5 Basics to Buying a Pontoon Boat
Buying a boat is a tough decision… We know.
It’s like buying your first new vehicle, although most of the sales pitches with boat salesmen probably sound like complete gibberish to you, whereas the vehicle process is pretty straight forward. I mean, everybody has purchased a vehicle sometime during their adulthood, so you have the right amount of influence around you during that process. With boats, the influences can sometimes be overwhelming – leading to a stressful ordeal, typically leaving you without a boat again for the summer.
So, I’m going to help you out. And even if you are a seasoned boat owner, this information may be of value to you. At least you can pass this along to that couple that’s been hopping on your boat for three summers now, and doesn’t feel comfortable buying one of their own. Isn’t it time for your kids to get their own boat?
With that being said, consider these 5 Basic Fundamentals to Boat Buying:
1. Know your lake, know your size –
The first step in boat buying, pontoon or not, requires the consumer to know the lake at which they plan to do the most boating. Know your anchorage, requirements, restrictions, and so forth. Take a glance at the boats docked on that given lake. Realize that if they have a big boat, you will need a big boat. Smaller, local lakes are typically ideal for pontoons 18-22’ in length (generally speaking). Bigger lakes, with constant weekend activity, are more ideal for your pontoons 23-26’ in length. Beyond that, you should consider adding the third tube (what most call a tritoon). This gives you more lift on the water, and often, a better turning radius.
2. Loungers, Cruisers or Fun Seekers? –
The pontoon boat industry continues to grow for many reasons. One, being the multipurpose functions. Pontoon boats are no longer recognized as no-wake deck floats. They serve a variety of people and activities. There are almost too many reasons to buy a pontoon boat, so you need to narrow it down. Are you looking for something to fish with, equipped with live-wells, rod holders and bucket seats? Do you intend to hold up to 15 people at a high-cruising speed? Or – Are you looking to pull skiers and tubers, while adding along a diving board and sports tower? These are all options to factor in the decision-making process. Most pontoon boats are built for a specific consumer. Capacity, motor size, floor layouts, and structure can all influence a boat’s effectiveness for your desires.
3. Options + Motor = PRICE –
The first question I always get from prospective boat buyers on our property is generally something like this: “Why is boat X this amount of dollars, but boat Y only this amount of dollars?” That question, while absolutely valid, usually gets answered by me discussing each boat’s options and max motor size. You see, when you shop from dealer-to-dealer, prices aren’t always going to be 100% accurate during comparisons. For instance, our dealership may have a 24’ pontoon boat with similar options to one of our competitors. Our boat may look like it cost $5,000 more, BUT the key is to look at which motor is included with that specific model. Maybe our boat comes with a 150HP motor, while the competitor’s was only listed for a 75HP motor. This can make all the difference when dealers are trying to sell you on price. Make sure you’re getting the motor to fit your needs. Options + Motor size tend to drive up the price. Know what options you are needing on your boat, and make sure the included motor on that price tag will get the job done!
4. The trailer… –
Yet another factor to consider during price evaluations is the trailer. The trailer, while needed in most buyers’ circumstances, is not always included in the listed price. The reason behind that is nobody wants to pay for something they don’t need. Not everyone uses a trailer, so why should they have to see a price tag $3,000 more than they are anticipating? It is much easier to add on the price of the trailer to the buy order, than to remove it. And, in some cases (as we do), the dealer will do a free delivery to the recipient’s lake or home. Some trailers are more unique than others, so keep an eye on that during the buying process as well.
5. Sustainability or Affordability? –
Of course there’s a happy medium, BUT it can’t always be found. With pontoon boats, there’s a big decision to be made: Are we buying for NOW or for the FUTURE? Financial rates for your boat can be dreadful to see for the first time. Not everyone NEEDS a boat – this is a luxury item. So, if you’re purchasing a luxury item, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’re getting something that’s going to hold its superior quality? Sure, you can save a few thousand by going with the mass-produced float. But, we wouldn’t recommend that. You’re either going to be paying those thousands back in performance issues or not getting something that you and your family are truly content with. When shopping around, go tug on the deck supports, lift the seat cushions, see the framing, notice the details surrounding the boat. Does the manufacturer sell a product or an experience?
Good luck this season, and thank you for reading! If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email at Lucas@KCWatersports.com – I’d be glad to hear your thoughts and to discuss this topic further.
If you have visited us since Free for All, you are well aware of our situation out here. The goats are flocking at an all-time rate. Well, I guess there are only three of them. If you have been fortunate enough to see the goats, or even pet them, that's great! But, I caught up with Colby, as he was running the cable, & he filled me in on the situation at-hand.
Colby says the goats are temporary. We were fortunate enough to have the Zook family lend these goats to us for the summer. If you haven't visited us this summer, then you may be interested in seeing goats planted on an island in the middle of our cable lake. It's a pretty neat thing. In fact, during the transporting process, I had the privilege of seeing goats on a boat for the first time in my life. I guess there's a first time for everything...
The three goats nibble away at the grass & weeds on a daily basis. Their boundaries provide hydration. Luke Skywalker, Jack Black and Mike Tyson have had their fair share of sun this summer. Fortunately, they still have a shelter, equipped with water bowls and organic food- pretty nice right?!
It's obvious that these Nubies (Nubian-bred) are stoked with their arrangements. The photo above says it all. Colby, in his unbiased opinion, explains how this breed is so wonderful. The male dairy goats are very well mannered. He seems confident that they originated in Nigeria. For now, and hopefully many more summers to come, the goats lay their horns in Kansas. I would like to see them ride the cable at some point...
Come check out our new line of boats and pet the goats!
The Sun, the Shovels and the Sand
In the midst of a humid, 90-degree-plus day out here at KC Watersports, stood two men atop several truckloads of sand, at the northwest corner of our full-size cable lake.
The men let gravity do the work.
Darren & Tyler, with one effective shovel & one not-so-effective shovel, did their best to scrape away one level at a time, inching closer toward the water. The soon-to-be beach had its initial laying today, although Darren says there will need to be much more sand- which should arrive this week.
Now, you may be wondering why this is worthy of receiving our weekly blog topic. Understood. Let me explain...
The truckloads of sand were brought in by season-pass holder, Branden Powell, to supply us our beach. Sure, we already have a large beach on the south end of the lake, but this one is going to be special. The beach, although smaller & farther away in distance, will be your pathway to our new INFLATABLES! The inflatables currently sit through customs, as we anticipate a soft-opening date sometime within the next week.
I went outside to see how Chevy the Dog was dealing with the arrival of sand on his premises.
He opted not to comment on the matter. Although, I noticed the slightest trace of sand around his ankles, so I'm convinced he's stoked.
Colby, who's had his fair-share of time in the sand within the past week while visiting Florida, had this to say, "Right now it's just a big pile of sand. But, it's the start to something incredible."
I'm convinced Colby is stoked too, as are the rest of us here at KC Watersports.
Check out our "INFLATABLES" tab for up-to-date news on the inflatables!
Chevy the Park Dog
If you are fortunate enough to come see us this summer, then you may come upon a big, wet dog donning a red collar, most likely tangled up by a tow-line around some picnic table. The dog's name is Chevy. He is, indeed, friendly, & enjoys a good scratchin' around his neck from time-to-time.
I had my first encounter with Chevy a few weeks ago. Our meeting was brief, as he does not speak yet. Chevy is less than a year old and still spills his water bowl every half-hour. So, I approached our manager, Darren, who is Chevy's owner.
Chevy, named after screen-actor Chevy Chase, was born in western Kansas. When Darren was on the lookout for a new puppy, he almost brought home two of Chevy's breed. The other was to be named Chase. However, Darren soon realized that taking care of just one of these Husky, St. Bernard, German Shepherd mixes, would be quite the handful. So, Darren brings Chevy to work with him almost every day.
Like I said, when you come and see us this season, you're likely to see Chevy. His first birthday is June 20th, so maybe he will talk that day. A lot of the kids around here blame his silence on my approach to the young dog, as they say he speaks for them all the time. The kids love Chevy.
"He's an awesome dog," says frequent rider, Kaiden.
His older brother, Brett, uses "Playful" to describe Chevy in one word.
Nonetheless, Chevy is just like any of us up here at KC Watersports- approachable, active & constantly wanting to get in the water. Maybe you can get him to talk, now that you have the scoop on his youthful, puppy life.
What is it that we do during the winter months? Much to contrary belief we do not spend our days taking face shots of fresh powder in Colorado. While our minds may be there more often than not, the winter is time for us to reboot and get everything into place for the next season. We are working on some big things and are excited to start sharing some of them with you.
Here are just a few of the new things for the 2015 season at KC Watersports:
Crazy amazing new products from all of your favorite brands like Liquid Force & Body Glove
Expanded boat inventory
New features in the cable lake (yes that is plural meaning more than 1)
More boat demos and chances to get behind the all new MasterCraft X-20
Enhancements to events & competitions (aka bigger prizes and tons more fun)
Don't let the winter get you down spring in only a little over 4 weeks away & we open in only 6 weeks.
We would love to hear your feedback so give us call or shoot us an email with any ideas you have for us.
Cheers to 10 Years
This was the night we had all had been waiting for, the celebration of the summer. The time had finally arrived for our highly anticipated 10th year birthday party. Michelle and I had been planning all summer long for our last, but biggest event yet. Needless to say, we were up for the challenge of creating the funnest birthday party any of our guests had ever seen. And that, we did.
Over 200 party people showed up to ride, relax, and rock the night away to our awesome DJ, Danny. The cable spun boarders, wakes skaters, knee boarders, and even tubes that day! The lazy river was a total hit. The word, “lazy”, however, was a little deceiving. I must admit that I did have to brace myself for the wild n' wet ride around the corners. Unfortunately I did get kicked off once...or twice.(yes, I might have tried to stand on the tube like a boarder). But, it was the most fun I had had all summer. Truly, a highlight.
Our homemade slip n slide was our second greatest hit, especially for the kids. I snapped a few shots of the youngins flying down it at a hundred,+ miles per hour. At my attempt, I barely made it half way at less than a mile per hour. Apparently I was “too big” to catch the current. Oh well, I still got some hilarious photos of the kids.
I wanted to send out a special thank you to DJ Danny. He kept the music family friendly, but still fun. Later on, I really enjoyed getting down to the dubstep and trap beats. He has some awesome taste in music! His setup right next to the bar really helped get the party bumpin' and our $10 buckets of beer flowin'. Thank you for the show, Danny!
As the night came to a close, a bittersweet vibe filled the air around me. I couldn't have asked for a better finale to end an epic summer with the KC Watersports family. A summer internship full of lakeage, new friendships, adventure, and riding. It truly doesn't get much better than that. Not only is life better at the lake, but so are internships.
Live to ride & ride to live,
The One and Only
Ty Morlang everyone. KCW was blessed enough to have this guy being homeless at our cable for a few weeks. He was the live in grounds keeper/cable operator/handy man. For just being a local bro, Ty can sure wear a lot of hats, and he does all of it with a smile.
This guy loves to wakeskate. He kills it every lap. And if he does not get a trick, he literally runs back to the dock until he lands it. Talk about determination. This guy is going to make it as a pro; I know it. He has what it takes. Motivation, determination, and passion run through this kids blood. Ty does it all with a smile.
I had the opportunity to photograph this guy, which was awesome. He throws down some sick laps. Even better though, I had the opportunity to hang with this dude. We had a few brat and lime nights. We did a little zen gardening. Paddle boarding at midnight, and working on new rails together. I am inspired by his lifestyle. He truly lives the motto "get what you want out of life." He is doing everything that he can in order to do what he loves. Wakeskate.
Maybe Ty, just maybe one day I will get off the dock on a wakeskate. I reckon I will also start making sure I get what I want out of life, because it is way too short not to work hard to achieve your dreams!
Roof Top Rail
Here it is! It is finally done. We built the 'up' and then hooked on the 'down'. Completing the roof top. Thanks to all the cable bros working hard, and special thanks to Ty and Collin, who helped us put this thing together and get it floating!
Like I said with the mini craft. It is not hard to get the guys stoked up to hit a feature so I can get some video. Lake life is pretty mellow, but when something new gets floated it is the talk of the cable for a few weeks. All you hear is "What have you thrown on it?", "Dude, check out this trick!", and the classic "I just hit my head so hard."
New features bring us together because we all want to shred it together…. who am I kidding. The guys just want to see who can throw down the best trick and get bragging rights.
So who is it? Whats your best on the roof top??
The mini craft we put in the water the first week of July. I love making these edits because riders get stoked to show off their tricks in front of the camera. I just walk along the dock and get people excited to hit a certain feature and then my job is easy once people start showing their stuff!
This is the perfect little kicker for everyone. The kids in this video are day camp riders who have never hit a ramp before. They all got excited though and started hitting it for me, when I said I needed to make a video. And, the old dudes always loving showing off for me!
Cable vs. Boat
Shredding is shredding, right? No doubt. The satisfaction of flying through the water or landing a new trick carries over from boat to cable. So what's the hold up? I've noticed many up and coming boarders sensing some intimidation with the added element of the cable. I have come up with a few reasons to boost your confidence in the cable so that you can finally give it a go.
Calling all hesitant riders! Don't wait another day! Broaden your wakeboarding horizons and give it a go. All great journeys begin with one small step. Head on out, the cable is awaiting you. Live to ride and ride to live.