Read more about these top four boat buying blunders to ensure your next purchase is smooth sailing.
1. Don’t shop until you drop
Everyone wants a good deal and to spend the least amount of money possible, but “overshopping” is a great way to miss out on the perfect boat. Many of us may shop around to the point where great deals slip right out from under our noses. This means you never end up finding a boat and get frustrated.
Being successful in buying a boat requires realistic expectations about how much a particular boat is going to cost with the options you want. This means knowing as much as you can about the boat you want, including its availability, popularity, and pricing. Popular and fast-selling boats typically command higher prices, so if you go hopping from dealer to dealer looking to save a thousand bucks, you may never end up being able to buy what you’re looking for—others will scoop up the boat before you do.
Additionally, consider the service and maintenance department component when you buy a boat. While lots of folks think their relationship with the dealer ends at the sale, you’ll always want a good service and warranty department in your corner for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Sometimes it’s worth waiting for a good local dealer to have the boat you want, knowing they’ll be invested in keeping you happy after the sale closes.
2. Understanding your finance options
Don’t assume that you can get financing. Buying a boat is not like buying a car, and the loan underwriting for a recreational craft can sometimes be far more stringent than a vehicle loan.The best thing you can do before you start your boat search is to go online and pull your credit report . Then you can look at your outstanding debts, your overall credit score, and figure how much money you can afford to put down. That way you’ll know where you stand before you find your dream boat.
3. Confusing used for new
When it comes to buying a previously loved boat, check your expectations at the door; they can often mislead you. We typically find that a lot of used boat buyers get aggravated when a used boat isn’t as perfect as a new one.When looking at used boats, remember that they’re just that: used. While you shouldn’t expect to buy a used boat that is falling apart or un-seaworthy (unless that’s exactly what you’re looking for) you should expect some imperfections. Gelcoat may not shine like it used to; vinyl seating and canvas covers may have faded; hatch gasketing may need replacing; etc. Know that these cosmetic items have little to do with how well the boat runs or how safe it is. But don’t expect that new boat smell when the one you’re buying is four years old. And if you’re worried about hidden defects, consider hiring a surveyor before buying.
4. Separating your wants from your needs
Another mistake boat buyers make is not being able to separate their wants from their needs, and that means they miss out on lots of boats that would suit them just fine.Before you start your boat shopping (new or used) sit down and figure out what features you’ll actually use, and ones that’d be nice to have. Just like when you buy a house, everything is a compromise of one sort or another. For example, you may want a boat with joystick steering, but an old-fashioned wheel would work just fine. And if you can’t sort out your must-haves from your wants, a good dealer like Silver Lake Marine can probably help figure out what’s right for you.