A passionate boater and fisherman. When I'm not actually on the water, I'm planning my next marine adventure.
Published November 3rd 2012
Great tips on buying a boat from someone who's been there
With summer on the horizon, many of us living in Sydney start to look to the world-famous Sydney Harbour as the place to spend our spare time, and owning a boat really is the best way to get out there and enjoy it. Whether it is for family fun in the sun, hardcore fishing for the catch of the day, high octane skiing action, mixing with high society, or anything in between, buying a boat can really be one of the best investments you will make. Having just gone through this experience myself, I know first-hand how daunting it can be to find something 'just right' for your needs.
One of the biggest problems faced when searching for a boat is how specialised the vast majority of boat designs are these days. For example, it is quite easy to find a boat specifically built for fishing in an estuary but near impossible to find one that can be used in an estuary and for open water trips. Heaven forbid if you want a fishing boat that doubles as a family runabout. At the end of the day you are going to have to compromise on something, and this is where a reputable marine dealer comes in very handy. There are several major dealers in Sydney and all of them carry a different brand of boat and quite a few carry more than one brand. Added to that, almost all of the different brands of boat have a full range of boats in them, from tinnies to cruisers.
To find my fishing boat I put in a full day at a boat show checking out as many different dealers and brands as I could. Boat shows are also a great way to get the kids involved, if you have them. My kids came with me to some shows and loved being able to climb all over the boats on display and enjoying the kid's displays, shows and giveaways.
During the boat show I decided to go with the good people at Good Times Marine in Taren Point. Speaking to the staff, they quickly worked out what I was looking to use the boat for and started to recommend some models, and to tell the truth they were spot on the money. I was looking for an Australian built boat made for fishing with lures in estuaries/harbours, with the capability of heading offshore in the right conditions. The first boat they showed me was a Stessco, and in the end that was the one I purchased. Also, being the fussy bloke I am, I wanted the hull customised with some hand rails removed and others added, so my boat would be set up exactly how I wanted it. This was no problem at all, they were more than happy to help. They even made some suggestions for me which meant that the boat worked out even better than I had originally planned.
My advice to anyone looking to become a boat owner is to think about your budget and all of the activities you are looking at using the boat for, then visit some dealers and talk to the staff with this information. Without the advice from the experienced staff in a dealership, you could search for a year and still not be able to cover all of the options out there today. It won't take long at all to be shown the type of boat that will best serve your needs. As mentioned above, I went with Good Times Marine at Taren Point, but there are many others out there and all of them will be able to help you out with any type of vessel you are in the market for. Some of the other Sydney dealers I have had good experience with include Hunts Marine at Blakehurst, Blakes Marine at McGraths Hill and Penrith Marine.