The Research

You have to remember I'm a complete novice! I do not really know what I'm looking for, but I spent the weekend going round local boat yards trying to pick the brains of the salespeople.

One thing I have picked up on already....There are many different types of boats, and there are many combinations of boats to engine; On the one hand you have little cabin cruisers with 6hp outboard engines, and on the other you can find the very same boat with a 100hp outboard.

So I had to find out why there are so many different engine sizes, the benefits of each, and which one I should go for. Obviously the bigger the engine, the more power the boat has, but what else?

This is what I found out:

Engines:

There are two main types; inboard and outboard. Inboard engines are engines that are, well, locked away in a cupboard in the back of the boat, with a concealed shaft and a neat propeller that hangs off the back of the boat and into the water. Outboards are self-contained units that bolt to the back of the boat, with a shaft that lowers down into the water to which a propellor is atatched.

There are also some different types of engines; jet engines for instance are available but are not within my bidget so I will not worry about them at this point!

The smallest engine I found was a 2.5 hp, the largest was 160hp.

Boats:

The types of boat I found were speedboats, cabin cruisers and sports cruisers. From what I can gather, the definition of a speedboat is a streamlined shape, and no cabin. A cabin cruiser seems to be a boat with at least one cabin, but not necessarily aimed at the sports market; more your river cruising boat. Finally, a sports cruiser is a speedboat, with at least one cabin!



Trailers:

A trailer is an important factor to me, as I will want to drag my boat around the country to try different locations. I know that people back at the office will want me to review some UK waters, so a decent trailer is a must.

I have found boats with single, and twin axle trailers (2 wheels, and 4 wheels). Either way, I have learnt that whatever trailer my boat comes with, it will need to have brakes. Towing a boat can be dangerous, and in many places a trailer without brakes is illegal!



The shortlist:

Well, so far, so good (I think!). I have decided that a sports cruiser wets my appetite the most. I came to this conclusion because I would like to have somewhere safe to store all my gear, I would like to have a go at water-skiing, and if I get too carried away (or drunk!) I can always have a sleep in the cabin!

Because of my relatively low budget (a measley £1500), I will have to look at an outboard engine; I figure I need at least a 40hp outboard at a minimum, but we will see what I can get!