A boat is a considerable investment, not only financially but also in terms of lifestyle. Before you make the decision to buy one, it’s important to know what your expectations are for this purchase. This will help determine if buying a boat is right for you and your needs. Here are some things to consider before making that big purchase!
1. Do I have a place to keep it?
If you’re going to own a boat, especially a larger one that requires more upkeep, you’ll need storage space for your watercraft. If you already have an outdoor space where you can leave the boat stored all summer as well as somewhere to put it during winter storage, this is ideal. Even if you don’t think you’ll be keeping the boat in winter, it’s best to make sure you can do so anyway in case your lifestyle changes.
2. Do I want a sailboat or motorized boat?
There are pros and cons for each type of boat but only you know what kind of boating experience you’re looking for. If you just want to take the boat out on the lake and enjoy the weather and water then a sailboat might be right for you.
However, if you want to speed through the waves with power and adrenaline, perhaps a motorized model is more your style! It all depends on your personal preferences, so think carefully before choosing one!
3. Do I have room in my budget? Should I buy a new boat or a used one?
Boats are an investment for most people, so it’s important to set a budget beforehand. Not only will this help you narrow down your options, but it’ll also prevent you from purchasing something that’s out of your price range. Boats are not cheap, so keep in mind if your credit score is good enough for a boat loan, because even smaller models meant for inland water can still run you several thousand dollars, and that’s just the beginning! You’ll also need to factor in other costs like storage, maintenance (if applicable), fuel, insurance, dockage fees (if needed), etc. before you make the final purchase.
There are benefits to both new and used boats, depending on what you’re looking for. If you want the newest, most up-to-date model and the best warranties, go for a new boat. However, if you can’t afford that or plan on doing extensive work to maintain your boat yourself (such as motor repair), buying used is always an option! Buying a used boat is a great idea if you always wanted one but don’t have the means to buy a brand new one, just make sure to have someone with you who can inspect the boat thoroughly before you decide to buy it.
4. How often will I use it?
It can be all too easy to fall in love with a particular model or boat, but only you know how much you’ll actually use it. If your boat is essentially just sitting unused each winter and summer, this might not be the best investment for your lifestyle. Try planning out what months you’re going to use it and what months you’re not, as well as how often during those months.
Many boaters keep their boat out from April to October but only take it out several times a month on average. This is great if you can afford this kind of commitment financially and time-wise. However, if you want the freedom to take several trips throughout the week, you might need a smaller boat that’s easier to maintain.
5. Do I have someone to help me?
Even if you’re capable of doing all the work yourself on your new watercraft, it can be nice having a partner to go out on the lake with! A larger boat can get pretty lonely going solo and some people might prefer having someone to talk with or share the experience with, especially if you’re planning on using your boat for family outings.
6. How much water do I want to go out on?
Some people are happy with a boat that only goes out into lakes and rivers, but others want something they can take out into open water and even out to sea. This is not something to take lightly, boating in open water and bad conditions can be incredibly dangerous and should only be attempted by those who have experience with this kind of vessel.
Boats can be a great investment but they’re not for everyone. If you want the latest and newest model, go with new, if you don’t care about having the most up-to-date technology or warranties, buy used! Boaters should also consider their own lifestyle before making any purchases, how often will this boat see use? How much money do I have to spend on it (and other expenses like fuel and storage)? What kind of experience am I looking for? Consider these questions when buying your next watercraft so that you purchase something that’s worth every penny.