Boating On A Budget
Technology can equal economy. If you thought boating was out of your range consider a light weight aluminum boat powered by a modern, clean burning, low horsepower motor.
Fishermen have long known that small aluminum boats are the thing for chasing down fish on a budget but families and singles with small vehicles have discovered that they can have a lot of fun exploring, pulling water toys and even learning to fish with small aluminum boats set up like a typical runabout.
Fifteen and sixteen foot boats with a modest group of options will weigh well under 500 lbs. Add a motor, trailer and gear and the towed weight will be less than 1000 lbs. Boaters who stay light will go fast with less horsepower, spend less on gas for the boat and their vehicle. With less money invested in boat and motor, typically payments and insurance costs are less. Less expense per outing can mean more outings.
A recent two days on the water, in a fifteen foot Duroboat ( Picture) used less than a single 6 gallon tank of fuel. Some large boats burn that or more every hour. At cruising and sightseeing speeds the fuel use was quite minimal. Pulling tubes at 15 to 20 MPH or skipping over waves at 30 mph uses a bit more fuel but not close to what a 2500 to 5000 lb runabout might use performing those same tasks.
Light aluminum boats would never satisfy a serious skier or wakeboard enthusiast but for pulling kids on water toys they are perfect. Aluminum boats are easy to trailer, easy to launch and easy to maintain. In an aluminum boat you feel like you are in a boat, close to the water. It is not a floating extension of your living room.
Economy can translate to Ecology. Aluminum boats last for years and pass from generation to generation but when their life is done they are recycled as efficiently as a soda can.