.
Will you be sailing solo or is there going to be a full crew?
If you’re looking to regularly take the whole family out to sea then you’re going to need quite a few seats. The size, length and capacity of the vessel will affect the type of boat you’re looking for, as well as the all-important price. Some cruising boats are designed for single-handed sailing while others are only suited for doublehanded. Consider a multi-hulled vessel too; catamarans have the advantage of both speed and space and are an option for sailors or powerboat enthusiasts both.
How long are you planning on keeping it?
No doubt you’ll want a good quality, reliable boat but you might want to invest more if you’re planning on keeping your vessel for a long time. If you don’t think you’ll be keeping it longer than a summer or two before upgrading then remember, similarly to cars, the older the boat usually means the less reliable it is. You need to be knowledgeable on what it takes to drive and look after a boat to be sure you don’t get stuck in a sticky situation out at sea.
Do you have somewhere to keep it?
Picking the perfect mooring is equally as challenging at times but here at Sutton Harbour Marina, we can accommodate vessels from small motorboats up to superyachts of 40 metres in length, and we also have specialist, larger-size catamaran berths.
Marina costs are another thing to consider when deciding on a budget as prices vary depending on the vessel, its size and the time of year. You could have annual berthing or keep a boat in the water for only specific times of the year, and this impacts greatly on the cost.
For more information of berthing rates at Sutton Harbour Marina, go to the berthing tariffs page.