Tips for the First-Time Boat Buyer


For many people, owning a boat is one of the highlights of their life; nothing can beat hitting the water, whether you are fishing, entertaining or just simply lounging around. If you are thinking about taking the plunge, it is important to do a bit of homework first, before just buying the first boat you come across. Here are some helpful tips to guide this important purchasing decision.

What Are You Using the Boat For?

Did you know there are at least 30 different kinds of recreational boats on the market? When it comes to choosing the right boat for your needs, an important first step is defining those needs. What will the primary purpose of the boat be? The most broad categories are fishing, cruising and water sports; while you can usually do all three regardless of the type of boat, focusing in on those specifically designed to do whatever it is you plan on doing will ensure a better match.

Check Out Boat Shows

Boat shows are a great avenue for seeing what types of boats are out there and getting helpful information to guide you in purchasing the right boat for your needs. You can get up close and personal with the different models and get a feel for which ones are most suited for you. But, many people ‘’in the know’’ when it comes to boating strongly advise against making a purchase at one of these shows. The salesmen are aggressive and create a high-pressure environment; it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all. The end result may be you spending money you may not really have on the wrong type of boat.

Calculate the Full Costs

Boating can be an expensive hobby and costs go far beyond securing the actual boat. Think about the interest on any financing plans you are considering, insurance, oil, fuel, storage, repairs, trailer, lodging and food costs if you will be traveling with the boat, licenses, permits, regular maintenance, life jackets and other gear. This can help you decide on how much you should spent on the boat from the get-go as well as whether you need to trim spending in other areas to make ownership feasible.

Deciding on New vs. Used

Traditionally, many people advice first-timers to go with a used boat; if you end up not liking boating, less money wasted. If you end up buying the wrong type of boat and you want to eventually get a different one, again, less money wasted. But, some would argue that the internet has made it easier than ever to gather the appropriate information to make an informed decision on the right type of boat and you are less likely to make a mistake. Some people may feel more secure in buying a new boat that is in pristine condition. It really depends on individual factors. If you want to buy a used boat, you have numerous avenues open from private sales to charity boats for sale.

About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things recreation. She recommends visiting to learn more about buying boats to help fund charitable efforts.

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