You’ve located boat dealers in your area, and you’re looking at boats for sale. You have looked at pontoon boats and other types of fishing boats, as well as personal watercraft, that used boat for sale, and what financing options you can get. What do you do next, and how to make your choice on the right boat?
What’s Your Purpose?
What’s the main reason you’re getting the boat? Is it to fish or take leisurely trips on local waterways? Do you want family and friends for a cruise? How about waterskiing or some other kind of watersport? Maybe you’d like your boat to be good for a bit of all these things, but the first step is fixing in your mind the main thing or things you want to do with your boat.
What’s Your Budget?
You’ve probably already been looking at the boat dealer for prices and considering what you can afford. Just don’t forget to also think about after sales costs. You’ll need to pay sales tax and property tax. You’ll also need to be able to store it, and if you can’t do that at home you’ll need to pay for it. Boats need fuel, and many boats need more expensive ethanol-free fuel which can be harder to source. You’ll need insurance, and you might be paying slip rental depending on where you plan to use it. A good rule of thumb is to plan for $50 per foot in annual costs to keep, use, and maintain your boat. That cost can be as high as $150 per foot depending on how you care for the boat and who you hire to keep it in shape. You’ll also want to consider the cost of navigational equipment, safety gear, and electronics, though some boat dealers will set you up with discount package deals on all the essentials.
Get The Right Hull
The hull is always a compromise of performance, space, and cost. Anything you see at the boat dealer with a flat bottom will be very but also hard to control and uncomfortable in choppy water. Hulls with a V shape go quickly, cutting through the water; but they give up stability at high speeds. The more shallow the V, the more stable it will perform, but also the slower it will be. There are now multihull boats available at some boat dealers. These are good at cutting through water chop while staying very stable; the tradeoff for these boats is a lack of interior space. Finally, round hulls offer great fuel efficiency and a lot of stability but are quite slow compared to other boats.
Think About Power
You need the right kind of engine for both the size of your boat and your intended use. Too small an engine for the boat or the performance you demand, and it will constantly be overworking while underperforming. Boat dealers can help you match horsepower to the size of your vessel, and always err on the side of more power rather than less.
Consider When To Buy
Unless you need a boat immediately, you’ll get the best deals by waiting for specials at the end of the year when the new models come out. Boat shows will often showcase what boat dealers have on hand, and often you can get a great deal during this time. If you haven’t done much boating before, consider taking a boating safety course before you buy. This might mean working your schedule around to when it’s convenient to do so.
Your new boat could be a family bonding experience, a great way to spend time with friends, a vehicle for getting away from it all and relaxing with a fishing rod, or something you use for energizing and exciting watersports. Whatever you choose to do on your boat, make sure you get the right boat for your needs and interests.