Boating in the Lowcountry By Jim Duncan

Having been boat dealers in the Charleston area since 1970, we’ve helped thousands of families take the plunge into the best pastime in the Lowcountry, boating. On a regular basis, we’ll have the man of the house make the first visit to the dealership, primed for that tricked out fishing boat.

He’s seen the numerous center consoles cruising the rivers, and dreams of a future of offshore and inshore fishing. Who could resist the call of the salt spray and landing the big one? Eventually, he gets an opportunity to bring in the rest of the family.

The plush interior and comfort offered by a runabout or deck boat draws the full attention of the family and the confusion sets in. Which boat is right for the entire family?

While the Charleston market is full of “fish” boats, the center console may not necessarily be the best fit for the entire family. The choice of a boat that fits the needs of the entire family is of utmost importance. If the buyer forces the issue and the family does not enjoy the chosen boat, it won’t be long before another used boat will find its way to the market.

Buyers should carefully consider how the boat will be used. How often will the boat be fished, if at all? What kind of fishing will be done? Certainly, if you plan on going offshore, a center console is likely the best choice. But, will the rest of the family be happy? Maybe you want to enjoy watersports, or perhaps you simply want a comfortable boat to enjoy Charleston’s beautiful waterways.

Of course, more often than not, buyers are looking for a boat that will do it all. I remind them that a ski boat doesn’t make a very good fish boat and vice a versa. If you plan to spend most of the time cruising and enjoying family time, while fishing occasionally, there are many options from which to choose.

Consider a runabout with plenty of storage for the fishing gear. It will offer the comfort and ski ability that the family desires while offering the occasional opportunity for fishing. After all, you can fish from a bridge or pier, why not a runabout?

Now, if your fishing experience will be more frequent in the rivers and lakes, consider a fish and ski combo package or a deck boat with a fishing package option. These boats offer plenty of comfort and water sports amenities, while providing the necessary requirements of the frequent angler.

Center consoles and bay boats are built primarily for the avid angler with all of the amenities expected for true inshore and offshore fishing.
The size of the boat is often a compromise between budget, use, storage and capacity.

If you are going to keep the boat in a garage, you will certainly need a smaller boat, say 16-17 feet. How many people will normally cruise with you? Be sure to consider all of the new friends that you will take along. Also, consider where the boat will be used.

Charleston has many rivers and tributaries which can be easily enjoyed with a smaller boat. But, if you want to venture into the harbor or offshore, you are going to need a bigger boat.

The most important decision for the potential buyer may just be the choice of a dealer to help navigate the various choices and help find the proper boat that will fill all of the needs of the family.

At Duncan’s Boats, we pride ourselves on just that. With a professional staff of salespeople who live the boating lifestyle their entire lives, we will spend the time to understand how you plan to use your boat and will help you find the right boat of your dreams. After all, if you don’t come to terms with the right boat for the family, you may have to continue fishing from the bridge.

A fantastic resource to help you decide which type of boat is right for your family is the interactive website, Discover

Jim Duncan / Duncan’s Boats