An optimist sees the glass as half full, while the pessimist sees it as half empty and, of course, the Chicago Cub fan is just waiting for the glass to spill. But all this talk of the poor economy is getting old and I feel a lot of the media outlets are purposely misleading us with bad information. News stations and so-called "market predictors" fully understand that doom and gloom reports make for better lead stories, but I feel it's all about perspective.
It reminds me of a story I once heard about two young boys who were each put into a room where doctors could observe what made them happy. One boy was put in a room full of toys, games and candy while the other was put into a room filled with horse manure. It wasn't long before the first boy had played with all the toys and games and had eaten all the candy and was crying for more. Meanwhile, the second boy was playing with the manure, making it into balls and tossing it all around the room. The doctors were astonished. Finally, they asked him why he was so happy in this room by himself. He said it was because he knew with that much manure in the room there had to be a pony around there somewhere!
The last few years it's been a challenge to stay positive when we've all been surrounded by some form of negativity at one time or another. When everything we read and watch is bad news, it's easy to let it affect you and your buying habits. It's not just the boating industry that has had its challenges. What I'd like to prescribe is a cruise across a lake with a little sunshine and a little fresh air to cure that doom and gloomitis. I know I've found this to be the best medicine for me and so I of course, highly recommend it.
I am an optimist, but I'm not totally blind either. I know what's happening with our economy today, but people are still buying. The biggest difference is that they're now taking the time and getting better educated before making big decisions and that's not a bad thing. It's amazing what you can do when you don't shop impulsively and that's where our annual Buyer's Guide comes in handy.
One advantage to buying today is the great deals and incentives that are being offered. Right now manufacturers are eager to earn your business and more willing than ever to work with you to make sure the boat you buy is just right for your needs. When it comes to pontoons and deck boats, it's a buyer's market and you should be taking advantage of it.
Inside the pages of this issues are biographies on the major manufacturers in our niche of the boating industry that are willing to work hard to compete for your recreational dollar. We've done the legwork and the heavy lifting to help you make the best decision for you and your family. It's about informed decisions, not cheap choices. We want to arm you with the information that you'll need when you hit the boat shows and dealerships this year.
The best way to do this is to turn boat shopping into a competitive sport. Like a good hunt, prepare yourself before heading out into the wild. Make a short list of manufacturers you're interested in after reading the bios in this guide as well as doing a little surfing on the Internet. Also talk to as many of the manufacturers or dealers as you can. Tell them how you intend to use the boat, what your budget is and what your recreational needs are. Listen carefully to what they say. Take notes. Collect brochures and literature and specifications. Whatever your finances, you can do it and these manufacturers and dealers can help.
One last tip. Don't be misled into thinking that you need the most expensive boat on the market to be happy. It's not the vessel that will determine your happiness; it's what you experience with it that will give you the most pleasure. I wish you the best of luck in your shopping efforts.
Brady L. Kay