Boat Buying Guide - How to decide among all the options.

A new boat purchase is not an everyday activity.  Just like automobiles, boats depreciate quickly with that first scratch.  In addition, future modifications can be costly. So, knowing the right questions up front is the best way to finding the boat that will make enjoyable days on the water for years to come.

Question #1:  What is the primary activity the boat will be used for?

WFC Answer: While most boats can serve several functions, no boat can do everything well.  While every Riverhawk is lightweight, has shallow draft, and is exceptionally stable (for their size) - these characteristics come with a cost.  The reverse-chine design that creates stability also creates an environment which allows "hull-slap" from choppy water.  For a fiberglass boat, they are very lightweight, but not light enough to be carried around like a kayak.  Most of the boats have a flat-bottom planing hull, which allows them to get in very shallow water, but be prepared to slow down when crossing choppy bays and lakes.  These boats are made for functionality and hand-crafted for years of use.  Don't expect chrome and the perfect corners that a $10,000 boat has.

Question #2:  How many people do I want to carry?

WFC Answer:  This is the best question to determine the basic model you want to consider.  The Duck Call is a perfect solution for 1 hunter and 1 dog (or kid). For 2 adults, any of the other models should handle well.  Once you get to 3 adults, we recommend the B-52 or larger.  Throwing a kid in the equation changes things.  Two adults and one child can fit comfortably in a 15' Original, but you won't have tons of gear room.  Along those lines, a B-52 with three adults will work, but don't expect to host a dance party. 

Along those same lines, a bigger boat can handle bigger water.  If you'll be hitting the saltwater or some of the larger reservoirs, consider the 1678 Exocet or 1786 Bayhawk instead of a B-60.  Going up a size may increase costs, but those dollars will be forgotten quickly in 3-4' waves with a 20mph headwind.  Even these bigger boats can easily be pulled behind a crossover SUV.

Question #3:  Where does the power come from?

WFC Answer:  Depending on where you're going to use the boat, you have a choice between three modes of thrust: A) paddle, B) trolling motor, and C) outboard.  With the latter two, you can then decide on how much power you want.  A 13 or 15' Original can easily be moved with the use of canoe paddles.  A B-52 works well if there are two paddlers, but not one.  The bigger models can easily be steered with a paddle, but they are big enough that you wouldn't want to have to paddle upstream very far.  A 1786 Bayhawk is designed around the outboard, though it could operate easily with a large trolling motor.

Think twice, build once! As always, we're here to provide honest answers.  While this is a very short guide, hopefully it will get you thinking about what you want before you start making decisions.  Please do not hesitate to call with specific questions.  We offer these boats because they provide a solid solution for getting out on the water at an affordable cost. 

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