The allure of buying a boat can often cloud judgement to the point you find you got the wrong size boat, the wrong type boat, or you just were not cut out for this lifestyle in the first place. Consider the following advice from a savvy boat trader for buying your first boat and you will be in a much better position to make the right choice when the time comes.
1. Setting Your Budget – Don’t just set aside money each month for the price of the boat, consider all the other expenses that will add up over time. Average into the price that you need to spend each week fuel costs, maintenance, winterizing, safety equipment, dock fees, licenses, trailer, and storage fees. If you can afford all of these with the price of the boat, you are well on your way to enjoying your time out on the waters.
2. Consider Used vs. New – When you buy a new boat you are getting all the latest features and accessories, but it comes at a higher cost. When you shop used, many people simply made a mistake and want out of their deal as quickly as possible. This means you could be getting last years model at a huge discount, and many times the owner will toss in their new trailer, safety equipment, fishing gear, and all the little gadgets they bought new to enjoy with their boat. This is a chance to really get the most boat for the least money possible.
3. Ask the Professionals – Take in a local boating show and be prepared to ask a lot of questions. Here you will get answers from people in the know, and they will be more than happy to explain in detail everything you need answered. Find out which size boat is right for you, the style boat, the size of the motor, and what new features are coming out in this years models. If considering something like pontoon boats, then possibly rent one for a day before you buy. Not only will you get answers to your concerns, you can climb aboard and get a real feel for that boat you have had your eyes on.
4. Safety First – Even before you take your boat out for the first time, you should be planning to take a safety class at your local community center. Things can go very bad fast on the water, and things are compounded by the fact that you are going to be miles away from help. These classes will give you the knowledge to protect yourself and your passengers in the event of unexpected trouble on the water.
By planning ahead, you will get the most out of your boat buying purchase for many years to come.