The excitement of owning your first boat will quickly subside if you are not informed about this very important long-term buying decision. Many first time boat buyers can not wait to cruise the high seas in their new boat, to find out that they are sinking more money into this craft than they ever imagined. Not only that, the time commitment can often turn excitement to frustration in short order.
If you have a new boat on your bucket list and before you head out to that boats sale, then consider these informative tips for first time boat buyers before you take action.
Consider Asking Price vs. Selling Price
Just like buying a car or shopping at a garage sale, the asking price on the boat does not necessarily mean it is the selling price. If you assume you are getting a deal and just pay up the money, you could be throwing away hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Do your homework and compare prices to similar boats that have sold in your area, then just come out and ask the seller if they would take less.
Test Drive Your New Boat
While it might be impossible to test drive the actual boat you want, it doesn’t mean you can not set aside some time to go boating and get the feel for being behind the wheel. Many local marinas have boat rentals available, so choose one close to the size you are shopping for and get out on the water and see how it feels. If after a few trips you still have to get your own boat, at least you know that this is not just a passing phase.
Consider All the Costs of Owning a Boat
The cost of a boat is more than just the selling price. Once you take ownership, you have to fork out money for permits, licenses, and insurance. To maintain the boat you have to pay a mechanic to keep it water ready, you have to pay for storage at the marina or buy a trailer to haul it home after each trip. Then you have the cost of fishing gear, safety equipment, fuel, repairs, and anything else to support the activities you plan to engage in.
Take a Boating Safety Class
Many communities offer classes on boating safety, it would be in your best interest to sign-up and get informed before you take anyone out on the water. Even the most experienced boaters have come in contact with a rogue wave or fast approaching storm that caused problems for them on the water. If you are not prepared, things can get bad in the blink of an eye on the open seas.
Consider a Smaller Boat
Many people who had to buy that first boat can not wait to sell that boat and get out of the deal after they lose their affection for boating. Rather than sink all your money into boating, go for a smaller boat as your first one so in case you do change your mind you can get out of it easier. If you love boating, then you can easily upgrade to a bigger boat anytime.