How to pick a boat that's right for you

Buying a boat can be both exciting and intimidating. So before you take the plunge, make sure you know what you're climbing into.

SEATTLE - "When you're new to boating it can be a little overwhelming," said George Harris, President & CEO Northwest Marine Trade Association. "There's a lot of choices there and I think you really need to think about how you want to use your boat." 

Like to fish? Then consider reeling in a boat like the Hewescraft 220 Ocean Pro.

"It's a real serious fishing boat. It's built in Washington state, it's built over in Colville," said Harris. "You need to go where the fish are and that's what this boat will allow you to do."

If cruising is more your speed, the locally made Ranger Tug 27 is a popular choice.

"It's actually one of the best selling boats in the county right now," said Harris. "There's a full galley in there. There's a head, there's a shower. This Ranger Tug is particular has an outboard on it so you can cruise up to 40 miles an hour if you want to. That's a perfect boat for a couple to cruise or a family to cruise."

If you like mother nature to produce your power, a sailboat might make your pick a breeze.

"The Beneteu 25 is a French designed sail boat. Onboard that boat, it will sleep four. there's a little galley, there's a head so you can be totally self-contained," said Harris. "In sailing, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey."

Want to water ski or wake board? You can do both on a boat like a Cobalt R3 Surf.

"Think of it as a sports car. It's got some nice features on it like ballast tanks so you can adjust the size of the wake," said Harris. "I'd be using that boat here on Lake Washington, or Lake Sammamish or Lake Tapps."

If you like cruising in luxury, you may like climbing aboard something like the Sea Ray Sundancer 350.

"This boat here if you go down below it's incredibly comfortable. It sleeps five. I call it a gourmet galley," said Harris. The way I would use it, my wife and I would take that to Tacoma with our golf clubs and go play Chambers Bay golf course."

So, no matter which boat you pick, each will lead you to the same destination.

"Wherever the boat is, that's your happy place," said Harris.

For more info on picking the perfect boat, check out to help find a boat type that's right for you.


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