Best known for its 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and emerald-green waters, Panama City Beach is a boater’s paradise due to its world-class inshore and offshore fishing, wrecks for snorkeling and diving, boat-friendly dining options and numerous sandbars and islands to explore by water. This week on “Chasin’ The Sun,” Capt. Justin Leake and Capt. Travis Holeman share tips and advice on how to make shopping for the perfect boat a pleasurable experience.
“Buying a new boat is supposed to be fun,” says Justin. “So don’t let the experience seem overwhelming.”
The most important part of the boat buying process is narrowing down your main use of the boat, whether it’s fishing, cruising or a combination of both. With so many options available on the market, it’s important to determine which model best fits your lifestyle. Fishing boats, for example, sacrifice creature comforts such as cushions and cup holders in favor of rod holders and baitwells. “I want a rod holder everywhere that I’m standing so I don’t have to move when it’s time to make a cast,” says Capt. Holeman.
Along with functionality, other important considerations include hull design, storage and maintenance of the boat. Justin and Travis explain the various options, discuss the pros and cons, and offer suggestions on how to make boat ownership satisfying and fun.
“No boat does everything and the more a boat does, the less it does well,” says Justin. At the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference. “On your way back to the dock, when the sun is going down and you’re ripping along at forty miles an hour, that’s the freedom of boating,” says Travis.