With spring and summer right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about getting outside and enjoying warm-weather activities. Maybe one of those activities includes time spent on the water in a boat.
Buying a boat is a big decision, but it can provide hours of relaxation and fun for you, the family, and even your friends. There are definitely a few things to consider before signing on the dotted line. You need a complete boat buying guide.
Read on for tips on how to buy a boat.
What Type of Boat Do You Want
The first step to take is to decide what kind of boat you want.
Are you mainly looking to go fishing? Do you want to pull skis or a wakeboard around a lake? Maybe you are considering a pontoon boat to cruise around with friends? Or a small sailboat to enjoy the quiet waters in peace?
You might actually want to use your boat for more than one activity, and that’s also possible. You can fish from a pontoon or ski boat. You can take friends out on a smaller runabout.
However, it is helpful to determine the main use of the boat so you purchase the right one.
Set a Realistic Budget
The next consideration is the cost.
While you may dream of having the boat that will be the envy of everyone on the lake, keep in mind the cost involved.
The bigger the boat, the more money required to not only buy upfront but also maintain. Do you really need a galley for cooking? Do you plan to stay overnight and need sleeping quarters? How many people do you plan to sport around?
If this is a first-time boat purchase, you should research the financial realities of boat ownership. If a budget is necessary, stick to the basics and start from there. You can also upgrade in the future.
When making your budget, please include the cost of insurance, registration, and any associated fees. There may also be incidental costs such as add-on features, safety equipment, and don’t forget operating costs like fuel.
How to Buy a Boat – New or Used
Another question is whether to buy new or used.
Who doesn’t like something brand new? Everything is shiny, in pristine condition, and you get to pick out exactly the features you want. You also have the backing of a warranty – unfortunately, they also carry a higher price tag.
It stands to reason that buying used fishing boats for sale UK will be less expensive. It does, however, come with risks. If it was not maintained properly it can cause problems for you down the road.
On the plus side, with the money saved, you could add personal touches or additions to customize to your liking. Maybe you want to jazz it up and start with buying boat propellers.
Whichever route you go; new or used, it is a good idea to take it out on the water for a spin. You need to feel comfortable driving it and understand all the features before committing to the deal.
Other Boat Buying Tips
So you have decided what type of boat you want and have worked out a preliminary budget. You have looked at both new and used models and trying to make the best decision.
Before going any further, there are a few more questions to ask yourself about boat ownership.
Do You Have the Time to Enjoy It?
Having a boat is fun, but do you have the time to enjoy it? It’s not all fun, either. You will need to spend time taking care of it and keeping it clean and maintained.
Do you live near a body of water, or will you need to travel? Can you realistically get away enough time during the warm months to make good use of the boat?
Where Will You Store It?
Do you have a trailer and the ability to tow it where you want to go? Will you keep it docked at a marina? What about dry storage in the winter?
You have to plan ahead and how where and how to properly store your boat.
Consider the Maintenance Involved
In addition to the upfront costs of buying a boat, there is time and money involved in maintaining it.
The engine and fuel systems will occasionally need work. Batteries must be replaced. The interior has to be cleaned and vinyl seats repaired.
Just like your vehicle requires regular maintenance and emergency repairs, the boat will need the same. Make sure you have either the ability to handle this or the financial resources to have it done.
Driving a boat looks easy but it is actually a bit more complicated than driving a car.
There are no lanes of traffic, stop signs, or posted speed limits. That seems great until you find yourself going too fast or getting too close to other boaters. It is a good idea to attend a safety boating course if you are a first-time boat user.
The right equipment will go a long way in making sure you and your passengers have an enjoyable day and arrive back to land safely.
Always check the weather before heading out, but it is also a good idea to have a weather radio onboard to alert you of sudden worsening conditions. There should be life vests for everyone on board.
Make sure there is a working fire extinguisher and you know exactly where it is. There should also be a way to transmit a distress signal. If you will be arriving back after dark, check all navigational lighting before heading out.
And as with driving on the road, never drink and drive a boat.
Come Sail Away
There is little that compares to being out on the open water on a clear, sunny day. Being on your own boat makes that even better.
With this clear guide on how to buy a boat, you can be well on your way to making that dream come true.
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