Lake Tahoe Powerboat Buyer's Guide
Updated: Jul 20
There’s nothing quite like spending a beautiful summer day out on the lake in your own boat. Fishing, skiing, cruising–you can do any or all of them with the right craft. And while many people’s first experience with boating is through a boat rental, it’s never quite the same as having a boat to call your own.
If you’re new to the world of powerboating, or an experienced renter looking to make your first purchase, buying a new powerboat can be intimidating. There are dozens of different powerboat manufacturers to choose from, each with a wide range of models at all different price points.
It would be nearly impossible to cover every make and model in just one article. Instead, our powerboat buyer’s guide is here to provide you with a general overview of the different types of powerboats available, what they’re used for, and a couple of popular models to look at as a starting point for your research.
What Kind Of Powerboat Should I Buy?
The term “powerboat” boat typically refers to a boat anywhere from eighteen to thirty feet long with either an outboard or inboard motor. Basically, if you can put it on a trailer and it isn’t powered by sails or oars, you can probably call it a powerboat. Unfortunately, that doesn’t narrow things down a whole lot.
The best place to start if you’re considering a new powerboat purchase is to ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my new boat?”
Generally speaking, the three most popular uses for a powerboat on Lake Tahoe are:
While there are plenty of powerboats that can do all three of those things, there are also many options that are tailored for certain activities more exclusively than others.
Whether you’re a casual enthusiast or a hardcore angler, fishing boats are purpose-built to help you maximize your time on the water. Fishing boats typically include features like integrated trolling motors, flat decks, pre-installed fish finders, and dedicated fishing chairs.
Where To Start
If you’re interested in buying a fishing boat, take a look at the following manufacturers:
Keep in mind that fishing boats tend to be the most specialized of all the different types of powerboats. Using them for other types of recreation is often difficult or not possible at all.
If you’re really into either water skiing or wakeboarding, there are plenty of great options for both sports. Keep in mind, however, that the ideal water skiing boat is one that produces very little wake, while the best boats for wakeboarding are designed to do the exact opposite.
Where To Start
If you’re looking for a water ski and/or wakeboarding boat, consider the following brands:
Remember: the number of people on board will have a direct impact on the size of the wake your boat creates. For water skiing, the fewer people on board, the better. For wakeboarding, more people create a larger wake, as long as the boat is powerful enough.
Cruising & Camping Boats
Boats in this category are often “all-around” types of general purpose power boats that can be used for almost any activity. Unlike fishing and tow boats, the most important criteria for most people looking for these kinds of boats is cabin/cockpit size, comfort, and storage space.
Where To Start:
If you’re looking for a great all-around power boat to do a little bit of everything, consider the following makers:
If you plan on spending the night aboard your boat, make sure you look for one that has a cabin with enough room for you and any others that want to sleep aboard. If you plan on anchoring and spending nights ashore, look for a boat with enough storage space for all your gear.
Where Can I Take My New Boat?
While Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular boating destinations in the Sacramento and El Dorado Hills area, there are a few other great boating spots to consider as well.
Folsom Lake State Recreational Area is just a short drive east of Sacramento and offers many of the same attractions for boaters that Lake Tahoe does. A single-day boating permit costs $22, and that gives you access to over eleven thousand acres of water and seventy-five miles of shoreline.
Finally, the California Delta offers boating enthusiasts over a thousand miles of waterways and year-round access to popular activities. For anglers, striped-bass fishing reaches its peak during May and November, when the fish migrate through the Delta en masse.
Where Can I Keep My Boat?
Keeping a new boat in a clean, secure space is a challenge for many boat owners. If you like the idea of owning a boat, but don’t have the space (or desire) to store it at home, all is not lost.
At GoldKey Marine, we offer a full range of boat storage, maintenance, and hauling services to give you all the joys of boat ownership, but with none of the hassle. Our indoor storage facility can accommodate vessels up to forty-two feet long. And because it’s indoor storage, you don’t have to worry about weather, sun damage, theft, or vandalism.