Men and women often think very differently about what it means to own a boat. When I meet with couples who are considering buying a boat, I find that the partners may be coming at the decision from opposite directions. The good news is: This doesn’t have to be a conflict.
In fact, we find that we can usually help reconcile those different approaches to boating. The first step is to make sure each member of the couple understands what the other wants. The second step is to help them find the boat that fulfills both partners’ dreams.
We’re all familiar with that cliché that a boat is a “guy” thing, a way for a man to get away with his buddies, go fishing and have a beer. How many cartoons have we seen in which a man’s boat is a rival to his wife for his attention and affection?
The fact is that women love boating just as much as men do. They just tend to think of it in slightly different terms. Many of the women I meet see a boat as something to enjoy as a family, indeed as a magnet to help pull the family together. That doesn’t need to conflict with their husbands’ desires for a fishing boat.
With a little expert guidance – that’s where our sales staff comes in! – both members of a couple can find satisfaction in the boating lifestyle. More often than not, the primary reason for boating is spending time with family and friends.
One very useful exercise for us is to take a couple on a “sea trial,” an actual outing in one of the boats they are considering. It’s just like that test drive when you’re shopping for a car. This helps put any theoretical disagreements to the test by showing them the reality of how a particular model could suit them both.
Once we’re out on the water with a couple, they can discuss exactly how they would want to use a boat’s amenities. This is important, because it helps each understand what’s at stake for the other.
She may want plenty of deck space for sunbathing, or to gather family or friends for outdoor leisure, water sports or entertaining. He might want the power and seaworthiness to easily reach his favorite fishing spots, along with all the necessary gear.
One boat can, in fact, offer the best of both sides.
The sea trial has proven to be a great way to help couples reach a consensus about the investment they’re about to make. It’s not surprising that many involve their children in the process.
My advice to couples applies whether you’re considering your first-ever boat, or if you’ve already owned boats that seemed to be geared to just one party’s interests. First, talk over what it is that you want. You may just find that your ideas aren’t so different. But even if they are, at least you’ll understand what you have to resolve.
Then come talk with us. That’s when we can show you options that fit your particular budget and can satisfy everybody’s wishes. And take a sea trial, too. What’s not to like about time on the water, experiencing a taste of your new boating lifestyle?
Thom Cross is the general manager of MarineMaxWrightsville Beach. Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, MarineMax is the nation’s largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. Focused on premium brands, MarineMax sells new and used recreational boats and related marine products and services as well as provides yacht brokerage and charter services. For more information, visit www.marinemax.com, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarineMaxWrightsvilleBeach or call 910-256-8100.
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