Have you always wanted a boat? For a simple fishing trip with friends and family? Or to cruise across the lakes and oceans to take a break from everything? To relax under the sun for a day with your friends to make memories that will last a life time? With this simple step by step guide, we can guide you through everything you should consider when you’re looking to buy a boat.
The first step is the most critical step of any boat purchase but is something everyone will be able to relate to. Just like when you buy a car, you must also think about the purpose that the vehicle will serve you. Do you want to go on a fishing trip at a nearby lake? Do you want to go out far to sea and enjoy the view? By deciding on what you desire, you will be able to find the right boat that would suit your needs.
It’s always important to note that a boat will not drive the same as a car. By getting lessons, you will be able to learn everything you need to know about boating whilst being under the guidance of someone with many years of experience. If you do this, you will not only feel more confidence and experienced when you take out your boat for the first time, but it will also focus your mind on the important questions, do I want a boat? Is this the right type of boat for me? Am I enjoying myself? Taking lessons will help anyone who is unsure whether they want to become a boat owner by giving them a taste of what’s to come without any issues if they decide against it.
By now, you have decided on the type of boat you would like and are excited by the idea of owning a boat that you can call yours. But now you must consider your budget which will be the determining factor in any purchasing plans. How much are you willing to spend? There are a few different things you must consider when it comes to planning your budget like the following:
What is your price range? You must decide on the amount of money you are willing to pay for a boat. Research the average boat costs new and used to get an idea of the amount you would need whilst also considering how much you can afford. There is nothing wrong with postponing your dream boat for a little while to get that extra bit of money to take your purchase one step further.
Depending on the type of boat you want, there may be different optional extras that are built in or can be included for you and your new boat. While they may not interest everyone, it is always a good idea to keep in mind that they may be some extras you would like so you must decide how you are going to split your budget. Will you spend your remaining budget on extras? Or will you split your money so that you will have a portion of money only for getting a few extra options that would suit your needs? By researching beforehand, you can take this into account when you plan your budget and decide how you will proceed.
How will you get your boat to water? Will it be docked at a nearby port? Will you bring it with you? Can you attach a trailer to your car to help you transport your boat? You must consider how you will go from your house to the open water in your boat and bring those considerations into your budget.
How Many Passengers:
What is your ideal maximum number of passengers? You may plan a usual fishing trip of yourself and 3 friends, but what if a 4th would like to join? You must think carefully about how many people you would take on your boat with you usually and your maximum number of passengers. Do not go overboard with your assumptions, be reasonable. If an average trip would include a total of 4 passengers, would you prefer a maximum capacity of 5 people on your boat? Or 6? Do you prefer an empty seat just in case or would you ensure that no more than your maximum passenger limit would come aboard? Everybody will have different opinions on what your limit should be, but it is up to you to decide how many people and search for a boat that would fit your needs or range.
Brand New or Used:
Are you going to look for a new boat or a used boat? There are pros and cons for both sides but it will fall upon you to decide. New boats are unblemished and are expected to have no issues running out of the gate, but come with a higher price tag. Used boats are more affordable, but may have no manufacturer’s warranty and may be at a lower quality than they should be. Check around at boat shows to see what companies can offer for people who buy new boats, how long their warranties last? How is their customer service? If you are going used, what is its history? How old is it? How is it internally? Is the dealer a reputable person? It will fall to you to decide which path you decide to take but that does not mean you can’t have an open mind and look for both new and used but you should keep in mind what you should check before purchasing your boat.
It’s important you find out how much it will cost you to insure your boat like you would with your car. If you are unsure on how much it would cost or how to do so, you can often get help from your dealer who will guide you through the steps you need to complete. It is always good to check if your dealer is willing to help you before you go through with your purchase to see if you can get the support from them or from another business that they could put you in contact with
Now you have finished your planning, it’s time you began your search.
Find your nearest boat show or boat dealership, see what they have to offer you. Someone will be able to help you find a boat that meets your requirements and budget if you ask for assistance. While it is ok to have an ideal make and model, it is always best to keep an open mind. Someone may know of a boat that matches everything you need but for a more affordable price or something that is more favoured for your needs. Take a moment to check out any boat they recommend to you because you may find out certain details you never thought about or did not come across in your research. How does it feel to sit in the pilot seat? Is there enough leg room? Does it feel like it would feel cramped when you bring your friends or family with you? How does the boat look? Take it for a trial and check how the boat drives. Is it loud? Easy to control? What is it like as cruising speed?
These are things that you will find out by taking a boat for a trial drive, experience your potential new boat first hand to see if you’re happy with it or would you like to continue your search. Check with the dealer how you may purchase your boat. Can you pay in a lump sum or with monthly payments? The staff are there to help you so it is always wise to ask about anything you are unsure about or would like more information on.
After these short steps, you will not only have a boat, but a boat you can be proud of. Enjoy.