People love boating, and it's said that one of the happiest days of a boat owner's life is when the purchase is made. However, the other happiest day is often when the boat is sold. This is because so many first-time boat buyers are so excited about hitting the open water that they wind up buying the wrong boat. Whether you are buying used or new, there are certain mistakes you should avoid. When purchasing your first boat, follow these tips to ensure that you get the right one and never want to sell it.
Consider Everything You Need and Your Goals
It's easy to get caught up in the allure of a boat and how fast it will go, but there is more to boating than simple speed and power. How many people will you want to take out on the water? Are you dreaming of spending the night on your boat? Do you want to travel long distances? Is your family growing, and will your boat need to be larger in a few years. Before you decide that any given boat is too large for you, consider your needs and your goals.
Once you know exactly what you want and start looking at boats, you also need to consider the practicalities of boat ownership. Where will you store it? Based on the marina you choose or your homeowner's association, you may be limited on size. If you find yourself looking at larger boats, then consider finding another storage facility. What will it cost to use the boat? You need to consider the annual cost of maintenance, winterizing and fuel. You are excited to get the boat, but it will only be a source of frustration if you are not able to keep up with the expenses.
Ask Specific Questions
Talk to the former owner of the boat, or ask the salesperson to give you a tour. Ask how the boat handles on the water, and talk to the previous owner about how he or she used the boat. Going through the boat carefully and asking specific questions will help you decide if it's the right one for your needs.
Shop, Shop, Shop
You simply cannot shop enough when you are looking at a boat. Visit dealers in your area, talk to local sellers and read through the classifieds constantly. Even if you love the first boat you see that fits your price range, that doesn't mean it's the perfect one. Take your time with the search, and you are more likely to strike gold.
Check the History
Boats have a Hull Identification Number. If you are buying a used boat, use the number to look up the boat history. Make sure the boat has a clear title if it is coming from a private seller. Make sure the boat has not been in serious accidents or used in a crime to avoid scams.
When possible, work with local sellers. This way, you will have time to view the boat and then do your research before going back for the final purchase. With out-of-town sellers, you are investing more into the purchase, and you may not be willing to walk away from a sour deal if you have driven four hours to get there.
Give Back to Charity
If you find yourself overwhelmed with the prices of brand new boats, then consider getting a boat through a charity service like boatangel.org. These services essentially allow you to buy donated boats. Your money then goes toward a charity once the purchase is made. This is a great choice if you're a little strapped for cash and also want to give something back to a variety of great causes, such as, cancer research, homelessness, or hunger. It's a win-win situation no matter how you look at it, so don't hesitate to learn more online.
Have it Professionally Inspected
Have a friend who is familiar with boats or a mechanic look over the vessel. Even if you have to pay a professional a small amount for them to inspect the boat and give you their opinion, it can help you avoid serious problems later.
Boats are a joy to own, and there's no doubt that you can save money by purchasing a used craft. However, you should take care to avoid common mistakes. When you take your time with the search, research and your wish list, you can be confident that you will find the perfect boat for your needs.
Ben Sawyer is passionate about everything related to the ocean. He likes surfing and fishing. Recently he bought a boat, mainly for fishing but also as a quick weekened getaway from city’s traffic. Here is his advice what do you need to look more carefully if you are planning to buy a boat.