No Fluke

Boat show this weekend


So you want to buy a boat. You are in luck. It is the perfect time of year as sellers of used boats are anxious to sell and boat show specials are available on new boats. Like those at the Rhode Island Boat Show taking place this weekend at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Show hours on Friday, January 4, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday, January 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, January 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association is no longer sponsoring this winter show. It is now sponsored by Wood Boat & Motor, Inc. of Warwick. The three day event will feature a wide variety of watercraft to suit the needs of both saltwater and freshwater enthusiasts and fishermen. In addition to boat sales, the show will feature vendors offering products from custom rods and marine services to boat repairs, accessories, T-tops, rails, trailers, and safety products.

Admission to the show is $5. On Sunday all women admitted for free and children under 12 will be free throughout the show. For information on The Rhode Island Boat Show visit

Tips on boat buying… first determine use and boat type

First, determine what you want to use a boat for…water skiing, sailing, fishing, family outings, swimming, weekend cursing or a combination. The use of the vessel will dictate the type of boat you buy. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has a great online tool at to help identify needs and suitable boat types. It is helpful to determine boat type early in your search because it points you in the right direction…which boats to see at the boat show, do internet research on, or which boat dealers to visit.

Test drive

Most importantly, before you purchase, take your desired boat for a test run. If possible, test the boat under adverse conditions so you get a feel for how it handles. Operate the boat in the mode you are likely to use often i.e. fast speeds if you plan to ski, slow speeds if you fish and often troll.
Test drives are important. Just like a car, how do you know how it feels unless you drive it? Dealers often have demonstration days or weekends. They are generally prepared to take you for a test drive on a number of different boats. Used boats are just as important (if not more so) to test drive to make sure all is in working order. Taking a mechanic with you to test the engine is common and if being surveyed by a professional the boat will likely be test driven and tested by the certified surveyor.

Should you buy new or used boat?

Like automobiles, new boats come with warrantees. If something goes wrong (and with boats something often goes wrong) you want a warrantee behind you. Old boats have a high frequency of repair and you may need more time to prepare for the season. A higher frequency of repair means more time off the water which is something I try to avoid at all costs. If you are not a handy person and do not enjoy repairing things an old boat may not be for you.
Used boats also cost less which is a big advantage; however, they may need updates or repairs. So, consider these costs in addition to the purchase price.

Boat surveys

A helpful way to determine repair cost on a used boat 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). Surveys will not only tell you what is wrong (and right) about the boat but they give you estimates on repairs which can be used in price negotiations.

A survey on a used boat I bought six years ago allowed me the opportunity to have several repairs made to the vessel at the owner’s expense before I took possession of the boat.

Fly tying seminar at Fin & Feather Outfitters

Ed Lombardo, noted local fly fishermen and instructor, will hold a fly tying presentation Wednesday, January 9, 6:30 p.m. at Fin & Feather Outfitters, 35 Quaker Lane, North Kingstown. Lombardo will be demonstrating how to tie saltwater flies while projecting the demonstration on a large 40” screen/monitor. Call 401/316-6924 for information.

Where’s the bite?

Cod and haddock. Party boats sailing for cod and haddock this time of year include the Frances Fleet at, the Seven B’s at, and the Island Current at

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing 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. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at or visit his website at

Capt. Dave Monti

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.