Buying a boat for the first time can feel like an intimidating and overwhelming process. Keep reading for some shopping tips to assist you in navigating through the boating market. Doing your homework can prevent you from making mistakes, such as buying the wrong boat for a certain water activity. As an example, you shouldn’t go bay boating with an airboat.
Shopping for a Boat
The first step to shopping for a boat is exploring the possibilities. Since you may need to keep it at a marina, what better way to look at boats than to tour a marina? Boat Shows and the internet are great sources for boat shopping. The more popular sites are Boat Trader, Boats.com, Yachtworld and on our website.
Secondly, decide what you want to get out of a vessel and boating. Create a short list of features you think are important. Recognize the type of boat you need and the best features for the kind of trips you’ll take. For example, would you like a cabin for family get-togethers? If you’re unsure, then you could talk to boat experts or observe the features of various boats. Another important factor in boat shopping is affordability. Extra features can drive the price up. Look for something within your budget. You can always upgrade at a later time.
First owner, shiny, unused and a warranty. New boats come with all of the current technology and latest features from the manufacturer. As a result, you will have trouble-free operation from the very beginning. Seems perfect for the first-time boat owner doesn’t it? Buying new will save you a lot of worries, guesswork and time.
Finding a used boat that’s only a couple of years old is a big money saver; therefore, you may be able to get more boat for your money. If you are a first-time boat owner, buying used will give you time to decide if you found a boat to suit your needs without paying top dollar. After a couple of years, you might realize that a different model is better for you and your family.
When purchasing a used boat, it’s essential to get a marine survey. Surveyors can see things you can’t. There are a couple of websites that can help you find a surveyor: marinesurvey.org and namsglobal.org. Herrington Harbour can put you in touch with a surveyor as well. Things you can do on your own when looking over a new boat are:
- Walk and look around the outside of the boat for cracks in the fiberglass.
- Check the oil to see if its black, has water in it, or feels gritty.
- Make sure the electronics work.
- Test the fuel.
- Look for leaks.
- Inspect the upholstery and interior for algae and/or mold.
- Look at the wiring.
- Inspect the canvas and isinglass.
In a Nutshell
- When shopping for a boat find something that will suit your needs that’s also affordable.
- Gain boating experience.
- Find a homeport. (Hint: Herrington Harbour)
- Hire a marine surveyor if buying used.
You could always talk to a boat expert on more details to ease any other fears you may have about boat buying. Other than that, get ready to let boating take you on all kinds of adventures!