Originally Posted by Art
Best to do to gain access for broad “opinions”... 1st / 2nd hand whatever..., in addition to reading printed lit on boats/engines/etc, is come to TF and/or other forums and ask questions. Then listen/read well; discern who/what you think is truthful and make your best judged opinion from all the info combined. Only other way I know is to be in a situation yourself and have personally learned the experience. The folks who offer "opinions" usually have gained their knowledge from years/decades of personal experience and watching/listening-to others. Reason the web is so great a place to find info is because NO ONE person knows it all about anything – boats very much included. But on the web - - > Sum culmination of everyone's experience is greater than the parts!
Very well put Art
Overall I've received my best interactive
general boating advice at TF. That stated it has played about an honest 5 to maybe 10% tops total of our decision as to what is best for us. You don't have to be a member of a forum to learn a lot from one. Discernment of information is the most important thing about on-line wisdom.
Better still is to get on the water or walk the docks and make observations. Ask questions then make sure you shut up and listen to the answers. Climb on boats and look in the bilge. First thing I look at is the engine room, it really tells the entire story if you listen to what it wants to tell you about the boat and PO. Next is the plumbing and electrical.
The appeal of TF to me at least is the broad range of the participant members. Yachts to dinghy's, full time live aboard to trailer boats and dang near everything in between it seems. Check writing to DIY, the options are truly limitless and all the different members add to the brew for best advice. What's best for one is dead wrong for another and vice-versa.
The single best source of boat information to this point has been my wife. She doesn't know port from starboard and frankly can care less about the difference. However she does know what she likes and dislikes and ultimately that is what's most important to us. Not the brand name on the registration.