4. Two Engines
When it comes to performance and efficiency, you’re better off buying a boat with one sterndrive or outboard than two of equal total horsepower. A twin rig will cost 30 to 40 percent more. There is the increased complication and expense of multiple controls, and fuel and electrical systems. The twins will also weigh about 50 percent more. Two lower units increase underwater drag, which means higher fuel consumption, often up to 20 percent. What about getting home if that one engine fails? If you’re headed far offshore, maybe that’s an issue. But for the rest of us it’s better to put our money into the proper maintenance of a single. With care, modern engines will rarely leave you stranded.
5. Televisions or Air Conditioning
If you must have both I’d suggest buying a motorhome and cruising the interstates. The idea here is to get away from the video screens that dominate our lives as substitutes for reality and be out in air that isn’t climate-controlled. Instead of watching TV, lounge on deck and read Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream. If the kids whine that they’re bored, give them a copy of The Anti-Pirate Potato Cannon...with hundreds of things for them to do around the boat. As for AC, open the damn hatch! People used to understand the health-giving qualities of sea air, so why seal yourself up in stale recirculated air? Plus you’ll need to pay around $10,000 for a noisy fuel-sucking generator to do it.
6. Spring Tuneups
Have your mechanic do a tuneup when he’s winterizing the boat in the fall and save at least an hour’s worth of billed time. Do you even need a mechanic to do the work? Do it yourself and pay only for the parts. On a small boat with outboards or sterndrives it’s a few hours’ work. You could easily save $250.
7. Shower in the Head
Unless the boat is big enough to have a separate stall in the head, don’t get a shower. Often you’ll see an enclosed head with a shower, sink and toilet all in one room. Take a shower, and afterwards you’re left with a wet head that stays damp for days. And water will always find its way into any lockers or drawers, guaranteeing a soggy roll of toilet paper.