Here are resources to help you decide what's best for you.
What type and size boat fits you? If you already enjoy boating, you probably know if you are a "stinkpot" lover or a sailor at heart. But you may not yet know just which type and size boat will meet your recreational goals--or fit your budget. The sites below can help you consider all the options.
A tip if you're not a boater yet, or can't decide whether you want to sail or motor: Becoming part of a local boating club before you buy is a smart thing to do. Become involved with the right group, and you'll learn about all types of boats, learn how to become a good crew member, and generally gain your "sea legs." The links below under "Find a boat club" can help you find one in your area.
Boat Types, a page from discoverboating.com, provides a short description and sketch of 32 types of power boats and sailboats.
Boating Activities. From fishing to skiing to cruising or day sailing, discoverboating.com lists boats suitable for a variety of activities.
"Finding the boat that fits." This article raises questions to consider in choosing the right boat. It's from Boat U.S., the Boat Owners Association of the United States (boatus.com)
discoversailing This site from SailAmerica.com bills itself as a "convenient way to get connected to the world of sailing." It offers the Sailboat Wizard, a questionnaire that may help you determine what type sailboat fits your interests and budget.
US Sailing, the national governing body of sailing in the United States, provides an opportunity to "Learn to Sail with US Sailing" that includes a discussion of different types of sailboats and other resources.
"The Sailing Life and You: Choosing the Right Boat" by Tom Linskey, published by Sail Magazine and available online on Discover Sailing, profiles three popular types of boats--off-the-beach boats, day sailors, and coastal cruisers.
discoverboating.com Sponsored by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, this site offers introductory information and numerous articles about power boating, links to other power boating sites, an international calendar of boat shows, and other information on safety, maintenance, and boat owners education.
The Council of Sailing Associations provides lists by state of sailing clubs, yacht clubs and other member organizations.
United States Power Squadrons is a non-profit organization of boating enthusiasts who emphasize boating education and service to the community. Members belong to many local power and sail squadrons. They provide a search program to help you locate local squadrons.
BoatLinks.com lists yacht, sail, fish, and power boat clubs.
In addition there are hundreds of boating clubs with a Web presence. A good way to locate other clubs near you is to enter "boating clubs" plus the name of your city and state on the search line of your favorite search engine.