Editor’s note: Knowing how to take your boat search to the next level is what BoatQuest.com, one of Soundings’ sister properties, is all about.
Modern marine engines have come a long way from the sputtering, oil-dripping beasts they used to be. Electrical systems with smart chargers, inverters and advanced sealed batteries are light years ahead of the leaky blocks of energy that used to start our engines and power our coffee makers.
Few purchases generate the excitement and anticipation that buying a boat does. You spend hours reading boating magazines and scanning the Web, dreaming of summer fun and cruising adventures. When the time comes to look at a boat, it’s easy to throw objectivity to the wind. This can make assessing a boat’s suitability for your needs very challenging.
Does the new season have you thinking about a new boat? Many of today’s center consoles are great multitasking boats that can serve you well for day cruising, fishing or as a platform for swimming, diving and water sports.
During your research, you’re sure to find center consoles that ride stepped hulls. Speed, fuel efficiency and a smooth ride have helped fuel the stepped hull’s popularity. But is a stepped boat right for you?
A careful, methodical approach
I was about to test the Southport 33 FE center console with twin Yamaha F350s at the Miami International Boat Show in February with two representatives from the builder. Moments before we cast off, two prospective customers joined us. I would have preferred to put the boat through its paces without the extra crew because I tend to drive a boat hard, but I’m glad the two gentlemen — a father and son from Puerto Rico — were aboard because it resulted in some good information about buying a boat.
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