Don't wait until the last minute to prepare your boat for spring
Before you launch
With $5-a-gallon gas looming at the fuel dock, many owners are looking at their engines and running gear to be sure their boats are operating at peak efficiency. Some are also looking at the gear they carry aboard to determine whether all of it is necessary. Less stuff means less weight, which could mean decreased fuel consumption.
Buying used can be an attractive option for those looking to get into a “new” boat at a more affordable price. Depending on its age and condition, you still might have to put some money into the boat to ensure your safety and enjoyment. And if you wind up spending considerable money on the boat, it could be that it is no longer a more affordable option than buying new.
How to determine if your boat is a good candidate for an overhaul, and how to find the pros whose work won’t disappoint you
Dollars and cents drive many backyard boat projects. Jeff Koenke didn’t have the money for a new boat, so he found a 1984 Boston Whaler Outrage 250 that was damaged in Hurricane Katrina and restored it.
“I paid $3,500, which isn’t a whole lot, and I have the title,” says Koenke, 46, who is from Sarasota, Fla.
The restoration took about two-and-a-half years, and he has around $30,000 invested in the project.
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