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Sun Sail
Buying New
What Will £3K Buy You?
(1 vote, average 1.00 out of 5)

With this month’s budget reaching £3,000 the scope for new boats inevitably gets a little wider. What follows are three of the very best ways of getting afloat on a modest budget . . .

Kiwi (and even idiot) proof!

Our final suggestion is the Smartwave 3500, an all-purpose craft from Marine Revolution. We can assure you that these Kiwi-built poly boats are the nearest thing you will find to a completely indestructible craft for the leisure market. The only maintenance they need is a wash down with a bucket of water every now and again. But the joy of these craft is not so much that they are tough, or even that they are unsinkable. It’s the fact they only need low horsepower engines to go like stink. For instance, a Smartwave 3500 will happily plane with two people aboard, with just a 6hp Tohatsu outboard on the transom. On the other hand, you could fit a 15hp outboard and enjoy sufficient performance to pull a skier.

Your First Dinghy - Part 1
(1 vote, average 4.00 out of 5)
In the first of a new four-part series on buying a starter boat, David Webber looks at specific dinghies for different uses and different locations.
If this is your first boat, you are in for a real treat. Dinghies can be used on our rivers and estuaries, at the beach or for cruising the Great British coastline. Imagine the scene on a warm summer’s day - you fill your boat with a picnic, load up the kids and the dog and cruise a few miles along the coast for a great day on some deserted beach that landlubbers are unable to reach. What a fantastic day out, and all for the cost of a couple of litres of fuel...

Buying An Angling Boat

bm_0901_test_2275_1When choosing a boat many aspects need to be taken into account: what length, which motor, is it easy to maintain, will it suit my mooring and, if is to be towed, will my car tow it? The following are a few tips to guide you towards a boat that would suit you and your type of fishing.

If the boat is to be parked at home on its trailer, you should be looking at boats from 16 to 18ft in length, and if your towing vehicle is a family saloon or a van, an open boat is probably all it will handle without strain, especially on sloping slipways or launching over sand or gravel. A four wheel drive vehicle with its extra power will handle heavier boats with cabins up to about 18 or 20ft.


Affordable Fun In An Inflatable
(1 vote, average 4.00 out of 5)

Inflatables are a classic example of how to have loads of fun in a small boat. Here David Greenwood answers your top inflatable questions.

bm_0901_test_2286Q. Inflatables don’t perform great on the water, so why would I want one? Jack Smith, Hartlepool

A. It’s true rigid boats are easier to row or paddle and generally they have better directional stability too, but inflatables have advantages also. Generally they are lighter and they can be deflated for storage or transport. If you want a boat that can be good fun in sheltered waters but also one that can act as a tender to your main vessel then an inflatable is probably your best bet. A rigid tender can be a real pain to tow whereas a small inflatable can be rolled up and lashed down on deck or even thrown into the cabin when not required.


Choosing Your Boat's Tender

The boat’s tender is something you either love or hate, but whichever emotion is the stronger, it is still your fault. After all, you chose it. And you probably chose the outboard too so whether it’s a marriage made in Heaven or in Hell, the reponsibility lies with you. Over the last 20 years or so, I have owned seven dinghies, so I have certainly seen the good and the bad.

tender0610I was recently amused by a yachting forum, on which a guy with a new boat asked “Which dinghy is best?” He got 20 replies and 20 different recommendations, none of which would have solved his problem of perfect choice – for the simple reason that dinghy perfection does not exist. All yacht tenders are a compromise and, on a cruising boat, they are expected to do so many things, that they are bound to do some well and some badly.

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