Buying a new or used boat can be a dream come true, and you may find it difficult to stop your mind from wandering as you envision you and your friends or family enjoying many happy days on the water. However, buying a boat is not a matter to take lightly, and there are many factors to think about before you decide which boat to purchase as well as when and where to make your purchase. Before you finalize your buying plans, carefully weigh each of these points.
1- Your Budget and All Boat-Related Expenses
Buying a boat can be expensive, but it can also be expensive to own and maintain a boat. Up-front costs include the purchase price of the boat, taxes and registration fees, delivery fees and even repairs and maintenance if you are buying a used boat. On-going fees include storage fees at a marina or storage facility, boat insurance, fuel, repairs and maintenance, annual boat registration fees and more. You may also need to pay for training classes to get a boating license if it is required in your area. The boat that you purchase will impact most of these fees, so research the expenses associated with a specific make and model carefully before you buy it.
2- How You Plan to Use the Boat
Some new boat buyers have been dreaming about owning a specific type of boat for years, but how they plan to use the boat may not coincide with their ideal boat type. For example, if you plan to sail solo, you may not need access to a large yacht. If you plan to take the whole family water skiing regularly, you may benefit from a larger ski boat. Many people have multiple boating functions in mind, so ensure that your model will meet all of your needs and expectations.
3- The Location Where You Will Use the Boat
The location where you plan to use the boat is also an important consideration. Smaller vessels may be more well-suited for use on smaller or enclosed bodies of water. Larger vessels can be difficult to maneuver in tighter spaces, but they may be easier to navigate through large waves on the ocean. In addition, some boats are made out of materials that are resistant to damage from abrasive salt water, and others are more suitable for use in freshwater.
4- Boating Laws and Regulations in Your Area
Anchor Marine Underwriters Inc. said, “It is also important to become familiar with the boating laws and regulations in your area before buying a vessel.” For example, some local areas may have specific rules that apply to motorized watercraft and that are not applicable to sailboats or smaller yachts. In many cases, both the size of the vessel and whether it is motorized or not will impact the applicability of different rules and regulations. Some boat owners have found that choosing a boat that is only a foot or two smaller will result in some laws not being applicable to them for enhanced boating pleasure.
5- If You Have the Training Necessary to Operate the Boat
Your skills and experience on the water should also be taken into consideration before buying a boat. Smaller sailboats and yachts, for example, may be easier to learn how to use for first-time sailors, and it may be easier for a single person to operate these vessels. Mooring a boat at a dock may be easier with a smaller vessel as well. While many first-time boat owners will benefit from taking a structured operations course, it also may be easier to gain first-hand experience on the water with a smaller vessel.
6- How Much Storage Space Your Boat Needs
One factor that many boat buyers overlook is the need for storage space on a boat. Water skiers, for example, need ample space to store rope, skis and other features. Those who are planning overnight excursions on the water may need extra space to store food, cooking gear, bedding, a change of clothes and more. This factor will greatly impact how comfortable you feel when using your boat.
The decisions about which boat you purchase as well as where and how it will be used are critical to your overall enjoyment of the vessel. By focusing on these points initially, you will be able to make a wiser buying decision.