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Old 04-25-2022, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default New to boating

Rookie question here. Been visiting Winnipesaukee for 50 years, now making the transition to move here part-time and full-time in the next few years. What is the best way to get into boating? (rental?, type of boat? trailer or rent a slip - if that even a possibility?).

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-25-2022, 10:11 AM   #2
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That is a very open question that requires a lot more information to help you with the answer.

There are so many different types and sizes of boats that you will need to figure out what you want first. The best way to try different types may be a boat club or a rental.

Plan on sleeping on the boat? You will need a slip somewhere. That requires a different type of boat than a day boat with friends and family. Then, maybe a pontoon boat would be best. The biggest part of what you get will depend upon your budget.

Slips are difficult to come by and very expensive to buy or rent. In this market I would figure out what size boat I wanted and secure a slip prior to buying the boat.
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Old 04-25-2022, 11:20 AM   #3
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First, welcome to the Forum. That's a good place to start. I agree with Tilton BB. There is a current thread about a 20' Tritoon that is a good discussion. There are others. Regardless of the request, you will get better answers if your post is specific about location. Answers will be a lot different in Moultonborough Bay, Paugus Bay or Meredith Bay. Your boating can be a lot different too. Making a connection with a local Power Squadron will give you some quick connections to a bunch of different types of boaters who can take you out and demonstrate how various boats work under varying conditions. Have fun.
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Old 04-25-2022, 02:14 PM   #4
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As others have said, location and where to keep the boat matters.

After that, my advice is to find a high quality boat that is in the range of what you *think* you would want and then use it for a couple years to find out what it is you really want.

That's almost always my approach and, if buying intelligently to begin and barring crazy circumstances, you'll always end up in a good place.

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Old 04-25-2022, 02:52 PM   #5
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if you haven't already would take the state boating course. I think it is required for any boat over 25 MPH
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Old 04-25-2022, 04:03 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the thoughts, that is very good information.
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Old 04-25-2022, 04:49 PM   #7
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A safe boater certificate is required to operate anything over 25 hp, not mph. You can get the certificate someplace else if you don't live in NH (Location Location Location) A Power Squadron or US Coast Guard certification is also accepted.
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Old 04-25-2022, 05:41 PM   #8
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Become familiar with the acronym “B O A T” and “the two best days.”
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Old 04-25-2022, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
if you haven't already would take the state boating course. I think it is required for any boat over 25 MPH
Over 25 Horsepower
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Old 04-26-2022, 06:02 AM   #10
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I don't recall the name of the company but there is a national company that charges an annual membership fee which allows you to "use" their fleet of boats. This allows you to try various types and sizes of boats. If you are starting at ground zero....this might be a good first year investment. Of course get your boating certificate first.
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Old 04-26-2022, 06:13 AM   #11
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As others have noted, you’ll need to earn a state-issued Boat Safety Certificate in order to legally operate a boat over 25 horsepower. The certificate is similar to a driver’s license in that you can earn it in any state and it is recognized nationally.

The Boat Safety Certificate does not include instruction on how to actually operate a boat; for that, you’ll need to get someone to give you hands-on instruction just like when you learned to drive a car.
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Old 04-26-2022, 07:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF-NH View Post
I don't recall the name of the company but there is a national company that charges an annual membership fee which allows you to "use" their fleet of boats. This allows you to try various types and sizes of boats. If you are starting at ground zero....this might be a good first year investment. Of course get your boating certificate first.
The largest one is the Freedom Boat Club. They have over 300 locations but none are on Winnipesaukee. In rough numbers, the last time I looked into it, initiation was about $5,500 and monthly dues are about $275.

You get unlimited boat use at your "home" club and up to 4 times a year at each other club in the system. They have a snowbird program that you pay a reduced fee but you can only use boats 6 months per year.

For the right person, when you consider insurance and depreciation, and what salt water does to your boat, it is a great deal. It would be nice to just hand the keys back to someone when you are done, and I always hated putting canvas on until I found a solution.

Last edited by TiltonBB; 04-26-2022 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 04-26-2022, 10:55 AM   #13
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As others have stated, you first must really decide on your use model for your boat....Then comes the question of where to keep it assuming your plans are not to have waterfront property.

Many things to think about:
1. Cruising
2. Water sports
3. Fishing
4. All day adventures
5. Weekend outings
6. using a on single lake or the ability to use on multiple lakes.
7. If trailer ed what will the Tow vehicle be....
8. overnight adventures
9. Number of passengers

as you answer these questions, you will start to norrow down the type or style of boat you are looking for....
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Old 04-26-2022, 02:03 PM   #14
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Default Freedom Boat Club.

Actually cheaper than owning a boat to a point. You have your choice of pontoons, bowriders, and day cruisers. Great way to try all boats!

I'm making a decision to sell and join the FBC. It is cheaper than renting my slip. No maintenance, winter storage, etc. The thing is I have an old paid-for deep v boat that is perfect on the big lake. FBC boats are a newer designs with fairly flat bottoms that can take a beating.
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Old 04-26-2022, 07:20 PM   #15
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BOAT = Break out Another Thousand

Boats over 10 years old need a lot of maintenance. Boats under 10 years old that can deal with Winni weather and other boaters are not cheap. If you're retired and can cherry pick your days, you can get by with a smaller boat. I quite enjoy my 16 foot Whaler for hanging around the south end of the lake on mid week days. Weekends and rougher weather, then I'm in a 26' bow rider which is a lot more $$$ for the boat it self, the dock to hold it, the gas to run it and the cost to store it over the winter.

All that said, if you live here, it's pretty nice to get out on the water on those nice days. If $$$ is a concern, I'd vote for a smaller bow rider (or your basic Boston Whaler) and stick to the quiet days. Leave the crazy weekends to the summa folk.
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Old 04-26-2022, 09:44 PM   #16
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Default New Boater

Day rental is a good way to get some experience and see what type of boat you prefer (e.g. pontoon, bow rider, etc.). If you can, rent on a weekday. Weekend days are much busier on the lake. Pay attention to the wind. Heavy boat traffic and high winds are the two things that can cause boating stress. If you're planning on being in the broads on a regular basis, I would consider 21' minimum. If you can afford it, 25/26' is probably the right size. If you're up past Moultonborough Bay, smaller, low draft can be better (especially late in the season). Watch the lake level late in the season. If the lake is running low, you can easily hit rocks not marked on Bizer.
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Old 04-28-2022, 09:16 AM   #17
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We've all been where you are!

Many here have given some good advice, so no need to duplicate it.

I'd add the following:

Have a couple people, friends, etc. take you out on their boat first and 'show you around'. Most people have different viewpoints and experiences that they are happy to share. They can give you some direct advice.

Then rent a boat or two for a day and try them. I did this when first boating and it helped me appreciate the size of the lake and what a smaller boat feels like on the lake.

As an example, I happened to take a friend out on the lake one day when the wind kicked up. We rounded the southern end of Rattlesnake and then turned north to return through the broads. After this trip he had a good feeling for how conditions the lake can get, and I think he changed his mind and got a bit larger boat than he was originally considering. LOL

To end the story, my boat handled the wind and waves with no problems at all, in fact it was a fun ride back! But it did give everyone a good feeling and new respect for the lake. If someone was on a pontoon at the time, everyone would have been very uncomfortable, and probably very wet!
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Old 04-28-2022, 09:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
Actually cheaper than owning a boat to a point. You have your choice of pontoons, bowriders, and day cruisers. Great way to try all boats!

I'm making a decision to sell and join the FBC. It is cheaper than renting my slip. No maintenance, winter storage, etc. The thing is I have an old paid-for deep v boat that is perfect on the big lake. FBC boats are a newer designs with fairly flat bottoms that can take a beating.
BroadHopper, if you really start to consider selling your boat, please look me up..... I would be interested....
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