As we enter into the boat show season, you are likely doing your research on what to look for in your next watersports boat. While putting your ducks in a row and getting prepped to see what the different manufacturers have to offer, here’s a handful of helpful questions to ask while shopping around. The 2018 model year is bringing more features to the table than ever before, so we wanted to give you a little knowledge on what matters most.
How is the hull constructed?
Quality starts from the ground up, and hull construction is the foundation of a high-grade boat. Ask questions on how the manufacturer incorporates the stringers, flooring and internal ballast into the hull construction. Familiarizing yourself with how a high-quality boat is built will help you separate the brands that “get it done right” from those that simply “get it done”.
What are the benefits of an inboard boat?
With a vast amount of new technology out there, it’s important to learn exactly why inboards continue to be the number one choice of the serious watersports user. Familiarize yourself with the benefits of an inboard over anything else on the market.
What engine options are available?
Knowing the engine options for the boat model you’re interested in is an extremely important element. Do your research on how engines perform in different models and come knowing which engine best suits your needs.
Do I need any additional ballast? While some boat manufactures may boast a great wave or wake, knowing how it got there is just as important. You don’t want to spend all day filling up aftermarket ballast or putting lead in storage compartments, so find out which models perform the best with factory ballast.
What is the warranty like?
Let’s face it, if something were to go wrong then you want to make sure it’s covered. Peace of mind knowing the manufacturer stands by their product and will fix any potential issues is a major benefit.
How much storage is there?
While it’s not always the most exciting feature in a boat, having room for all your gear should definitely be a factor in your buying decision. Storage that is easy to access and has plenty of space will make those long summer days that much more enjoyable.
What are the different stereo options?
Everybody wants a great sounding stereo when you’re having fun on the lake, so be sure to research the sound system and how it’s incorporated into the design of the model you’re looking at.
How user-friendly and comfortable is the helm?
As the boat owner, you’ll probably spend the majority of your time in the helm seat, so be sure that the boat you choose has the best driving experience available. Intuitive displays, comfortable seating and ergonomic controls should all play a factor in your buying decision.
What sports is the boat best for?
You should be matching up your favorite activities with the model you’re interested in. If you do a little of everything, then visit a multi-sport line like GS-Series. Concentrating on wakeboarding or wakesurfing? Check out a boat like a G23 or G25, that specializes in those areas.
What kind of accolades does this boat have?
The most popular models in the marketplace are usually that way for a reason. Find out what awards or major events the model you’re looking at has under its belt for some real-world validation.
How are the seats constructed?
Something to keep in mind is how well your interior will hold up over time. What’s inside the vinyl is just as important as the vinyl itself, so pay attention to what types of foam are being used. This not only makes your boat more comfortable, but much more durable over the course of years of summertime use.