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Old 03-26-2017, 10:58 PM   #1
MGWillia
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Default For Planning Purposes Only

It looks like our family may be adding a Tritoon in the immediate future.
We will be docking it in the Alton Bay area, but looking to the after season, we will only have it here at the Big Lake and are not planning on a trailer. I 'm sure there are probably a lot of older threads on the subject, but I thought, as most folks are thinking about getting their boats out of storage, I'd get some opinions on next years storage. It's our first, full-time boat, so I'd like to pick your brains. Where are the best places to have winterization done? To store, to have opened up, prepped and launched in the spring? and again, on the planning side, what the general costs are. Any and all insights gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:40 AM   #2
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We were in the "same boat" last summer as we started in Spring with trailering a 19' bow rider then within a month, quickly realized we would rather have a more permanent situation with a "home base" marina and a much roomier tritoon.
Fortunately, this puts you in a great situation, as we learned from here, that if you are looking to buy a new boat, you have the advantage of getting a package from any of the dealers around the lake (and there are quite a few) that includes everything you need to fit your own situation.
Shop the marinas in your designated (Alton) area and bargain for everything you want ( new tritoon, valet or slip, winter storage and the following season's launch).
We shopped marinas in our designated area (opposite end of the lake from the area you are looking at) and in the process, found our ideal, situation with a specific marina. Once we started working with and getting to know our salesman, we were able to sit down at purchase time and work out a package deal which included a beautiful, new tritoon, which we love, valet for the remainder of that season (2016) winter storage (2016-present) and a set price for valet the following (2017) season.
This worked out so well for us as we got to know the folks at "our" marina and built a great relationship with them in our first boating season that we feel confident, going into our first "full season" (2017) that this summer will be even better than last. We spent a lot of time learning the lake and enjoying all it has to offer.
Being retired, my wife and I have found the best of the "boating Winni" world for us as we can use our boat all season, with unlimited, valet, weekdays, holidays and basically anytime we want (within our marina's hours of operation) all with one hour call-ahead time. No trailer needed!
Good luck in your search for your new tritoon and marina!

As for pricing, you will quickly find out that most marinas are "in the same ballpark" but your advantage is being able to broker a deal for yourselves that may give you huge discounts on a package deal for everything.
Forgot to mention that at our purchase time, we were even able to get the marina to throw in a GPS/SONAR unit in the bargain. THIS was a very much appreciated option for being able to learn Winnipesaukee and it's myriad of islands, bays and passsge routes to get us safely, where ever we wanted to travel on the lake!
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Old 03-27-2017, 05:07 AM   #3
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Hillcountry pretty much answered your question, but I'll add two things: 1. Warranty work--it may cost a bit more to work with the closest dealer/a dealer but you'll have less down time, and, with a short season, that's priceless. 2. We did valet for a season, and it had some benefits, but we much prefer a slip--no worrying about calling ahead/last minute plans, running out of space during peak hours, or issues with going out for sunset cruises or early breakfast runs that are outside business hours.

Good luck!

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Old 03-27-2017, 08:46 AM   #4
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Good point on the warranty work!
I must add that we are in the valet program but we have a standing place on a list for a slip for all the reasons thinkxingu mentioned.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:57 AM   #5
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Keep in mind not all dealers will valet a pontoon. Getting back to the OP, if you are looking to rack store I would verify availability first. Honestly as tight as slips are right now, I would lock up a slip before buying a boat. If you change your mind you can always re-rent the slip.

For warranty work, if you buy through Winnisquam they offer free pickup and delivery to Winnipesaukee for service work, storage and maintenance.

You could go with Parker Marine, they sell tri-toons and have slips. They are possibly the cheapest place for slips on the lake, and usually will have them available this time of year, especially if you buy from them. The bridge height is a factor, but they don't sell anything too tall. I used to keep a boat there, and although tight sometimes I never was not able to get through.
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