HUNTERSVILLE – There’s a plethora of popular new boats capable of serving whatever you want to get out of a summer on the lake, like fishing, cruising, wakeboarding and sailing.
Here are five to keep an eye on if you want to drop anchor – and some cash.
• Fishing: Grady-White Freedom 335
Grady-White’s new flagship is top-of-the-line material for people seeking an excellent fishing experience. According to SaltWaterSportsman.com, it’s the largest outboard-powered dual console in the world. It’s also not cheap: The $369,265 price tag weeds out some parties. But for those in position to take the plunge, it’s as much of a one-stop shop as a fishing boat can be. The consoles have access to separate cabins, the port side doubles as a changing area and there’s a shower at the starboard. It’s 33 feet, 6 inches long and weighs 11,900 pounds. More information can be found at www.gradywhite.com.
• Sailing: Catalina 315
The Catalina 315 won Cruising World’s Best Inshore Cruiser award and is a hot commodity for inshore sailing. The $145,000 sail-away cost was Cruising World’s most affordable entry in the inshore cruising category, but the boat’s positives extend beyond good value. It’s also got an impressive comfort package, with cabin mattresses, good-sized cockpit benches, plenty of room and solid engine access making the 31-foot ship appear longer and more stately than those in its category. Visit www.catalinayachts.com for more information.
• Pontoon: Aqua Patio 250 Express
Boating Magazine waxed poetic over the Aqua Patio 250 Express, saying the pontoon “appeals to an entirely new crew. Its swooping tow tower and fiberglass seating modules eschew the boxy style typical of classic pontoons.” In other words, it’s more than a hot option because of its newness. The pontoon’s trendy design, Fiberglass seating and impressive ski locker inside the center tube make the 26-foot, 10-inch Aqua Patio 250 Express a popular choice to spend time on the water. Expect the cost to be in the $65,000-$75,000 range. Visit www.aquapatioboats.com for more details.
• Wakeboarding: Super Air Nautique G23
It doesn’t get much more user-friendly than the Super Air Nautique G23, a 23-foot long wakeboarding boat with 550 horsepower. Its features include multiple rear-facing seats, 2,850 pounds of factory ballast, a launch control system and Nau-Teak flooring, suitable for simple cleaning. Wakeboarding Magazine says it’s the best fit if “you want a true wakeboarding- and surfing-specific boat that’s as functional as it is comfortable for you and 15 friends.” The cost, $107,756, isn’t for the faint of heart, however. Visit www.nautique.com/models/super-air-nautique-g23 for more information.
• Houseboat: SkipperLiner Commander 570SL
SkipperLiner’s 57-foot-long Commander 570SL is a solid pick if you’re looking for more than just a weekend getaway on the lake. It’s got the essentials: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, a 22.5-kilowatt generator with remote controls for long-term stays, and a canopy over the top to shade you from the sun. The steel-hull boat is also one of SkipperLiner’s newest offerings. It’s powered by twin 260-horsepower MerCruiser engines. Visit www.skipperliner.com for pricing information.