Important Considerations for the First-Time Boat Buyer

If you have finally decided to make your dream of owning a boat a reality, congratulations are in order. There are lots of good times to be had, and many places to be explored. This is a big decision, however, and with the variety of boats on offer, one that should not be made in haste. Many important factors need to be taken into account to ensure you find the best boat for your needs.

Primary Purpose

Before you begin looking for boats, you should determine the primary purpose for it. Different boats are more suitable for certain types of activities. Someone who will mainly be fishing would consider a different type of boat than someone whose main purpose is leisure and entertaining.

Think carefully about any secondary purposes, and how often you would actually be using the boat for those reasons. If not a lot, certain features and amenities may not really be necessary, and you would end up spending more money than you probably should, or not getting the most ideal boat for how you want to use it.

New or Used?

So, now that you have an idea of what type of boat is most suitable, you have to decide whether you will be going with new or used. There is no one best answer and the best course of action ultimately depends on many individual factors.

Many people recommend first timers buy a used boat to minimize financial risk in the event boating isn’t all it was cracked up to be, or if you—like many first-time boaters—realize you didn’t pick the right boat for your needs.  But, with all the information available to you through the internet, you can conduct a much more thorough search of boats, and really get a handle on what is out there.  Of course, the risks of problems are much greater.

Personality also comes into play when deciding to buy a boat. If you are the type of person who wants everything just right, spending more money on a new boat may be a better bet, or at the very least, a very gently used one with low hours. If you are the type of person who is handy, or are willing to accept you may run into problems down the line, a used boat may be a good fit for you.

If you decide on a used boat, getting it inspected by a marine surveyor is an absolute must; he will conduct a thorough inspection to determine the condition of the boat and any problems it may have.

Buy Bigger than You Originally Planned

Bigger boats are more comfortable and more fun. Now, as a first-time buyer, you want to be prudent with your purchase; don’t go around buying huge boats you can’t afford. But, don’t focus on a getting the smallest boat that you think will meet your needs simply to save money. Many seasoned boat owners note many first-timers decide by the end of their first season they want something a bit bigger. But, like cars, a new boat depreciates rapidly once it leaves that dealership, and you are likely going to take a big hit trading it in. So, if you have any doubts the boat you are considering now may be too small, look at the next larger one and if you can afford it, buy it.