- Determine Your Needs
- Research Dealers/Sellers
- Give It a Test Drive
- Take Your Time
Buying a boat is a big process for both first timers and long-term owners. Before you sail off into the sunset, have you thought about everything? A lot of factors go into buying the perfect boat, so follow these tips to make sure you’re putting money down on the right one.
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Does It Fit My Lifestyle?
Not all boats are created equal. Your family and values can land you anywhere from a speedboat to a pontoon so make sure you research many types of boats before coming to a decision. A few questions you should ask yourself include, but are not limited too:
- Is it in my price range?
- Does it have enough seats for my friends and family?
- Is it fast/slow enough?
- Can I see myself in it for five years?
Online Retailer or Dealership?
Is the boat you’re looking for new or used? Knowing this answer is the first step in deciding where to buy.
Online trading sites are great for cheaper, used boats but beware of scams and boat quality!
Boat dealerships sell new and used boats, but pricing will usually be a bit higher.
Shop around and see what your best deal is. Knowing the marketplace is a good way to get better discounts.
Take It For a Test Drive
Take the boat you’re interested in on a test drive, but try not to get caught up in the fun. Make sure you focus on how it runs and handles, according to your preference. Set aside the time to inspect all areas of the boat and look for scratches or cover up jobs. The devil is in the details, so take all the time you need to make sure it’s the boat for you.
Give It More Time
When you think you are absolutely positive of the boat you want, walk away. It may sound dramatic, but give it time. Wait at least three days to make sure you’re not just excited, you’re invested. If you decide the boat is still for you after the wait, go for it! Waiting also increases the chance of getting a better deal.