Summer will be here soon enough, meaning it’ll be time to head out to your nearest body of water with your boat in tow. Oh, you don’t yet have one? No worries, here are the excellent tips to help with your buying experience with the buying guide.
What Should You Look For When Buying A Boat?
First things first, what are you looking to do with your boat? When buying the one, it’s essential to know the endgame because boats, like automobiles, come in various shapes and sizes.
In general, for recreational purposes, you will have three categories of it:
- Cruising: Meant to enjoy your time out on the water with enough room for small to large groups of people. Perfect for relaxation and entertainment.
- Fishing: As the name implies, these boats are designed for fishers. Plenty of open space and room for a few people on these watercraft is critical.
- Water sports: Extreme sports fans rejoice; there are boats for you too. With capable towing systems and more powerful engines, these watercraft will deliver the excitement and fun you crave.
Quick 5-Step Boat Inspection Checklist
Once you’ve found a prime candidate, it’s time for an inspection. Suppose you don’t feel comfortable doing the inspection or aren’t sure what to look for. In that case, it might be wise to bring an experienced friend or hire a professional, as a proper inspection checklist can be extensive.
Here are some quick steps to follow during a inspection:
- Do a walk-around: Take a walk around the boat, checking the hull’s integrity for cracks or other damages.
- Check for leaks, corrosion, and algae: Leaks and corrosion can be found in many places, including near the sterndrive, outboard cowling, fuel lines, and tank. Algae can be found among the upholstery. None of these are good signs.
- Check the wiring: There should be no bare wire or poorly-sealed terminations. Electrical tape does not count as a proper seal.
- Check the fuel and oil: An appropriate gauging paste can tell you whether there is water in the gas or oil, neither of which is good.
- Take her for a spin: If possible, get the boat out on the water and drive it around. You’ll get a natural feel for how everything works (if everything is working), just like when you test drive a car. However, if you’re not sure what to look for, bring someone with experience.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A Boat?
The ownership comes with many ongoing costs that all potential buyers should be aware of.
Here are a few costs you may encounter:
- Fuel: If you want it to run, you’ll need to supply a steady stream of fuel, potentially adding up to a hefty sum. It all depends on how often you’re using it.
- Insurance: Your ride would need insurance. Rates will vary depending on how much insurance you want.
- Maintenance: Boats have many moving parts, and these parts will need to be refreshed. Set aside some money for oil changes and miscellaneous expenses like replacing safety equipment (life vests/preservers, fire extinguishers, etc.), damaged propellers, cracks in the hull, erosion, and many more.
- Docking/Marina fees: You’ll have to pay a monthly or annual fee if you want to keep your boat at a local dock or marina.
- Storage: Many boaters will only bring their boat out when it’s “boating season” where they live. This means they’ll have to keep the boat safe for the rest of the year. You can search for many convenient and fairly-priced storage spaces near you.
Tips For Comparing Potential Boats
After having finally decided on what kind you want to buy, you’ve narrowed the potential boats down to a few candidates. How are you going to approach this? What do you have to look out for? The list below gives you an idea of how to make a correct decision:
- Review the listings you have found and compare them. Ensure you check what information is provided and, perhaps more importantly, what information is omitted.
- Examine the photos available, and if there are only a few, ask for more. The more pictures available of the boat, the better you can see the quality of the listing.
- See if similar models are for sale and find out their prices.
- Make sure to check the reviews of the dealers. Bad reviews often equal lousy service.
- Write down as many questions as possible or any doubts you may have before you go on visits. Writing them down is essential because you might forget them during your visit. During the visit, write down the answers so you can compare the options later in private.
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Top Reasons You Should Buy A Boat
If you’re not sure the captain’s life is the one for you, then let these reasons convince you it is:
- Captaincy: Once you’ve bought it and put it on the water, you may now declare yourself the captain. Who’s going to stop you?
- Family Time: Whether it’s your spouse and children, two dogs, or six cats, the boat will bring you closer together.
- Friends Time: Not so into the family? Invite your friends. All of them.
- Stress Relief: Watch your worries melt away as you set sail (literally or metaphorically) onto open water. That is unless you fear water, fish, or even boats.
- Convenience: Water isn’t as far away as you think. Many people live within an hour of a navigable body of water.
- Fun: Boating is fun, and so are the associated activities. If you own a boat, then you will also be associated with being fun.
Buying a boat is a process that should be taken with care and plenty of research. If you follow the steps and tips we listed in this boat buying guide, you will be a happy boat owner in no time!