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Old 09-22-2011, 03:30 PM   #1
hancoveguy
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Default Considering snowmobiling

greetings all,
I love the lake and all it has to offer, but I dont like the fact that I can only enjoy it a few months of the year. So, i am considering trying the whole snow mobile thing. My sons and i do the atv thing in the summer and wonder how different sleds can be. i know there are quite a few on here that are into it and i would love some guidance.
Whats a good way (cheap) to try it and see if i like it? rentals etc
How much should I expect to spend to get into it initially considering i would not want any loans or new sleds? A decent used sled that will get me through the first few years with minimal issues?
What clothing considerations should I prepare for?
Should i join a club?pros and cons?
Anything else you all can think of that a true novice should know before jumping in.

HCG
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:55 AM   #2
chipj29
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hancoveguy View Post
greetings all,
I love the lake and all it has to offer, but I dont like the fact that I can only enjoy it a few months of the year. So, i am considering trying the whole snow mobile thing. My sons and i do the atv thing in the summer and wonder how different sleds can be. i know there are quite a few on here that are into it and i would love some guidance.
Whats a good way (cheap) to try it and see if i like it? rentals etc
How much should I expect to spend to get into it initially considering i would not want any loans or new sleds? A decent used sled that will get me through the first few years with minimal issues?
What clothing considerations should I prepare for?
Should i join a club?pros and cons?
Anything else you all can think of that a true novice should know before jumping in.

HCG
First of all, it is not a cheap sport to get into (no powersports are!). You should try before you buy. Do you know anyone with a sled you could try out? If not, there are several rental agencies around.

To buy a decent used sled, you would probably be spending around $4k. Anything less than $3k will likely require some work over the years you own it. Not that the $4k sled won't need anything either.

You want warm clothes. Spend the money on some decent warm clothes, a good pair of boots, and a good helmet. You get what you pay for, and the cheap stuff sometimes is not warm enough. A cold ride can be miserable, and can ruin the experience.

YES you should join a club. Of course, I am President of my local club so I am biased. But, your local clubs do so much work on the trails year round. I am sure they would really appreciate your $30 membership dues. Doesn't sound like much, but every little bit helps! And they will really appreciate if you can get out and help the club in any way!

Other advice I can give would be to never ride alone. When you start out, go out with a group (2 or 3 others) of experienced riders. People who can give you pointers along the way, and help out if you get into any trouble.

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:00 AM   #3
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Default

There are a couple of places in Lincoln that do pretty decent guided tours. They aren't a perfect option but they are a good way to see if its worth spending the money getting into it.

Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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Default Have I got a deal for you...

HCG,

It just so happens that my dive buddy is selling out is outfit... See my PM to you for details.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:39 AM   #5
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Default Go for it

It is a great sport to get into but as Chipj29 says it can be expensive and you need cold temps and lots of snow. Sometimes the weather does not cooperate with us. Definitely join a local club it helps them and you save money when you register your sleds.Check out Craigs List and you will find all the stuff you need to get started. Always ride with someone! Good Luck and have fun!
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #6
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Default I love it

I had the same dilema a few years ago. We had been boating for a few years and finally bought a house at the lake. We moved in in February during school vacation and as we were down at the lake, (we live off of the RR tracks in Meredith) we saw many snowmobiles cruising past. It looked like fun.

The next year I bought a two up leftover sled and started discovering what was out there. My son, daughter and wife all enjoyed riding on the back and seeing what was out there.

A month later I bought my 12 year old son a used sled and we started riding together.

The next year we rode 1500 miles out of Meredith. From Winnisquam to Winnipesaukee to Waukewan to Newfound in about 90 minutes and many, many miles of trails in between.

On the third year, no snow. That hurt. We made our first trip to Pittsburg. It is the Mecca of snowmobiling.

On the fourth year, we bought a trailer and while we mostly ride out of the lakes region, we did some discovery.

Going into year 5 my daughter decided she wants to ride more and I'll be getting another sled.

My son and I are both on our second sleds as we've upgraded as we both became better riders and wanted more.

We only buy leftovers as they will save you about $2k.

Oh yeah, my son wants to go with his dad every weekend. He is 17 now and loves sledding. It may be the best money I ever spent.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quilt Lady and I first got into snowmobiling in 2005 after retiring here from MA, and we really enjoy the sport. (Island Girl introduced us to it!) We really enjoy sledding the many area trails, and out across the frozen lake when the ice is safe and there's a snow cover on it.

You've gotten some good suggestions from others here, such as not venturing out by yourself. You never know when a mishap or breakdown can occur, and in the winter weather you don't want to be alone if that happens. All the area snowmobile clubs offer trail maps (at a moderate cost), and they are well worth it. It's also a good idea to take a GPS and cell phone with you so if you do encounter a problem you can notify others of your location.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:04 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Great family sport

As mentioned above it can be very addictive and pricey.
Averaging between 3500 and 5000 miles a year for us, is a testament to how addictive it can be.
We are at the point of turning our sleds over for new ones about every 2 years due to the high mileage we ride in northern Maine.
You just can not strive how important the right gear is to the sport. Layers of the proper gear and a properly fitted helmet are the most important. Boots are important but for getting into it if you have a pair of winter boots with good socks you will do fine unless you venture out at or below zero. Gloves are important also and cannot be too tight. You want some room for air to circulate or your hands will be cold. I made that mistake and now wear oversized gloves with liners. Average cost for good gear: Coat $200-400, pants $150-300, boots $50-200, helmet $150-500, gloves $50-150. Prices will vary with quality. Id say we probably wear about $1200.00 worth of warm weather gear.
I disagree with price of the sled. I got into the sport with a set of old 70s era Scorpion sleds that got me and my boys to the point driving around Mines Falls in Nashua that we knew it was for us. I then bought newer used, sleds until I met my wife and we became the high mileage riders that we are today.
It is a great way to get out see the outdoors during the winter. We have special sleds for getting into the back country of Maine where you make your own trails and never know what the day will bring for adventure. We carry extra fuel, GPS with extra batteries as well as cell phone and emergency gear.
All this and we drive 4.5 hours EVERY weekend to get there and its worth every minute of it.
Good luck and have fun.
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