This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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There once was a time when only the wealthy could buy a new boat. Eventually, the upper class and even the upper-middle class moved into the boating world and had the chance to enjoy the water on their own watercraft. Boating was a “dream” pastime that people had to sacrifice in order to achieve. Now, thanks to the sacrifice of Vic Castelli, working tirelessly, we have a future where affordable boats may be on the radar for people of all social classes, not just those with 10’s of thousands in disposable income. With the advent of the Hulltimate boat system, anyone can get on the water with whatever sized boat they need.
Vic was a basketball player in college and a member of the Canadian Airforce. I know, this sounds like an odd place for a story about boats to begin. One day, Bic was playing at the world masters championship and he had a game-winning shot over Eric Leckner of the NBA. For Vic and his friends, this was a reason to celebrate. The design for the boat started at the bar, which many of these stories often do. While celebrating with friends, Vic met a young lady who was a world-class rower. As the conversation went on, he was challenged to beat her time. This began Vic’s love for boats. (he won the race).
After this odd series of events, Vic went on to build his own boat. He was also the fastest indoor rower in his age class at 39. This gave him the inspiration to bring boating to the masses. As a boater, he had the knowledge. As a pilot he had the time and the funds to work on the project, it was a match made in heaven. Soon, Vic was well on his way to developing the Hulltimate Boat system.
Getting out on the water is fun, but it can be cost-prohibitive. A new boat can cost anywhere from $20,000 for a good bass boat to billions of dollars for a mega yacht. This puts many of us out of the lower range of owning a new boat and almost all of us out of the range of owning one of the big ones. Vic asked the big question of “Why?” Why shouldn’t everyone be able to own a boat, and to enjoy the water with their friends and family?
In answering this question, Vic looked at the real cost of owning a boat. Even a second-hand boat is going to run you around $5,000 for a cheaper boat; about the same as a used car. But the included costs are much more. First of all, you have to have somewhere to store it. In cold weather, you need to take it out of the water for the winter (which can be pricey). In warm weather, you still have to pay for the berth or transport it back and forth. Transportation can be expensive as the trailer can cost half as much as the boat, plus you need a vehicle big enough to haul it. And then there is maintenance.
The Hulltimate system deals with each of these problems in turn. The cost of the boat is just north of $1,000 for the basic boat. The parts are all modular and can be disassembled. You can haul the boat on your roof rack or in the back seat of a midsized car. If you do have a problem with it breaking, the parts can be replaced inexpensively because of the modularity. Even better, you can take it apart and store it pretty much anywhere.
So, the Hulltimate system is inexpensive, easy to store, and easy to transport. What makes it different from one of those rubber rafts that you get at Wal-Mart or Big Lots? First of all, rafts are not great for partying or fishing. One chubby friend leaning too far out and you capsize. One fishing hook in the rubber and you have a sinking boat. Rubber rafts are great for rafting, but not really for relaxing on the water. Hulltimate fixes these problems by bringing a real boat to people for an affordable price.
First of all, if you have two guys that are 250lbs, then your little rubber raft is going to be taking on water. Even high-end, whitewater rafts have trouble dealing with larger people. Even the basic model of the Hulltimate system can hold a 700lb quad four-wheeler. If you upgrade to the tri-hull version of the boat, then they have hauled a 1400lb side-by-side. So, even if your friends are larger like me, you can still haul a couple of them. If you run aground and damage one of the pontoons, it is easy to repair, you just get another inexpensive pontoon from the system. With rafts, if you damage it, then it is pretty much done for. Rafts also have trouble with motors. On the basic Hulltimate boat, you can run a motor up to 100 pounds in weight. On the tri-hull boat, you can run up to a 30 HP motor.
The big things that make this system unique are the modularity and the accessories you can get for the boat. Just like an expensive boat from yesteryear, you can upgrade this boat to have the amenities you want when you’re out on the water. The big difference is, when you are outfitting an expensive boat, you are stuck with the upgrades you choose. With the modular system of the Hulltimate boat, you can change the boat to fit your needs. One day it can be a party barge, one day it can be two smaller boats, the next day it can be a dock extension for you. This is truly a system for people on the go who need different functionality.
First of all, the modularity of this boat makes it an every person’s boat. If you want the 4×8 model, then you can run with the basic boat. If you want something bigger, just add pieces. You can build either length or width to increase the size of your boat. You can make it as long or wide as you would like it. This means as your family gets bigger (or your circle of friends), you can just add pieces on.
The accessories coming out on launch are also amazing. If you like sailing, then you can get a sail. If you like rowing, you can get oar mounts. If you want a motor, you can get a motor mount. Propulsion is not a problem for this system. There are also different configurations of rails and seats you can get to change up your platform for how you are using it. If you want to pull it behind your vehicle, there is a wheel system to haul the basic and the tri-hull model. Two of the coolest features are stretch goals, a tent for if you want to camp on the water, and an air-based suspension system for choppy waters.
If you are in the market for a boat, but not in the market for another big loan, then take a look at the Hulltimate system. This is a system designed for experienced boaters and new boaters, meaning you can make it as complex or as easy as you want. Take the time to check out their launch page and their Facebook page to see if this is the right fit for you. If you are a person who wants access to the water but does not want to deal with the problems of traditionally owning a boat, then this is likely the right system for you.