According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, boat sales are stronger than they’ve been in more than a decade right now. About 280,000 people bought new boats in 2019, the highest total since 2007.
And that number is expected to climb even higher in 2020. There could be almost 300,000 new boats sold by the end of this year.
Have you been thinking about buying a boat? If so, you should learn about how to buy a boat first. It’ll help you get your hands on the right boat when everything is all said and done.
Use this boat buying guide to find out 10 secrets that you’ll need to know when buying a boat.
1. Create a Budget Before Buying a Boat
Before you start shopping around for a boat, the first thing you’re going to want to do is create a budget for it. You should think about how much you can afford to spend on a boat based on your current financial situation.
Far too often, people dive headfirst into buying a boat without putting any thought into what they can afford to spend on one. It often results in them either spending too much on a boat or taking out a massive loan for a boat that they then struggle to pay back over time.
Avoid finding yourself in either of these situations by coming up with a boat-buying budget and sticking to it.
2. Figure Out What Kind of Boat You Want
There are lots of different types of boats available these days. Which one is going to be right for you?
Some of your options will include:
- Fishing boats
- Deck boats
- Pontoon boats
- Sportfishing yachts
- And more
You’ll also find both gas-operated boats and electric boats for sale. Narrowing down your options will make the process of buying a boat so much simpler for you.
3. Decide Whether You Want a New or Used Boat
Do you think that you want to buy a brand-new boat? Or are you more interested in purchasing a used boat for a little bit less money?
You can really go either way depending on how much you want to spend on a boat. But many people choose to go with a used boat since they’re able to buy it for less money while still getting a great boat.
4. Look for a Boat to Buy in the Right Places
In this day and age, there are so many places that you can go to buy a boat. You should look around and try to find the right place to purchase one.
Some people choose to shop for a boat through a boat dealer. Others will scan the classified ads in their local newspaper for boats. And of course, the internet has turned into a powerful tool for those who want to buy a boat from someone looking to get rid of one.
Don’t be afraid to use some combination of all these choices to find a boat that you love in your general area.
5. Always Test a Boat Out Prior to Purchasing It
You probably wouldn’t purchase a car without taking it for a test drive first. So you shouldn’t buy a boat without taking it for a spin out on the water!
Anyone who is selling a boat should be prepared to provide you with a chance to take a boat for a ride. You can see how a boat handles and spot any potential problems with a boat by riding around in it for a few minutes.
You should be wary of anyone who wants to sell you a boat without allowing you to test drive it first.
6. Bring an Expert Along to Inspect a Boat for You
If you know a lot about boats and feel comfortable inspecting one from top to bottom, you can obviously skip this step and handle an inspection yourself. But if you’re buying a boat for the first time and don’t know what to look for when inspecting one, you may want to bring an expert along with you.
They’ll be able to check out a boat and tell you what kind of condition it’s in. You’ll feel better about buying a boat when you know that it’s in good shape.
7. Prepare to Negotiate the Price of a Boat
Not everyone is great at negotiating. But you should do your best to negotiate the price of a boat when you’re interested in buying one. This is going to be especially true when you’re buying a boat from a private owner.
There are people who can’t wait to get rid of a boat for one reason or another. They’ll be happy to negotiate with you on the price of a boat so that you can walk away with a better deal than you would otherwise.
8. Find Out What It’ll Cost to Register and Insure a Boat
When you’re buying a boat, you should consider the cost of more than just the boat. You should also find out what it’s going to cost you to register and insure it.
Additionally, you should find out what you’re going to have to pay to dock it as well as what you’ll need to pay for a trailer for it. It’ll help you avoid getting hit with a bunch of unexpected expenses later on.
9. Know Where You’re Going to Put a Boat Before Buying It
Do you have a marina in mind for your boat? If not, you should look for one prior to purchasing a boat so that you know where you’re going to keep your boat once you own it.
There might be a marina right around the corner from your house, or you might have to drive an hour away to the closest marina. Either way, it’s good to know where you’re going to put your boat before you bring it home with you.
10. Make Sure You’re Ready for Everything That Comes With Buying a Boat
Buying a boat sounds like a lot of fun. And to some degree, it is. But it’s also a lot of work.
Are you ready to do everything that you’ll need to do to keep your boat in great shape? From cleaning it to maintaining it to repairing it, make sure you’re up for the challenge.
In the Market for a Boat? Use This Boat Buyers Guide to Your Advantage
You shouldn’t ever rush into buying a boat. You should take your time and track down a boat that you absolutely love before investing in it. You should also be sure that you’re prepared to take good care of it from the start.
Put this boat buying guide to the test if you’re in the market for a boat right now. It’ll really come in handy and make the boat-buying process less stressful for you.
Read the rest of the informative articles on our blog for more tips on buying and maintaining a boat.