Boat Buying Tips  

10 Boat Buying Tips on How to Do it Right!  

Becoming a boat owner is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your family and friends.  There's nothing better than getting out on the water for some fishing, water skiing or just relaxing.   There's a beauty and peacefullness about boating that's somehow physically, mentally and spiritually refreshing.  

However, everything isn't a easy it as it may sound.  Proper research and planning is needed to first decide what kind of boat is right for you.  That may sound easy, but in truth it's not.  There are around 200 different boat manufacturers to choose from. Finding the right boat with the right features and in good shape is what's really important.

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Boat Buying Tip #1 - Consider Your Needs 

Now it's time to define what your main use is for the boat you want to buy and how many people you want to include with you when boating.  Sounds a bit silly I know, but these are important things to consider before starting your boat shopping process.  In addition it's important to consider not just your main use for the boat but also your family.  A Tracker Bass Boat may be great for fishing but may not be enough for your family to go tubing or water skiing.  Like a Bennington Pontoon Boat which is one of best luxury pontoon boats you could buy would probably make your wife happy,  but your fishing buddies would be worried about messing things up while cutting bait.

Boat Buying Tip #2 - Decide the Type of Boat You Want

There are several types of boats you can choose from depending on your needs and wants.  Fishing boats that are specifically designed with fishing in mind. They have custom seats that swivel and are positioned to allow in maximum freedom for casting, etc.   There's also power boats that are all around boats for a variety of activities.   Pontoon boats for the family and larger groups.  These make great fishing boats  for a good size group of friends.  For the avid skier, there custom ski boats that are designed spefically for performance and safety when it comes to water skiiers. You have to give it some thought.  

Boat Buying Tip #3 - Determine the Size of Boat You Need and Want

In addition, there's size and capacity. How much room and storage do you need for boat accessories, safety items such as life vests, fishing gear or recreational items like tubes, ropes , boards and more.  A smaller boat may be cheaper and easier to tow and store, but it may not give you all that you want in a boat for you and your family. Towing and storage are more considerations.  Bigger boats require a larger vehicle for towing and you have to think about storage.  A small boat say 14 feet to 18 feet may fit in your gargage,  but something larger like a 26 foot cuddy cabin typically won't. Yet another issue to consider is the cost.  The cost of maintenance and the cost of insurance.  Again, the larger the boat the more it will cost to maintain, repair and insure.  

Boat Buying Tip #5 - Check the cost of Boat Insurance

The cost of insurance can be alot ... expensive and you want to make sure you have the coverage you need including theft, fire and liability.   The bigger the boat is and the more expensive the boat is the higher the boat insurance cost will be.  You can get a fast quote below on the type or types of boats you're considering.

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Boat Buying Tip #6 - Do your Due Diligence

What do I mean by "Do your Due Diligence",  well it basically means to do your homework.   Talk to your friends that are boaters.  Find out what they like or dislike about their boats.  Also, talk to your local marine retailer or better yet, talk to their repair mechanics.  Those are the guys that know the good boats from the not-so-good boats.  Take your time when searching for a boat, make sure you get exactly what you want and need,  even when it comes to color and amenties.   My reason,  is there are hundreds and thousands of boats for sale and you can get exactly what you want if you take your time and search.

Boat Buying Tip #7 - Find 2 or 3 You'd Like to Buy

When looking for a boat, you never want to pin your hopes on only one boat.  There's all kind of reasons.   There could be quality issues with the boat that you're looking at,  it could get tied up in legal battle (husband -wife divorce issue) you never know.  And the seller may not be reasononable about the price or negotiating.  So It's wise to find more than one you're interested in.

Boat Buying Tip #8 - Check it Out From Top to Bottom

It's a MUST - you have to thoroughly inspect the boat from top to bottom,  inside and out.   Get you notepad and your camera and get ready to take inventory and a quality audit on what you're about to buy.  You can start with the trailer, if it's included. Check to make sure the lights work including turn signals.  Check the frame for signs of corrosion or rust.  Note: it should be aluminum, but some of the olders trailers are made of steel.   Check the jack and winch, make sure they turn and move freely.   Then the boat,  start from outside - look closely at the hull for signs of cracks or repair areas.   Then inside, note the condition of the carpet, the seats, all moving hinges and hardware, ladder, and lights. Check the bilge area for excess water. (A small amount might be typcial, but excessive water is a sign of a leak problem.  You may also consider asking a boat surveyor to do a professional inspection.  They charge a fee and if you're considering a larger boat that's expensive, it could be well worth the money.

Boat Buying Tip #9 - Take it for a Spin

You should never buy a motorized vehicle, whether it's a car, plane, motorcycle or even boat without taking it for a test ride.  If the seller is unable to setup a test ride, you should not consider it.   The best way to get a feel for the boat and how it runs is to take it for a thorough ride.  If the seller isn't open for it, there maybe some problem or issue they're hiding.  I would strongly recommend you walk away from that one.

Boat Buying Tip #10 - Negotiate the Price

Everything is negotiable so never settle for what the seller is asking.  Know your price range for that particular boat before you decide to make an offer, then make a fair offer based on the different boats you've researched, the condition of the boat and the features and options.   If the seller isn't willing to negotatiate, then it's best to hold off and consider other boats.  Also check to make sure the owner has clear title to the boat and registration.  

That's it,  if you follow these 10 simple Boat Buying Tips,  you're sure to get the right boat for you at the best price!