Have you spent any time this summer on the water? Whether you were sailing, exploring or fishing, you may have spent some warm summer days on the open sea. You may even have a bit of boating itch now as a result. If you were renting, you might even be thinking of buying a boat before the summer is out. Now seems like the perfect time, doesn’t it? Although you may feel inclined to opt to buy a new boat – perhaps there are end-of-season sales you’d like to take advantage of – many first-time buyers actually choose to buy used.
Buying a boat is a huge financial investment. Beyond the cost of the boat, owners have to consider many other costs.
• Maintenance costs
• Docking fees
• Watercraft insurance premiums
• Storage fees
It is likely these added costs that contribute to the rationale many first-time boat owners have when it comes to the purchase. 60% of first-time boat buyers opt for a used boat rather than purchasing a new one, according to the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association.
But is buying a used boat the same as buying a used car? In some ways, yes; in others, no. Before you head out with the cash and make the purchase, consider a few things first:
1. Are you going to purchase from a dealer or a private individual? There are pros and cons that come with each option. Dealers may be able to offer strong warranties and even added servicing bonuses. However, private sales can sometimes be quicker and less expensive. Do your research first. That is always the best way to make a decision.
2. Any used boat will have some understandable wear and tear. In order to be sure that the wear and tear won’t cost you in both time and money, have an inspection done beforehand.
3. After your general inspection, you will also want to inspect the motor. Evaluate its cleanliness and check for oil and fluid leaks.