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How to buy a boat for fishing?

Fishing boat buying guide in 5 steps

Almost every angler at some point decides to get his or her fishing hobby to the next level, which is to buy a boat and catch fish in the middle of one’s favorite lake or river. Some of you may think that it’s only for the real pros, but we would like to change that presumption because as we very well know, fishing boats are easy to use and affordable to anyone!

1. How big does the fishing boat need to be?

To answer this question, you need to just ask yourself how big usually is your fishing crew. If it’s not more than 2-3 people, the smallest boats will do the job just perfectly. However, if you prefer to have some room for unexpected guests, bigger models are worth considering.

For example, the most basic model in our offer, the Waterprestige 380, will safely and comfortably suit 4 people, but you need to pay in mind that you need a space for your fishing gear. There are long and spacious cases for equipment, fishing rods, and oars on the boat, but If you and your friends carry a lot of extra bags with food and other supplies, it will probably be better to buy a bigger model like Waterprestige 430 Weekend with dedicated, mountable angling chairs.

2. What equipment do I need for a fishing boat?

Good news! We know that a lot of you need the boat especially for fishing, so we made that easy for you. Our boats have all the necessary equipment you need to start the boat fishing experience, so besides your regular gear, you don’t need to buy anything else.

 Each boat comes with a set of fishing rod handles and dedicated cases for rods and oars, so you’re all good to go on the water. Besides all the fishing equipment, don’t forget about the safety gear. A life-jacket and a lifebuoy are always good to have.

When you’re all set with the mandatory stuff, you can start thinking about the extra equipment. If you’re aiming for a more professional experience, you may be interested in buying a Garmin Fishfinder, the high-frequency sonar, which will help you find the biggest ones ever! 

3. Taxes, registration, license, insurance

If you’re now expecting a long list of documents you need to print and forms to fill, fear no more, there’s none. In most EU countries it’s not necessary to register your boat, you don’t need to have a license and there are no taxes involved. It applies to all boats under 15 meters in length and motorboats with speed under 20 km/h. It means there’s no need to fill any additional forms after buying a small boat. It’s also not necessary to have insurance but you might consider buying one anyway. It usually costs around 0,5% of the boat’s price per year, so it might be at least worth considering.

Remember though, you still need to have your fishing license, a VISpas, which in the Netherlands costs 40€ and expires at the end of the current calendar year. 

Using your boat abroad

If you’re planning to take your boat for a trip to another country, having it registered might come in handy if water police decide to randomly check your documents. Make sure too if you are allowed to catch fish in a particular country, and if not, get a necessary license.

4. How much does it cost to own a fishing boat?

Okay, there are no legal costs in owning a small boat, but there are some maintenance costs. It’s not a lot but it’s good to know what’s involved. The cost of boat maintenance is roughly about 5% of the value for the boat without a motor and 10% for the motorboat. Price can go a bit higher though if you decide to add a lot of optional equipment, such as battery and electronic system, audio, etc.

Another cost that you need to remember is storage. You can either store it on your own premises – in the garage, in the backyard, or rent a space on the harbor or in a boat dry stack storage. The advantage of the first option is that it’s free and usually you can safely presume that your boat will be perfectly safe there. The second option will cost you some money, but it’s usually much more convenient – especially storing it on the harbor, where it’s always ready to go.

Remember though, storing in the water might be dangerous for the boat in the places with cold winters, where the water might freeze. In those circumstances, the boat might get damaged.

5. How to transport the boat?

The last section is mainly for those, who plan to visit many fishing spots with the purchased boat. In order to do so, you need to buy a boat trailer, which contrary to the boat, you need to register. It may seem like a costly buy, but for the small fishing boat, the prices are somewhere between 500-1000€ depending if it’s new or used and what size exactly it is. 

Before the purchase remember to make sure that the trailer will be right for the boat model you have. Most of the trailers are pretty all-rounded, but it’s good to be 100% certain about it. If you need to know more about transport and storage, feel free to check our article on that topic: How to store and transport a boat.

Get ready for your first boat fishing trip!

Great! Now you’re ready to buy your first fishing boat. Just imagine those lovely weekends with camping and fishing on the boat. Cold beer in the evening or something stronger, maybe some BBQ? Sounds fun, right? Enjoy!