Always dreamed of life on the water? Whether you’ve caught the boating bug after a houseboat holiday, or want to take to the high seas, buying a boat can be a very exciting thing. However, a boat is a very big purchase (in more ways than one), so you need to do your homework first to make sure you make the right investment. Here’s how to buy a boat.
Decide What Type Of Boat To Buy
You know you want a boat, but you need to set a budget as your first step, so you can start creating a wishlist for the kind of boat you want. Your budget will play a big part in the kind of boat you buy, and the decision of whether to buy a used or a new boat. You should also consider the size of the boat. The right size depends on a few things:
- People. How many people will you have onboard? Is this boat for solo adventures, family trips, or parties with friends?
- Towing. If you will be trailering your boat, remember that the size of the boat will impact the size of vehicle that you need to tow it.
- Location. Where will you use the boat? If you plan to boat on large waterways then a deeper hull makes sense. Smaller waterways and shallow water need a smaller vessel. If you live in a landlocked area, consider the cost of getting your boat to the water. Compare prices to move boats to be sure.
- Storage. Where will you keep your boat? If it will be stored at the marina, then the size of the boat will impact the storage costs. If you have a personal dock, take account of space constraints. Remember to think about proper winter storage too to keep the boat safe.
Set Your Budget
Boating is a more affordable hobby than you might think. When you have an idea of the kind of boat you want to buy, narrow the list down further with some practical considerations that will help you set a budget.
Buying a new boat means you get something brand new, that comes with a warranty. If you buy used, you will need to do more thorough checks but will allow you to stretch your budget a little further. Think about the costs of weekends and vacations throughout the year, and you’ll find the boat ownership is pretty comparable.
With a boat and budget in mind, you can now start the shopping process. You can start by doing a general search online of different types of boat, and then focus on individual models through the manufacturer’s websites. Look at dealerships, online reviews, and boating forums. Who do you know who already owns a boat? Could they offer any advice or input? When you have a shortlist, see if you know anyone who owns those models so you can benefit from their firsthand experience and knowledge to help you decide if you are making the right choice.