The basics of boat buying is quite different than purchasing an automobile, basically a mandatory item, boats are usually the fulfillment of an owners dream. They are more than just a mode of transportation; they are a special form of recreation designed for sheer pleasure. When purchasing your first boat its good to keep in mind that it will be a part of your life and family for possibly a decade or more. This purchase does not need to be based on price alone. Sometimes, just looking for the cheapest deal will cost you a whole lot more in the end. Here are some great tips to help with the purchase of your first boat.
Type of Boat
First examine what you are imagining when thinking about owning a boat. If you are wanting to go on those early morning fishing excursions with buddies, then you will obviously gear your purchase toward a boat with amazing fishability features. If its entertaining and lots of guests, your going to want to look at a luxury model pontoon. Once you choose your type of boat there are still others issues to consider. Does your family need a swim platform, water skiing capabilities, grill, refrigerator, plenty of storage and restroom area or would rod holders, livewells, trolling motor and fishfinder be better utilized.
New vs. Used
First determine your budget for purchasing a boat. As most boats are purchased with loans be sure to check into the loan terms and conditions. Then make sure that you can afford the payments trying to keep all debt below a comfortable 35% of income. At this point, keeping in mind all boats are negotiable, you should be able to purchase the vessel you want with some homework. If you decide to go the used boat route, to get a little bang for your buck, be sure and ask some questions. Here are a few good ones to get you started:
- How many owner’s has the boat had?
- When did the last owner purchase the boat?
- How many miles are on the engine?
- How often was it serviced and when was the last time?
- What problems has it had in the past?
- Why are they selling the boat?
- Do you trust whom you are buying the boat from?
Size of Boat
This is one of the most important aspects of boat buying. Nailing down the correct size boat for you and your family, more than any other item, will insure happiness with your purchase for years to come. A good rule of thumb is buying the biggest boat you can afford, especially with a growing family. Buy within your budget, but with that said, buying big is something you will never regret. Boats attract friends and entertainment is one of the highest functions of boating. Also, the more storage space the better. There are so many items you will find yourself wishing you had room for if you purchase to small.
In conclusion, when purchasing your first boat, figure out what you can comfortably afford first then purchase for type and size. After that, it is best to decide if you want new or used. With all those considerations out of the way, you will be in a better position to determine what you can afford when it comes to all the bells and whistles. Using this method you can’t go wrong and will enjoy your boat for years to come. Happy Boating!