"One of the nicer sail boats we have is this 31' C & C. It's sailed back and forth to Ireland twice… it is a great boat and a great value." said Capt. Ray Roberts, boat manger, of the URI Foundation Boat Donation & Sales Program. Roberts said, "I tell anyone interested in a boat to bring a lunch and sit on the boat, make a list of all the things you hate about the boat, and then we talk about the price."
Teri Woodbine is the URI Foundation staff person managing the Boat Donation and Sales Program and this Saturday was their Annual Spring Open House. Teri said, "We sold about fifty boats last year and this year we started with 61 and are now down to 38 but boats come in all the time. About half are power boats and half sail boats."
The URI Foundation Boat Donation & Sales Program has been in existence for over thirty years. Donated boats are offered to various marine-oriented departments at the University and if no use is found, they sell the boat and place the money into an endowment for support of marine related programs. Donors can also specify a University programmatic end use. And, those donating their boat generally benefit from a charitable tax deduction.
For those looking to purchase a boat, power and sail boats in all price ranges are available. Like the 1987 Four Winns 21.5' for sale for $4,250. Capt. Roberts said, "This boat is in great condition. The owners were so particular they insisted on bringing it here themselves so it would not get damaged. It has a 175 HP V6 Mercurser inboard/outboard engine."
Teri Woodbine said that they have a brochure with current inventory and prices for buyers and they take in donated vessel and sell them all year round. Their yard, where you can see inventory by appointment, is at the URI Bay Campus on South Ferry Road, Narragansett. They can be reached at 401.874.5273 or visit them at www.uri.foundation.org.
How to buy a boat
One of the first steps to buying a boat is determining what you want to use a boat for i.e. what type of fishing, family outings, swimming, overnight or day cruising or a combination of uses. The use of the vessel will dictate the type of boat you should buy. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has a great online tool to help you determine the type of boat you might be interested in. It can be found at www.discoverboating.com. This web site will ask you the intended use and relate the advantages and disadvantages of each boat type recommended.
Should you buy new or used
Another major decision in the boat selection process is whether to buy a new or used boat. Used boats cost less and are an option for those who are uncertain about boat use. A used boat is also a good option for those who cannot afford to purchase new. Make sure you add the cost of repairs to the purchase price of used boats. A helpful way to determine repair cost is to commission a boat survey. A boat survey is similar to a home inspection. Surveys are conducted by certified surveyors who closely examine the vessels hull, structure, electrical system and engine(s). Engine tests are conducted and running time hours are verified. Surveys but can give you estimates on repairs which you can use to negotiate the sale price.
Like automobiles, new boats come with warrantees. If something goes wrong (and with boats something often goes wrong) you want a warrantee behind you. New boats and warrantees are important, particularly if you do not want to spend your time repairing and restoring a boat yourself. Often times old boats need more time to prepare for the season and will have a greater frequency of repair due to their age. A higher frequency of repair means more time off the water. So there are trade-offs between new and used boats.
Test drive if possible
Before you purchase a boat, if possible, take it for a test run under the conditions you intend to use the boat. For example, I like to troll at a slow speed at or below two miles per hour. So, when I test drive a boat I want to see how it runs at two miles an hour, at recommended cruising speeds and how it handles rough seas.
RISAA seminar Monday, April 29
The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) will hold a seminar Monday, April 29, 7:00 p.m., at the West Valley Inn, West Warwick on weather for boaters and fishermen with meteorologist Fred Campagna. Mr. Campagna is former chief meteorologist at WLNE-TV ABC6 in Providence and currently owns his own weather service, Right Weather. Also at the seminar, RISAA members Roger and Sue Lema will speak on fishing for striped bass during the annual worm hatches in South County. Capt. Dave Porreca will also speak about fishing the cider worm hatches… with fly fishing gear. Non-members are requested to make a $10 donation to the RISAA scholarship fund, members attend free. The event will be preceded by dinner paid separately and served by the West Valley Inn starting at 5:30 p.m.
Free seminar… Fly Tying in America, Sunday, May 5
On Sunday, May 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Wayside Inn, 72 Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury, MA the United Fly Tyers and New England Fly Tyers will demonstrate fly trying skills and teach fly tying to veterans, breast cancer survivors, children and adults. Project Healing Waters and Casting for Recovery will be at the event to answer questions. The "Bug Man", Bob McMenemy, a trout stream entomology enthusiast, will be on hand with live aquatic insects. For information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Where's the bite
Tautog fishing got off to a slow start last week. Many suspect that the water is still too cold. I fished at General Rock, North Kingstown for about a half hour after launching my boat for the season this past Tuesday and didn't get a bite. The surface temperature of the water was 47 degrees. Nicholas DeRosa wrote on the RISAA blog, "Folks, I'm doing a scuba class with Steve and Deb of Scuba Made Easy of Jamestown who dive multiple times a week off the Island and they say they have seen zero fish yet this spring, water is too cold still, will be a late start this year." Bob Chew reports, "Fished for a short time (Monday) at the Stone Bridge (on the Sakonnet River) from 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. today and although I did not catch anything, I saw four large tautog caught and worms seemed to outfish crabs."
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain's master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Visit Captain Dave's No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com; his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him at email@example.com.