Best Boat Buying Tips: A Massive Guide to Choose Your First Boat
Table of Contents
- Getting Started With Boating
- Good Reasons to Buy a Boat
- Tips on buying a new fishing boat
- Buying the best and right fishing boat for you
- Costs of Owning a Boat
- Cash or Finance for Your Boat
- Buying the best boat insurance
- Types of Boats Available
- Racing Sailboat:
- Checking and Inspecting Your New Boat
- Tips to Inspect a Boat:
- Should you buy a new or used boat?
- New boats
- Used boats
- Should you buy a cruising yacht?
- Buying of Custom Built Boats
- How to test a boat for problems
- Storing Your Boat
So you think you need to own a boat? If you like fishing or other outdoor activity on the water, it’s a great idea. Fishing with boat is more fun than people can imagine. However, boats are also more hassling than most people think they will be if not choose right one.
Personally, I’ve owned 12-14 different ones from small twelve-foot aluminum fishing craft to a 20-foot pontoon. I’ve owned inboards and outboards, fishing boats.
When buying your boat my suggestions would be to figure out what you want to use it for, how many person are going with you and how much you can afford to spend on a boat. The upfront costs are pretty clear, but the ownership and maintenance costs may surprise you.
Boats don’t get great gas mileage and the faster your craft goes, the more fuel you will burn. Parts, supplies, and repairs are also costly. So, don’t underestimate your aftermarket costs when going to own a boat.
Getting Started With Boating
The first good thing about boat is there are a lot of choices. Different types of boats are designed to do different things. For most people, a craft that can work as fishing, water skiing, pulling tubes or just for cruising the lake is the best. A lot of them will do this.
So you need to focus and narrow down the following consideration:
- Where will you use it? Ask yourself how you plan to use the boat most often. Perhaps it will be fishing or even racing. It doesn’t matter if it’s cruising, skiing or other watersports. Narrow it down until you know. There is a boat specifically that will work for you.
- The Perfect Size: Finding the right size is another area you have to look at. How many people are going to trip with you the majority of the time? All new boats have an “NMMA capacity plate” that will help you determine how many people you can safely have on the vessel at a time. If you are going to use a trailer to pull your boat instead of keeping it in the water at a marina, you shouldn’t get a boat bigger than 26 feet long.
- Motor Size: How big a motor should you get? You will need more power for water skiers and tubers and a less powerful engine if you are just going to use it to fish. You are also able to choose from new motors that get better fuel economy and are friendly to the environment.
- Cost: What will your boat cost? There are some boats for every type of budget. Some new boaters are surprised to find they can have the boat of their dreams for ways less than they thought. If you are buying from a dealer with a good reputation you can get a new or used boat financing pretty low monthly payments.
You can have a lot of fun on a boat as long as you don’t go overboard to start with. There are a ton of things to know about boats, types, costs, etc. and you will learn them over the years as you get different boats. Just remember always to have fun in your boat.
Good Reasons to Buy a Boat
There are a lot of studies out there from the experts, and probably you already know, when you are with your family or your friends, relaxing outside, and being close to nature are some of the best reasons you should buy a boat and spend time at the lake. You don’t need to spend a fortune or go to a theme park for everyone to have fun.
Family Bonding: Sometimes, if you feel like your family is going into many different directions, a boat can be some help in getting everyone back together, at least more often. Spending time with your family in a boat means all quality time. It doesn’t matter if it’s tubing, cruising or fishing, you are all doing it together as a family, and that’s what makes it great.
Make Life Better: There are far fewer things to distract you when you are on the lake so you can focus on each other a lot better. This makes stories; conversation or reconnecting that much easier and you can laugh, have fun and make new memories together. See, a boat can make your life better.
Relaxation: Boating can also help you relax because there are no faxes, tv’s, computers, and if you leave your cell phone off, no interruptions on the boat. You just have the open water, the sun, fresh air, exercise and perhaps an adventure or two you won’t find anywhere else. With a boat, you can have a great getaway for a weekend. While you may only be a few miles from your house, you will feel like you are a million miles away. Having fun for a change!
View New Places: When you’re on a boat, it seems like the fun never stops as there are always new places to see, things, to do, memories to make and even fish to catch if you are lucky or good enough. Getting a boat is easy, even if you are on a budget, if you are ready to be closer to your family and have more fun, then a boat is just what you and your family need.
Tips on buying a new fishing boat
As stated above finding the right fishing boat can be challenging but also a lot of fun if you are new to boating. If you’ve never bought a boat, it can be a bit tough to find exactly what you want.
If it’s the ocean, it will be one kind and if it’s going to be mostly lakes it will be another. Seems basic but sometimes, as there are so many types of boats, it’s hard to tell exactly.
Also, make sure your fishing boat is certified by the NNMA as they guarantee the certification and they give to the boats that pass their standards of excellence.Take your time and learn how to look for the best details and then look around with confidence you know what you are doing. If you want a boat you can be proud of, take your time, check it out well and be sure it has everything you want.
Buying the best and right fishing boat for you
If you like to fish for different types of fish, you may want to look for a boat that’s a bit more versatile and has lots of walking around the room. Higher sides and a different seating arrangement for instance. This kind of boat can be ideal for a trip with several persons of even a trip out with your family.
If you only plan to fish now and then and cruise with your family the rest of the time, you should probably look at a boat setup for fishing and skiing. This is a kind of hybrid fishing/cruising boat, a cross between a fishing boat and a pleasure boat. I’ve had a couple of this type boat and changing the seating arrangements from fishing to pleasure was very easy. The underfloor storage also held all my rods or the equipment needed for skiing.
The most important thing is getting the boat you want and being able to afford it. Lucky for you there are a lot of new boats that gives you a choice of quite a few that may fit your budget better. Otherwise, you can always take a look at used boats and find one way cheaper than a new fishing boat because, like cars, new boats lose about half their value in the first two years.
Costs of Owning a Boat
Boats usually will vary a lot in price from one manufacturer to another. The length and motor size are two more things that can cause a big variance in price. However, most boats can be bought for less than the payment on a new car.
Used fishing boats vary with the type of vessel. A 2004 10 foot aluminum boat that is appropriate to use when bass fishing costs around $2,000. A fishing boat from 1999 that is suited to be used for saltwater fishing costs significantly more at about $23,000.
Cash or Finance for Your Boat
Financing new boat is just like financing a brand new car or SUV. Much like home and car loans, boat loans have become a lot easier for most people to get.
Here are few details you need to know for financing your boats:
- When payments are lower, terms are more flexible, and payments can be stretched out longer. Take a look online to see what financing would cost and compare the rates with at least three or four other places.
- If you shop wisely, you’ll be able to get everything you want, on or for your boat, at the dealer. Most now come with a huge variety of different options and accessories.
- Most electronics, depth finders, GPS locators, speedometers, and accessories are highly reliable now and cheaper than they have ever been. The things you can buy today can make boat trips more fun, easier and safer than you thought they could be.
Some Facts about Boating:
- It’s not like driving a car where you are always moving and using gas all the time. If you fish or swim, you might not be using your motor at all which leads to using microscopic gas.
- With the fuel efficiency of a new boat and the fact that most are under 21 feet long they don’t use near as much gas as the same size boat and the motor did even ten years ago.
- For most boat maintenance is as simple as washing off your boat and trailer with fresh water when you get it home. Keep the carpets or bottom clean and keep it covered between trips.
- Before you buy a boat, try to remember that it’s a hobby and you shouldn’t get more boat than your budget allows. It’s not worth taking on a huge debt for a boat. First-time buyers should always make sure to stay calm and to stay within their budget.
- It’s always a better idea collect dollars by selling a few things you don’t use anymore or simply saving up for the boat for a time. While you are saving, study the craft market and find exactly what you want. When you have saved up enough, go buy it
- Make sure, whatever you do, that you don’t spend all of your money on the boat itself. When you buy the boat, you will need to have money for taxes, registration, insurance, gas, equipment if your boat doesn’t come with it.
- If you are buying a used boat or a new one, cash is always best and will usually get you the best deal. Because there aren’t any finance charges when you pay cash, it can make it much cheaper. Finance charges can be steep, very steep if you aren’t careful. Shop around for financing if you must have it.
- One of the best ways to finance your boat is to get a home equity loan. That should make it tax deductible so you will save some money there and the loan rate will be much less. Watch out for financing at boat shows though as several tricks they use can extend the loan for ten to fifteen years and at a high-interest rate at that.
- If you are new to boating, you will either keep on with it after you start or just plain get out of it totally. Most people don’t keep their boats for ten years, so that’s at least one good reason not to get really long term financing for your boat or boating pleasure.
- After deciding to get a boat you’ll find yourself trying to figure out how to pay for it. As discussed before cash is best. If your boat involves some financing through a credit line, unsecured loan, home equity loan or from a boat lender choosing the right lender and financing can be as important as finding the right boat.
- There are a lot of sources of financing and several things to consider. The first is how long do you plan to keep the boat? If it’s your first boat, it will be sensible to find a loan that is very flexible so you can pay it off or even trade it in and not still owe payments. I kept my first boat for 9 months and then bought a bigger, faster, better one.
- If your new boat is one of your dreams you can expect to have it financed for a longer time which does make it more important to get a cheaper or fixed rate loan and yet have terms that give you a monthly payment you can afford.
- You are also going to need a down payment. Most dealers or lenders want at least 10 percent down if not more. If you have great credit, you might get some Zero down financing, but it’s kind of rare. The bad thing is the down payment doesn’t lower your monthly boat loan payments that much.
Buying the best boat insurance
If you own or are considering owning a boat make sure you get insurance for your watercraft.
Insurance for your boat will vary by length and type and motor size. Check online for some free quotes to get a good idea of what you might pay and then give your insurance agent a call. Boat insurance isn’t as high priced as car insurance.
Sometimes people don’t realize that they need this type of insurance on their boats. Some don’t even know they can get boat insurance. The bottom line is if you own a boat you need insurance. Before you insure your boat here are some things you should know.
- Liability: There are a lot of states that now require this type of liability coverage on your boat. What this insurance does is protect you against any damage that you cause to others or their property with your boat. It’s a good thing to have. This type of insurance will also protect you from vandalism, stranding, fire, sinking, collision and even theft. Check online or call your insurance agent to see what’s required in your state.
- Remove the Sunken Wreck: Besides liability, there is another type of coverage you should consider. That’s insurance coverage that will pay for the recovery of your boat or wreckage removal. In most area’s it’s your responsibility to remove the sunken wreck or the wrecked boat. It’s also required by law to remove the wreck in most areas, and that can get expensive. Depends on what price boat and how comfortable you think you can recover it.
- Add Coverage : Wreckage removal coverage will pay for all of the above. You might also want to consider adding coverage that pays for repairs to anything mechanical as well as towing charges if you need to be towed back to shore for any reason. Although anything mechanical should be covered by your boat warranty if you got one.
- Ensure who will cover the fees: Another thing to be aware of is not all insurance companies will cover everyone who runs the boat. It’s something you should always ask about. Finding out who is covered and who isn’t is to your benefit. There are some insurance companies who will only cover the owner of the boat. Make sure that your insurance agents put down who make operate the boat.
- Ask the Rates: Call your current company first when you shop for boat insurance then check other companies for their rates for the same coverage. You can probably do it online. Just remember when you call your agent to ask if you get any discount because you have other items insured thru him. Insurance agencies compete and they’ll work with you a little to get you to use their insurance. Let each of them know about the best rate you got quoted and see if they’ll do better.
Even before you start shopping for boat insurance think about the money you have tied up in your boat. Boats are not a cheap investment and replacing or repair them can get very expensive very quickly. Always make sure you get enough coverage to protect yourself against anything that could happen with your boat.
Types of Boats Available
If you are new to boating, selecting the right boat can be overwhelming. Because there are so many types of boats on the market, everything from small daysailers to luxury yachts few of us can afford. There are boats for every type or thing you can do on the water, so all you have to do is find the one that works for you.
To help you in your search this page will go over the most common boats available. Then you will know the difference between them when you go to find one of your own.
The vessel is the most common name for a boat but seems to me that’s usually used for ocean-going vessels. Around here it’s nothing fancy, just a boat. The vessel is just a different name for a boat or anything on the water.
Then there’s your power boat. Powerboat you say? Yep, unless you want to row or sail, a power boat is the craft that uses any type of machinery for propulsion. Fishing boats are power boats because a motor powers them.
How about water going RV more aptly named a houseboat. Houseboats are typically fitted out with living quarters and some of the comforts of home like beds and microwaves. 😉 They usually have living areas, sleeping quarters, kitchens and even full baths. Naturally, most of these are power boats.
A sailboat is any watercraft that uses a sail and the wind to move through the water. It has no means of power unless it has a small kicker motor for in port. The latest and most modern sailboats capacities can be from one person to luxury yachts that can hold lots of people. Sailboats come in three different basic types.First is the daysailer which is a smaller boat with no sleeping areas, but it does have a roomy cockpit. Some daysailers do have an auxiliary engine as well.
Next are the cruisers which are medium size or bigger boats that usually contain a cabin, sleeping areas, food areas and usually a small engine that’s built inside the sailboat as opposed to being an outboard.
Then here comes my personal favorite, the racing sailboats. Race boats are built for handling ease and for speed and speed only. There is nothing comfortable about them. Strictly utilitarian but fast.
Next type is the Zodiak brand of high-performance boats. Zodiaks boats are some of the most popular in that niche. They are now constructed with a rigid hull and increased stability and buoyancy. Some of the deep V hulls offered by these types of boats are made to run in any weather. They are used worldwide for commercial search and rescue.
Catamarans are the last type, and these boats come with twin hulls. Kind of like a pontoon boat but sleeker and faster. Catamarans provide comfort, speed and are very stable. Lots more stable than a boat with a single hull. They are becoming more popular with boaters and offer you a new way to hit the water.
Different Types of Boat Sellers
There are a lot of different kinds of people selling their boats. This short list should help you in dealing with some of them.
- Private Seller: Private sellers who want a new boat or just got a new boat. These sellers have usually outgrown their present boat and are looking to or did get something bigger. These people are knowledgeable about boats and take good care of them. Why they are selling is usually the dealer won’t give them what they want for the trade in. These people are likely to give you a great deal because they need the money for their next boat. The bad thing is they will probably take all of their electronics and accessories out of the vessel as they need them for their next one.
- Private Seller 2: Next do the private sellers want to get rid of their boat because they don’t use it much or they want the money for something else. Be careful though even if it sounds like a great deal because if the boat sat for a long time, it could be bad. When it sits for longer times the boots can crack, batteries can go dead or dry up; wiring can corrode, and many other things can go wrong. Sellers wanting to get out may not have maintained their boats very well when they lost interest. You can get a good deal but expect you may have to make some repairs after you buy.
- Forced Seller: Forced sales, if you can find any, can be some of the best deals you find. Particularly, it’s an experienced boater who is selling because of a disability or injury. Most of the time these boats have been maintained very well, and they sell very fast because you can usually get a great deal because the seller needs the money.
- Insincere Private Seller: The private sellers who aren’t serious are the worst to deal with. Sometimes you see a high price advertised and it says it’s firm. Usually, this is not a serious seller but someone trying to get a high price so they can buy a lower priced boat. If they sell the boat at their price, they are happy, and if they don’t, they usually keep it. You may want to avoid these people as they are very frustrating to deal with.
- Dealers: Dealers in boats usually get them thru trade-ins or consignment. They know how to detail the boat so it shows well but they don’t usually know the history of the boat unless they’ve serviced it for the ex-owner. Sometimes you can get a good package deal at boat dealers and sometimes you can’t. They do have to make a certain amount of profit to stay in business.
- Brokers: Brokers don’t usually waste time on selling smaller boats. As reputable brokers, they can easily put together deals that are a high buck. They aren’t interested in helping you as they aren’t likely to make enough on selling small boat to be worth their time.
If you decide to buy a boat, think about who you plan to buy it from and then proceed with caution. This will help you get the best deal you can get, avoid headaches and get you the exact boat you want. From all of these types of seller all you have to do is compare prices and see what each has to offer you and your family. Check them out on the net if nothing else.
Checking and Inspecting Your New Boat
After you find the boat, you want to do a very thorough inspection. This will allow you do discover any problems that are worrisome before you put out any money.
I was surprised to learn some people make living inspecting boats. These people will perform a detailed inspection, much like a housing inspector does. Most likely you can be there when the boat is inspected, and this gives you a chance to ask questions.
Although having your boat checked by a professional is the way to go you can do it yourself in you are an experienced boater and know what you are doing. There are a lot of areas in the boat to inspect which makes it a tough job for newbies to boats.
Tips to Inspect a Boat:
- If you do inspect it, yourself start with the outside and be sure to check the bottom too.
- Then make sure all of the cables for steering are good and that there is no binding when you turn the wheel.
- Check every one of the electrical controls and the lights, all of the pumps including bilge and fish and baitwell pumps.
- Also, check under the floor if it has one and look for soft spots if it has a carpeted wooden floor. Floors are expensive to replace. If the boat has had proper maintenance, you shouldn’t have a real problem.
- You then need to check the engine as it’s the most expensive part of the boat to replace. Way more than a car engine. If you don’t know quite a bit about boat motors or motors, in general, take it to a boat motor mechanic. You might want to do this anyway as engines can be very hard to inspect and figure out.
- After everything checks out okay, it’s time to take the boat out and on the water for a thorough test drive. Before you start the motor though check to see if it’s warm. You could have run up against a sneaky seller trying to disguise the fact that it’s very hard starting or smokes a lot when it’s cold. If a person is trying to cheat me like that, I’d still test drive the boat, but I’d sure knock a lot off of my offer.
- Check for any oil leaks and check the bilges before you start your test of the boat. Move around in the boat to see how stable it is, run the hell out of it full throttle to see if it overheats or has other problems. Try hitting the waves at different angles to see if there is any pitch or roll that bothers you.
- Also be sure that you test and make sure all of the instruments are working the way they are supposed to. Check the windshield if it has one and be sure the passageway window closes well against the opposite side.
- If you are looking for a sailboat, put all of the sails up to make sure they are good and to see how well the boat performs under the force of the wind alone. Watch the mast to see how it rigs under a big load and a smaller wind load. Make sure of everything else on the sailboat, just as you did above.
- Back at the dock again check under the floor for any water and that the bilge pumps did handle any that came in. If it’s a fiberglass boat, there should be no leaks. Aluminum or wood are much more prone to leaking.
If the boat you want to buy fails your inspection don’t buy it. If you are willing to put some time and money in it bargain with the seller to get a lower price. You may just come out ahead that way.
Should you buy a new or used boat?
Buying new or used boats is almost like the purchase of a new or used car. Lots of similarities and pros and cons to buying.
With a new boat, you know the history, of the boat and motor. There is no history so that makes it easy. If something goes bad or fails you will have the warranty to pay for repairs, just like with new cars. You can get on the water right away as you don’t have to do any work or repairing on a new boat.
You can usually get a better interest rate when you finance a new boat instead of used. By looking new boats first, you will get a good idea of what’s best for you and your family. Something to be aware of is that just like a new car boats depreciate the most during the first year.
For those who aren’t sure what they want to do with a boat a used boat is the way to go. Especially true if money is tight. Even if you are planning on buying a used boat still look at the new ones first as you will learn a lot.
Going to boat shows is a good way to see what’s out there and helps you get an idea of what you want. There will be many new and used boats there to look at and help narrow your list down to what type of boat you really want.No matter if you look for your used boat in the newspaper, online or in one of your local boat dealerships make sure you get a marine survey. This is a bit expensive, but if you are buying a very high priced craft, it’s well worth it. For a smaller fishing or cruising boat for local lakes it isn’t as high a priority but make sure you do check it out well.
A marine survey is a home inspection service as the surveyor will inspect every part of the boat, from the engine, electrical system, hull to the steering wheel. Many times defects or structural problems and maintenance problems with boats that weren’t taken good care of can be hard to detect.
If the results of the survey are bad, you can use it to get a better deal, or you can just walk away if it’s actually bad. A marine survey is a smart way to buy a used boat as it can save you a lot of time, headaches, and money which will make it well worth it in the end.
Should you buy a cruising yacht?
While a cruising yacht is a milestone for some people, everyone likes the idea of a shiny new boat be it a yacht or small fishing boat. Yachts are a bit expensive for most people, and you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford. When you buy a boat look at what comes with it and decide if it’s everything you want.
There are some different types of construction and most yachts today are made of GRP (glass reinforced plastic) construction. In other words a lot of fiberglass and some other compounds are using in new models. The real problem with this is osmosis as the blisters it leaves can be expensive to repair.
Here are the details:
Steel: Steel construction is by far the strongest material and a very good idea. There have been steel boats that hit a reef or bank and just received scratches. Though steel has many advantages over the other types of construction the enemy here is rust. You need to keep all surfaces painted and primed to avoid rust.
Aluminum: Aluminum is very popular in the construction of top quality custom built yachts, but it’s rare in the traditional cruising market. When you are looking for aluminum yacht, be sure it was constructed by a professional builder rather than an amateur. There can be problems later on with amateur built aluminum yachts.
Wood: Even though wood is the normal building material it still has a lot to offer. As long as you get the right kind of wood, it can last as long as any other material. However know that maintenance costs with wood are very high particularly if you don’t do it yourself.
Ferro-cement: Ferro-cement is really concrete and it is a cheap but strong method of hull construction. A Ferro-cement hull would use materials easier to obtain locally than wood and be longer lasting than a wooden hull, especially in tropical conditions. It would probably be faster to build, and use less specialized labor thus making it somewhat cheaper. It was a very popular product for yachts in the 70s and is still used today.
Popular yacht rigs include the sloop, cutter, and ketch. In that order, a sloop is the simplest of the three while the ketch and the cutter will divide the sail plans into much more easily managed areas. Ketch rigs can sail under mizzen and headsail alone, and cutter rigs can have a simple twin headsail and a downwind option.
What you need versus what you want. Before you start looking, make a list of what you absolutely must have and then make another list of things you think would be nice to have. There are a ton of additions and add-ons you can find but they can get very costly very quickly.
Always plan out your budget and what you can afford before starting to shop for a yacht. A nice yacht can cost a lot of money which might be something you need to save for. Your yacht is great to sail on if you have a lot of money to spare.
Buying of Custom Built Boats
Most boats are built one an assembly line as this is the most efficient way to do it. The primary benefit of assembly line production for companies is it keeps the cost of the boats down. However, it does make them all pretty much the same boat. Sure, there are a limited number of options, but the options are, again, limited by using the assembly line process.
Now let’s get out of the production boat area and enter the buying or viewing custom built boats. You can get several different ways a custom build boat is done. There are also amateurs building their own boats. Probably because that is the cheapest way to getting exactly what you want in a boat. If you don’t want to go to all the trouble of building your boat the next step up is semi-custom watercraft. Semi-custom boats are put together by small or a few mid-size shops but still out of one set of molds. The builders do allow the owner to pick out everything else. This is the second cheapest method.
A custom built or true one of a kind boat is designed from scratch and built the same way. Usually for just one customer who probably has quite a few extra bucks to spend as custom built is very expensive. Don’t make the decision yet to buy a custom boat. Give the used boat markets another look because even people with custom made boats sell them now and then. You may find one that was designed the same way you would have designed it and it will be cheaper than getting a one of a kind boat made new.
This way is a less expensive way because you won’t be paying a pro to design and build your boat from scratch. That way you still get a one of a kind custom built boat. Just keep looking until you find one that meets your wants.
How to test a boat for problems
When you believe you have found the boat you want it’s time to test it. Boat testing is more than just taking it out for a quick cruise. You need to look at everything closely just as someone who tests boats for a living would do.
It can be really hard to tell a great quality boat or vessel from one that will have problems later. To a person new to boating or even someone with some experience both can look good on the surface of it but when you start to check everything out with a thorough inspection, you should be able to tell a great boat from a not so great boat.
Inspect Access Panel: You can get a real good idea of the construction of the boat by opening all of the doors and access panels and taking a good look. If it’s a bigger boat check out the anchor locker because this is a spot where some people/companies really try to cut corners. If they have you will probably find them in this area.
Look at the Anchor: Looking at the anchor storage area lets you get a good look at the hull to the deck joints. If there is any light coming thru or if you can see thru the fiberglass it usually means the boat is of poor construction and you want to stay away from it as you will have problems that are very expensive to fix.
Visual Inspection: Be sure you put your boat through a very thorough visual inspection. It’s also very important to conduct some tough tests on the water when testing the boat. A private seller or even a dealer will want to use a few tricks to make sure the boat performs very well when you test it. Test it hard to find any of the tricks they might have used.
Inspect Gas Tank: Most times this means a gas tank about empty, no extra gear and no passengers plus keeping the boat in as calm water as possible. You need to insist on a more realistic test. Think of your test as an actual day you’ll be spending out on the lake or ocean and you will be able to tell if the boat is something you should spend your hard earned money on.
Test Driving: While doing your testing on the water, you need to figure out if the boat performs the way you expect it to. If it travels at the right speed, whether it can do everything you plan to do with it after you pay for it.
During test driving, the boat put it through all of the things you can think of in open water. If testing a boat for the ocean bring along a bucket so you can throw some water on the deck. The boat you want to use offshore should get rid of the water, thru the scuppers, very quickly instead of pooling water in the bow and draining slowly. This pooling i the bow can be very dangerous if you get into some rough conditions.
If a dealer or seller doesn’t like any of the requests you have or any of the tests you, forget that boat and look for a different one. There are a lot of great boats out there. Be very sure you have checked everything closely before you decide to buy any boat.
Storing Your Boat
One of the problems when owning a boat is where to store it when you aren’t using it. Your budget and the closeness and availability of storage are just a few of the things you should think about.
The easiest way to store your boat and the trailer is in your driveway or yard. This is much cheaper and more convenient than storing it somewhere else. It gives you immediate access in case you want to do something on the spur of the moment. Just be sure your vehicle has the towing capacity you need.
You can also get rack storage or what is called dry stacks. Typically rack storage is in a covered shed or building that will keep your boat dry and safe. When you want your boat call the storage place before you want to use the boat and they will get it down and ready for you. When you are done, bring it back, and they will return it to the storage area for you.
If you want more convenience storing your boat at a slip in the marina is the best answer, just drive you and your family to the marina; get in the boat and go. Rates for slips will vary by area, and most offer you several other options.
In some areas you can buy a slip for permanent storage at a marina, if you live in a high demand area for falls it does guarantee you a place for your boat. Purchasing a slip is a good investment and a long-term asset that you can sell later if you should quit boating for whatever reason.