Purchasing a boat is an exciting process we are lucky enough to help our clients with everyday. With more brands, options, and features on the market every day, it can also become a bit overwhelming to narrow down exactly what type of boat to buy. The questions below will help narrow down the options for purchasing your next boat.
1. What will be the primary use?
Seems simple enough of a question, however we often have clients looking to upgrade after just a few years of owning a boat. Why does this happen? Before purchasing a boat, consider ALL of the uses it may have in the next few years. If you purchase a small fishing boat but end up taking friends and family to the sandbar every weekend, consider going bigger from the start. We rarely have customers looking to downsize, but it is also worth taking into account. You and your boating crew should easily be able to maneuver, park, and handle the vessel.
Questions to help determine down primary use:
- Will your primary use be the same in 3-5 years?
- What percentage of time will you be fishing vs cruising vs docked?
- Will your family be growing? Will the kids want to head offshore? Wakeboard?
2. What am I willing to spend?
Having a basic budget in your head is fine when casually browsing, but when it comes time to make an offer it is important to know exactly what you are willing to spend. Consider brand names, re-sale values, and options that all can affect your budget. Thinking beyond just the boat is also important as extras such as trailers, water toys, and upgrades add up and can tip the budget if not accounted for early. For a full explanation of boating expenses, check out our Beginner’s Guide To Boat Expenses.
Questions to help determine budget:
- Have I considered all expenses associated with boat ownership?
- Have I looked up re-sale values on the brands I am considering?
- Have I researched maintenance costs?
3. Will I need more or less space soon?
This was touched on in question one, however not having enough space is a common reason for selling a boat. As you move towards a purchase, be sure to research the maximum capacity of your boat. Certain boat brands may have lower capacities and the last thing you want to do is leave someone on the dock! Even larger yachts can become crowded if you live a life on the water and invite friends to enjoy your lifestyle.
Questions to help determine size requirements:
- Have I researched the maximum capacity?
- Will I be taking friends fishing? Cruising?
- Will my family be growing soon? Will my kid’s friends have room?
4. Do I have a way to store the boat?
While this may seem like an obvious consideration, we have come across many boaters who must make last minute decisions based on storage availability. Small trailerable boats can often fit in your backyard, but anything larger means you should be considering your vehicle’s pulling power or marina storage. Storage also factors into budgeting so be sure to shop storage options before purchasing your boat.
Questions to help determine storage:
- Will my current car pull the boat I am considering?
- What is the closest marina and what are the monthly costs?
- Have I budgeted for storage?
5. How do I plan to purchase?
Navigating the purchase of a boat can range from a simple transaction to a complex process depending on multiple factors. For larger vessels, consider using a boat broker who will handle negotiations, paperwork, and is a industry professional. Getting pre-approved for financing and speaking with your insurance company early will streamline the purchase process and make for a smooth close.
Questions to help determine purchase options:
- Will I be financing?
- Who will be on the title?
- Will a boat broker make the purchase process easier?
The Yachts360 team would love to help walk you through your boat purchasing journey. Simply call or contact us here to get started. For more information on boat purchasing, brokerage, and more…check out the links below!