Are you thinking of purchasing a boat for the first time? Continue reading below to learn what to research and what questions to ask before making your decision.
If you are looking to buy a boat for the first time, it will likely be one of the larger financial purchases you will make in your life. You will want to make sure that you take the time to do the proper research and ask the right questions so you can be sure to make an informed decision, find the best price, and choose the type of boat that will best suit your needs so you are happy with the decision for years to come.
Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Boat
Before making a boat purchase, you will want to assess your financial situation to see what kind of budget you have and decide if you need to look into financing the purchase with a loan from the bank. Keep in mind that your credit score will impact your ability to secure a loan and the amount of the loan. Whether the boat you choose to buy is new or second-hand will also affect the price and is something to consider.
You will want to think about how often you will use the boat, where you want to boat, how long you will want to stay on the boat and how many people you would like to be able to have on the boat. You will also want to consider what kind of water activities you would like to do with the boat, and what size of a boat is required for those activities.
It will be important to shop around to find the best deal before purchasing. You may want to consider attending local boat shows or working with a broker. It is important to see and inspect the boat in person before purchasing and if possible, take it for a test ride.
The Costs That Go into Owning a Boat
The upfront costs of purchasing a boat do not include all the costs that go into owning one and you will need to ensure you are prepared for the financial commitment that comes with owning a boat. Common costs of owning a boat include:
- Annual maintenance and upkeep
- Trailer to haul your boat
- Boat insurance
- Storage or docking fees
- Marina fees
- Accessories and safety equipment costs
- Boating courses and licenses
Questions to Ask When Buying a Boat
Is There a Warranty?
This question is important to ask whether you are buying your boat new or used. Having warranty information is essential for any decision-making when it comes to purchasing a boat. A new boat will likely come with a warranty that will cover manufacturer issues and minor repairs. If you are buying a used boat, there is a chance it will still have a warranty, but you need to ensure the warranty is transferrable.
What Does the Warranty Cover?
If there is a warranty on the boat you are looking to purchase, be sure to find out what is covered by it. Oftentimes, steering systems, electrical and plumbing systems, and other elements are covered by the warranty. Boat warranties usually last for a year to two years.
How Many Hours Does the Engine Have Logged?
If you are buying a boat second-hand, the number of hours the engine has logged is important to know. If the boat was built after 1990, there will be a meter that indicates this number. Knowing the number of hours the boat’s engine has logged will help you to understand how much time the boat has spent in the water which can indicate its condition and how much more time you may get out of the boat.
What is the Boat Made Of?
Understanding the materials the boat is made from can help you to predict the wear and tear that will likely occur in the future. Common materials used include ferro-cement, fiberglass, wood, steel, and aluminum. There are pros and cons to all boat materials, so be sure to research the options and find a boat that is made from the type of material that will best suit your boating needs and expectations.
Where Has the Boat Been Previously Stored and Where will you Store it in the Future?
This is one of the most important questions to ask when you are purchasing a boat, especially if you are buying a boat second-hand. Outside storage can cause a lot of damage to the boat. Temperature changes may damage the hull and external features and weather elements can cause rust and general wear and tear.
Purchasing a boat that was stored in a dry area during the winter months is ideal, as the boat will have been protected from the weather and climate. Once you have bought your boat, you will want to find a place to store it that will protect it from harsh weather.
As you can see, a lot of time, energy, and research go into deciding to purchase a boat. Once you have made the decision and bought the boat of your dreams, it will be important to protect your investment and lifestyle by purchasing boat insurance. Having the right type and amount of insurance for your boat ensures you are protected from potential risks. Often boat and watercraft insurance policies cover your boat, motor, boating equipment, and accessories against risks such as vandalism, theft, and collision.
Another important reason you should obtain boat insurance is that it will help protect you financially if you injure someone or cause damage to another person’s property while operating your boat. For more information on the importance of having boat insurance, read our blog on Why it is Important to Have Boat and Watercraft Insurance.
Youngs Insurance Brokers Inc. is proud to insure the following boats: