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Friday, January 26, 2018

How to Choose a Watercraft That's Right For You!




There’s nothing like a day on the water!
Whether you are simply floating along with friends or prefer an action-packed activity, there are many options to consider when selecting a watercraft or boat. From party boats to electric catamarans, the choices can be overwhelming!  The craft you choose will be an investment, so the better educated you become on what is available, the more likely you will be happy with your decision. This article summarizes several boats and personal watercraft, to help you save time and money, so that your water adventures will be fun and memorable!


Pontoon Boats
We’ve all seen them cruising around lakes: pontoon boats—often referred to as party boats—offer many attractive features. They usually cost less than a power or sailboat, and are extremely spacious, with plenty of extra room for stretching out.

Depending on the size, pontoon boats can hold anywhere from 6-17 people. You could cruise with friends during the afternoon, then, by simply adding a camper enclosure, you can spend the night on board. Pontoon boats are slow, which might bore high-energy kids quickly. They are also awkward to turn, difficult to dock, and heavy to tow.


Sailboats
Many boats are pretty, but sailboats have an extra special something. The subject of many artistic efforts, sailboats show off clean lines, swooping overhangs, and sexy curves. When was the last time you saw a painting of a bunch of powerboats? If you’re the attention-grabbing type, a sailboat might just be the ideal status symbol. Sailboat owners often create their own communities and sail together, affording opportunities to create friendships, business partnerships, and even a friendly competition or two!

Sailboats are costly. New models can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Add in insurance, taxes, mooring, storage, and the trailer needed to tow a large boat, and the investment is definitely something to consider. Sailboats can be physically demanding, and require a specific skills set and education, to maneuver safely.


Powerboats
If you’ve got a need for speed, but also want to spend time with family and friends, a powerboat offers both. Whether cruising the lake or towing kids around on inner tubes, a power boat can be a great choice if you need a flexible option. Power boats can travel enough distance to allow you to fish “farther out” than a regular fishing boat, although the cost of fuel may be limiting. Powerboats can also offer many creature comforts, such as onboard bathroom facilities (a.k.a. “heads”), kitchens, and comfortable seating. Of course, the more “extras” included, the higher the cost.

Powerboats can be expensive to maintain. Most have two engines, which means there are more parts that need attention and potential replacement. The larger the boat, the more difficult it may be to dock, store, and tow. Insuring a power boat also adds to the cost, and licensing is required in most states. Many bodies of water do not allow power boats, due to conservation concerns.


Jet Ski/WaveRunner Personal Watercraft
Fast and thrilling, PWCs (personal watercraft) fulfill the need for speed. PWCs provide freedom and maneuverability that is unparalleled. The jet propulsion feature and lack of propeller provide a smooth ride. PWCs are easier to store. Most models can fit in an average garage, and they are easier to haul, due to their lighter weight.

PWCs can be dangerous, especially for those who are new to riding or have limited agility. PWCs don’t have brakes! They are not marine life friendly, so PWCs are not welcome on all bodies of water. Insuring a PWC can be a challenge, as their safety record is less than stellar. With the horsepower of a large outboard engine and the acceleration of a motorcycle, PWC are not toys, and taking one out on the water requires skill and understanding of how the craft operates.


Recreational Kayak
Kayaking can make you feel one with nature. With the ability to go on almost any body of water, a kayak can be beneficial to mind, body and spirit. There are thousands of nooks and crannies, bays and coves, inlets and outlets, tributaries and streams that are accessible via kayak. Shallow areas are not a problem for kayaks, and you can launch one practically anywhere. Kayaks are easy to tow, easy to store, easy to clean, and are relatively inexpensive. However, kayaking has its limits. Unless you are in excellent physical condition, kayaking can be tiring.

While fishing from a kayak is possible, it can be awkward, and limited storage makes taking home your catch a challenge. Kayaking does not offer protection from a change in the element, such as a sudden rain shower or pelting sun; and they can become uncomfortable on long trips, as body movement is limited.



FunCat® Electric-Solar Catamaran
A FunCat is an electric-solar catamaran, meant for relaxation and fun on the water. FunCats are easy to maneuver, easy to dock and easy to tow. The controls are so simple, just about anyone can drive. FunCats are battery or solar operated, and are environmentally friendly. Ideal for families or seniors, the FunCat allows for an enjoyable day on the water without the noise of a boat or the added cost of fuel. Children love FunCats because they can drive! An optional bimini shade protects from damaging sun rays, and rod mounts make FunCat ideal for fishing.

An added benefit to a FunCat catamaran is that it can be taken on even the calmest of lakes, including those that do not allow motorized boats. If you can access the water with a trolling motor, you can use your FunCat. FunCats have limited seating, but a family of four can still sit comfortably aboard. The quiet FunCat allows for quality time with family and friends, talking and sharing time on the water in comfort.

There are many options and things to consider when choosing a watercraft. Making a pros and cons list of your own, with must-have options and the accessories you’re dreaming about will help you determine what will work best for you and your family. Once you whittle down your list, consider renting for a few hours or even a few days. Renting can give you a feel for how the craft handles, and whether or not the investment will be worthwhile. If you would like to rent a FunCat, go to this link for available locations.

Chat with us about FunCats! Go to funcats.com and access the chat in the bottom right corner.