Buying Used: Why a Used Boat is a Smart Decision

Used Boats

If you are in the market for a boat, have you considered buying used?

Owning a boat is a fantastic experience that offers endless hours of fun and relaxation. Before you buy, though, it is important to think about what kind of boat you’re looking for – and what kind of price you want to pay. Although getting a new boat sounds awesome, there are many advantages to buying used as well. Check out some of the biggest reasons to shop the pre-owned boat selection at Bald Knob Marina.

Used BoatsUsed Boats Are Often Fully Equipped

There are many similarities between buying a new boat and a new car. Like a road vehicle, the price of a new boat increases based on the number of bells and whistles it comes with and, often times, even the basic model can have a significant price tag.

However, with a used boat, you can often find a model with more amenities and features at a more affordable price. The previous owners of these preowned boats made that ship their own over the years, and during this time, they probably equipped it different features than it originally came with. That means when you buy used, you may be able to get a deal on the matching trailer or find a model with new seating or a fish finder already equipped. That means you can get something that’s more than just a base model of your favorite new boat, allowing you to have more fun and save more money.

The Insurance is Cheaper

Contrary to what you may believe, insurance costs are often less with used boats. When you buy that brand new boat, it’s just like buying a new car – your insurance needs to cover the full value of the new vessel. With a used boat, there has already been a depreciation period, which means that the insurance coverage won’t be as pricey to purchase. Buying used allows you to save on your premiums, allowing you to spend more time enjoying your boat and having fun on the water instead of paying for that fun.

Overall Cost is a Major Factor

It goes without saying that you can expect a bit of a price difference when you decide to buy a used boat versus one right out of the factory. Just like used cars, the price drops significantly for vessels after they’ve left the dock and can sometimes even be half the price of a comparable new vessel.

That also means you can get more boat for your money when you buy used. Your dollars will tend to go a bit further, which means you can afford a larger vessel or a more powerful engine when you buy a preowned boat instead of a brand-new one.

When shopping for a used boat, it is essential that you look at all of your options so that you know that you are getting the best bang for your buck. At Bald Knob Marina, we have a vast stock of the finest preowned boats on the market. We stand behind all of our boats, which means you can trust that a used boat purchase from us is a vessel we’re confident will operate well for you and your family.

Check out our inventory online and find the preowned boat of your dreams. To learn more about any boat or for help finding the right boat for you, call us today at 815-344-5223 or stop in and see is in Johnsburg, Illinois today.

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Six Advantages of Pontoon Boats

Pontoon Boats

If you have been out on the water lately, you may have noticed a growth in the amount of pontoon boats you have seen. Given the many advantages they offer to boaters, it’s easy to see why more and more people are choosing pontoon boats for their maritime fun. Let’s look at six great advantages of a pontoon boat.

Pontoon BoatsPerfect for Families

To start, pontoon boats are spacious, allowing you to spend the day out on the water with your closest family and friends and plenty of room for everyone. Normal boats can hold only three or four people, and can result in cramped quarters easily. On a pontoon boat, however, people can move about the boat without having to worry about bumping into one another.


Along with having room for more people, pontoons also offer a great deal of storage space as well. That means you’ll have plenty of room to store all your gear when you head out on the water for a fun-filled day with your family and friends. Pontoon boats offer an open deck plan, giving you space to place swimming or diving gear, extra coolers, fishing equipment or anything else you’ll need out on the waves.


Pontoon boats are closed in by high side rails and have a lower top speed, both of which contribute to making it easier to keep riders on the boat. Small children won’t be able to easily climb over the side and fall overboard, and at slower speeds, you lessen the risk of an accident. In addition, buoyed by the two large pontoons, your boat has more stability on the water, even in rough conditions, which means you can stay more safe and secure no matter what.


All boat takes their bumps and need to get taken in for maintenances and repairs. Pontoon boats, however, are made from aluminum and are easy to maintain and repair, as needed. Unlike power boats, which have a gelcoat that can chip or scratch and require expensive repainting, a pontoon boat can easily float in and out of the water without worrying too much about damaging its looks.

Cheaper to Insure

We all can agree boats are quite and investment, but fortunately owners of pontoon boats can take advantage of generally lower insurance premiums. With less expensive repair needs, slower speeds and greater stability, most insurers will offer reduced premiums, meaning you can keep your boat protected for less, allowing you to spend that money enjoying your time on the water.


Pontoons offer a very smooth ride, making your day out on the water a little less rocky. When you’re out on your pontoon boat, you won’t have to worry about being rocked violently on the waves. Instead, just sit back, relax and enjoy the weather and the smooth ride.

If you’re considering a pontoon boat as your next purchase, stop in to Bald Knob Marina. We carry the latest Premier pontoon boat models that are perfect for spending fun in the waves and sun this summer. Stop in and see us in Johnsburg, Illinois today, or call us at 815-344-5223!

Take Care of Routine Maintenance this Winter

Boat Maintenance Winter is upon us, and here in Illinois, we know it means business. Obviously, you are not doing much boating during these colder months so you should take this time to give your boat the love and attention that it deserves.

That’s right. Just because your boat may take a break during winter doesn’t mean that we do. At Bald Knob Marina, we work year round and take care of boat maintenance projects big and small. So what can Bald Knob Marina do for you?

Maintenance and Small Repairs

If you store your boat outside during the winter, then you probably don’t want to be out there with it working on maintenance. Let us take the work off of your shoulders.

Some of our extensive maintenance offerings include battery jumps and changes, tune-ups and oil changes and minor electronic installations. If you want to beautify your boat, we also offer an extensive wash, wax and detail service and bottom painting.

Major Upgrades

Winter is a great time to bring your boat in for that major overhaul that you always wanted, too. Whether you’ve wanted to install a new engine or have your boat’s upholstery redone, we can take care of it for you.

Some of our larger maintenance tasks include Fiberglass and Gelcoat repair, outdrive repair and major electronic installations. We pride ourselves on having just about every part and component that your boat might need so we can take care of those big projects fast, too!

You Can’t Go Wrong With Bald Knob Marina

Here at Bald Knob Marina, when we say that we can take on any boat maintenance task, we mean it, and you will find our services to be the best in the business. So this winter, whether your boat is stored with us or is just in need of some extra attention during the off season, bring your boat to us and make it ready to go once the winter breaks. Call us today at 815-344-5223 or schedule an appointment online now.



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Five Benefits of Choosing Dry Stack Storage

Dry Stack Storage

A boat is an investment, that’s why when you decide to store it for the off season, you want to keep it in the safest possible place. If you’re looking for a place to keep your boat during the winter months, you might want to try dry stack storage with Bald Knob Marina. Let’s take a look at a few of the advantages of choosing our dry stack storage.


When you store your boat in our storage facility, it will be protected from the elements. It will never be exposed to any damaging weather and won’t run the risk of being run into by floating debris or even another boat if there is bad weather. It will always have a roof above, keeping safe and protected from the elements.

Dry Stack StorageEasy Water Access

Our storage facility is located right near the water, so whenever you want to get out on your boat, just give us one hour notice and your boat will be waiting for you at the dock when you arrive. Then once you’re done, we’ll be happy to put it right back into our facility.

Use of Amenities

When you come to visit our boat, you will have access to the all the amenities our facility offers. This includes picnic tables, barbecue areas and free Wi-Fi, so you and anyone boating with you can enjoy the conveniences on-site before and after your boat ride.

Can Accommodate Large Boats

Our storage facility is able to accommodate boats up 38 feet in length. That means that while sometimes it can be difficult to find a facility that can handle your larger vessel, there’s no problem at our indoor facility. Bald Knob Marina is more than happy to help keep your large boat protected.

Great Discounts Available

Do you use your boat intermittently throughout the season and don’t want to pay for a slip at the local marina? With dry stack storage discounts for summer and winter combined, you can receive a 10 percent discount on keeping your both for both seasons. Save money and protect your boat all at once!

If dry stack storage sounds like a good choice for you and your boat, Bald Knob Marina has the perfect facility for it – the largest on the Chain O’ Lakes! For more information, call us today at 815-344-5223!

Celebrate ‘Christmas in September’ with Reduced Winter Storage Rates

Winter Boat Storage

Although Christmas is celebrated in December, Bald Knob Marina is celebrating the renowned holiday a few months earlier this year with unbeatable deals on storage!

With fall bearing down and winter close behind, now is the perfect time to find winter storage for your boat, and there’s no better place to go than Bald Knob Marina for top-notch winter storage at incredibly discounted rates.

Winter Boat StorageThe last thing you want is to leave your boat out in the ice and cold when winter arrives. That’s why it’s important to find safe and secure storage for your beloved summer toy. With the weather conditions we get in Illinois – from brutally cold temperatures, to snowfall and ice – your valuable investment needs to be stored in a unit that keeps it protected from the outside elements. That’s where we come into play.

Boat owners can take advantage of our reduced winter storage rates just in time for the seasons to change. Who wants to wait until December to celebrate great sales, when you can celebrate Christmas in September with Bald Knob Marina?

Our winter storage rates have been cut on average from 25 to 30 percent, with some rates reduced as much as 48 percent! The best part is, when you take advantage of our winter and summer storage together, you’ll get another discount. Signing up for our storage units is easier than ever, so what are you waiting for?

Why Winter Storage?

Winter storage will give you more space at home in your driveway, and it will protect your valuable investment from the harsh winter weather. When you pull your boat out of the water, it’s important that you take care to maintain and protect it during the colder season. After all, boats are made for warm weather, not cold temperatures and snow that can quickly wreak havoc on the interior and exterior.

No matter the size or kind of boat you own, we can store it away at our facility for an incredibly discounted rate! Celebrate Christmas early this year and keep more green in your wallet through the white and wintery months by storing your boat or personal watercraft with us. Don’t forget – we also offering full winterizing services, as well, so that your vessel is safe and ready to weather the winter ahead.

Check out our full winter storage rate chart online, or give us a call today to learn more about winter storage and winterization options!

Summer is Coming: Preparing Your Boat for Fun in the Sun

It’s boat season and you may be ready to head out on the water this year, but is your boat ready? At Bald Knob Marina, we help dozens of boaters get out on the water each year, so here is a review of all your pre-launch checks to make to ensure your boat is seaworthy for the season.

Fuel Systems

Start with the fuel system, looking for leaks or damage. Pay special attention to fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces. Look for signs of deterioration, such as rust, brittleness or cracking in fuel hoses and replace anything that needs care immediately.

Summer Boat PrepElectrical Systems

Do a similar inspection of the electric system. All electrical connections should be clean, tight and corrosion free. Remove any corroded terminals – after disconnecting the power, of course – and use a wire brush to clean them along with all cable ends.

Top Off the Fluids

Also check all fluid levels, including engine oil, power steering and power trim reservoirs. Don’t forget to change out the engine oil and recheck drive lubricants if you did not before your annual winterizing.

Prop and Hull Check

Take a look at the propeller of your vessel and look for dings, pitting, cracks or other distortions. Damaged propellers can cause unwanted vibration and damage to your drive train. The hull needs a special look, as well. Keep an eye out for blisters, distortions or cracks, as each can develop into major problems if left untreated.

Safety First

Finally, double-check all your boat’s safety gear. Make sure you have the proper number of life jackets and make sure they are in good condition. Beyond just the count, make sure that all of your life jackets are the proper size for any passengers who will be on board. Finally, make sure all onboard fire extinguishers are the correct class for your boat and are fully charged.

Making sure your boat is ready for the season will allow you to focus exclusively on having fun on the water. By doing a thorough inspection before heading out, you’ll catch any problems before they become an issue – “An ounce of prevention …” as the saying goes!

At Bald Knob Marina, we can help you solve any problems you may find while gearing up for the summer with our full service marine shop. We also have an extensive parts inventory, and can help you find parts that you may need to make repairs yourself. To learn more about our repair services, give us a call today at 815-344-5223.

The Benefits Of Keeping Your Boat Safe From Winter

The Benefits Of Keeping Your Boat Safe From Winter

All good things must come to an end and the summer boating season is no exception.


Now, what is there to do with your boat until summer time comes back around?


You could store your boat at home, but that would potentially leave it vulnerable to the elements.


So to keep it protected while old man winter rolls in, you might want to place it in professional storage.


The Benefits Of Storage


When you keep your boat at home in a garage, if you can fit it in there, every time you open the garage door the boat is exposed to the elements.


Even if it is just rain, water can leave marks on the boat or potentially lead to internal and external damage.


With the water marks and other dirt finding their way into your garage, you would also have to clean the boat quite a bit.


Again, this is where the storage facility would come in handy as there would be no need to clean it due to the way it would be stored.


Now some boat owners may not want to store their boat because when summer rolls around they want to hit the water at their discretion, without hassle.


That wouldn’t be an issue with a professional storage facility as typically there is a launch service that would get your boat to the dock as fast as possible.


Bald Knob Marina has a premier storage facility that will help keep your boat safe and secure.


Our storage area will keep your boat out of the elements to help keep it looking its best.


For more information on the services we have to offer, please contact us today!

Make Sure Your Boat Is Safe From Winter

Make Sure Your Boat Is Safe From Winter

Now that summer is coming to an end that means winter isn’t too far behind which means people will start to prepare for the upcoming months.


This means getting things done to help protect their assets including their homes, cars and even their boats.


Now many might feel that winterizing their boats is not necessary, when the truth is taking the time to prepare it now could save them potential frustration come next summer.


Winterizing & Protecting


Not taking care of your boat now leading up to winter could have a serious effect on its performance when you go to start it up next year.


That’s why an oil change would be very helpful as it will put fresh oil in the engine instead of letting what’s in there now get cold and give your engine difficulties firing up when you want it to start.


From there it would be a good idea to power wash the boat as well. This will help get rid of any dirt or residue left over from the water and then once that is done, a wax job will help make it look great and protect it.


Bald Knob Marina offers numerous services to help get your boat ready for any season. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or a routine oil change, you can rest easy knowing our experts will make your boat look great as well as operating at its highest level. For more information on our service, please feel free to contact us today!

The Benefits Of Buying Used Boats

The Benefits Of Buying Used Boats

No matter what your favorite water recreation sport is, whether it’s fishing, cruising or just lying out in the sun, your boat is crucial. We all have our own dream boats, but sometimes when our budgets are tight, we aren’t able to buy the newest and biggest boat on the market. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.


There is quite a variety of used boats on the market that are in great shape for half the price of new boats or sometimes lower. Purchasing a used boat is often times a better deal that buying new.


When you buy used, you avoid the depreciation of the first few years. The cost per foot of a used boat is less than cost per foot of a new boat.


Generally a used boat already has been “debugged”, so the previous owner already dealt with any problems that come with a new boat. However, it’s good to be safe! Before making a purchase, check that the engine is in good shape; it is the most important component of the boat. Bring it to a professional to check before you make any decisions- otherwise you may end up paying more after you’ve purchased it.


When considering purchasing a boat, ask the seller how long the boat owned for and why it’s up for sale. The owner should have a repair and maintenance record that they can give you as well. That way you know what original or basic equipment has been replaced with newer parts. You may end up getting additional accessories like a trailer. Even smaller items like life jackets, chair cushions, or flares, will save you hundreds if not thousands.


Stop in to Bald Knob Marina and take a look at our selection of boats, parts and accessories. You’ll also find our gas dock and slips with picnic area. If you have any questions, please contact us today.

Fishing Boats For The Experienced Angler

Fishing Boats for the Experienced Angler

We believe that there is a boat for every person and every activity. So if you’re looking for a boat for your fishing trips, you’re going to like what we’re offering. Each boat has Jensen stereos and high performance speakers, Hummingbird GPS/fish finders, livewells and rod holders.


These pontoons vary in size, anywhere from 19 ft. to 23 ft. in length and around 8 ft. in width. They’re great for fishing, allowing enough space for a larger number of people, with all of the necessary fishing gear, looking to spend a relaxing day on the water, enjoying the sun.


The Alante and Cast-A-Way are aluminum, 23 ft. long pontoons, with a beacon system and a day enclosure for those hot days in the beating sun. The Cast-A-Way offers similar features to the Alante, but offering two rear deluxe fish chairs and two executive box chairs rather than the Alante’s two chaise lounges.


Explorer is a smaller pontoon, only 20 feet long and 8 feet wide, with a signature couch, mid ship couch with cooler, two executive box chairs and two rear deluxe fish chairs.


The Gemini and the Navigation are great options for those looking to spend a leisurely day on the water. Built for relaxation; they won’t go as fast as a speed boat.


To fish in comfort, contact Bald Knob Marina today and let us help you find the best boat for your needs.