Top tips for buying a new boat
With a new sailing season on the horizon, are you one of the many sailors thinking about buying a new boat in 2022? Whether you’re up-scaling, down-sizing, or thinking about buying a boat for the first time, here are some of our top tips for buying a boat…
Decide what type of boat you want to buy
You’ll need to think of the following factors when determining the right size of boat for you.
- How many people will you regularly have on board?
- Are you trailering your boat? The size of the boat will need to suit the size of your vehicle.
- Where will you be using the boat? If you’re planning on using a boat on larger waterways, then a bigger boat with a deeper hull might make more sense.
- Where are you storing your boat? If you’re storing your boat at a marina, the size of your boat will impact on storage costs .
Once you’ve covered these factors, you can decide on the type of boat and think about whether you would buy a new or pre-owned boat.
Set your boat budget
Weigh up your boat purchase – a new boat has both factory freshness and warranty, a pre-owned boat may need to be checked out more thoroughly, but will allow you to stretch your budget. There are boat loan calculators online to help you to see how much you could afford, you can also research information about boat financing and how to get a boat loan if you decide that’s the best option for you.
Start boat shopping
With a boat and budget in mind, it’s time to start your boat buying research. You can start with a general online search of your boat type, then focus on individual models through manufacturers websites, yacht brokers, dealerships, online reviews and forums. It’s also worth asking friends or acquaintances with boats, who have a similar type of boat you’re interested in and enjoy the same boating activities. Firsthand boat knowledge is a real advantage.
Book a boat dealership visit
When looking at buying a boat it’s really important you are able to feel, touch and see the boat that you are purchasing. Working with a boat dealer is a really good way of making the buying process easy and simple. You can shop around and compare boat dealers, the quality and location of the dealership are an important part of your boat-buying and ownership experience.
Inspect the boats you’re looking at purchasing
When you’ve narrowed down your boat search and are really set on one particular boat, it’s important to have a thorough inspection of all the major components such as the engine, propeller, bilge (inside a boat’s hull), steering system, electrical systems and fuel tank. If possible, try to take her on a sea trail, so you can get a feel for the boat on the water. If you’re not confident in your technical knowledge, you can enlist the help of an independent marine surveyor – they can inspect the boat from top to bottom and inside out, so you know exactly what condition the boat is in.
Close the deal on your boat
Once you’ve decided on the boat you would like to purchase, there are often a few additional costs you’ll need to factor in. Broker fees, insurance, registration, accessories, storage and upkeep should all be discussed with the dealer/seller early in the buying process, to determine the full cost of the boat ownership. Negotiate your purchase and check about extra gear that could be included such as safety kit etc… they may be able to include activity specific accessories.
Before you sign on the dotted line, find out what to expect after doing this, check the delivery process, boat registration, insurance and taxes. You’ll want a thorough review of the boat’s systems before taking the keys so you have the confidence to operate your boat from day one.
You should always ask about the procedure for scheduling maintenance or repairs if you’re buying from a dealer for when the time comes. It’s also a good idea to think about taking a course if you’re new to boating, where you can learn basic sailing skills. Absorbing some extra knowledge will give you a greater confidence level once you get on the water. Completing a course can sometimes also get you a discount on your insurance.
Your boat ownership
When you’ve completed your boat purchase, it’s time to get out on the water and start making some memories. One final thing to remember is regular maintenance checks to keep your boat in tiptop running condition, from a wash and wax to scheduled servicing and repairs; setting time aside will prevent big issues keeping you out of the water in the future and denting your pocket!