Beginners Guide to Buying a Boat - Cost Considerations: New vs Used Boats
The first thing to consider when going forth into the buying process of a boat is identifying if you would like a new or used boat. Both options have pros & cons so it is essential to analyze which better fits your needs.
-Who doesn’t like a shiny, new toy? There is no history to uncover, because you’ll write this boat’s on-water biography.
-You can buy exactly what you want and not just what’s on the preowned market. You’ll be getting the latest, greatest technology and innovations.
-If something does go awry, you’ll have a manufacturer’s warranty to back you up. That warranty is served by the selling dealer, which is a good reason to buy nearby.
-You can rig it the way you want with the latest gear selected precisely for your purpose.
-With a used boat, you get more boats for fewer dollars, lower cost per year of ownership, and less on the line if you decide a different style or size boat would better serve you.
-It sounds funny, but there’s peace of mind in knowing you’re not going to put the first scratch or ding in the boat.
-Any initial bugs in the boat or motor have likely surfaced and been dealt with.
-You get time-tested technologies.The previous owner has already worked out all of the kinks for you.
What is your budget? Purchasing a boat is an investment that will bring joy and lifelong memories. Yet, getting an understanding of how much it will cost upfront is necessary to the process so that it can be completed. Boating is more affordable than you think. With an idea of the type of boat you want to purchase, narrow things further with several practical considerations that can help you set your budget. Using that number, you can decide how to formulate your boating purchase. If you’re financing the purchase, remember that your credit rating will factor into your purchase; since this is a discretionary purchase, don’t tie up needed cost-of-living funds in your boat.
Costs to consider when buying a boat:
You’ll need at least liability coverage, and likely damage coverage—especially if it’s a newer vessel. Often lenders will require comprehensive coverage on a financed purchase. It’s smart money in the long run, in case of accident or theft—your boat is covered!
Storage Options & Costs
You may want a cover, a top, or maybe even consider renting inside storage if you can’t keep the boat at your home or on your property. Summer and winter storage are two very different necessities in parts of the country where the climate is colder. Winter storage in colder climes typically involves winterization prep for engine and boat, as well as durable coverage where snow, rain and winter winds have potential for damage.
Like a car, a boat purchase also carries yearly maintenance costs, and these can vary based on the type of boat, how often it's used, whether it’s used in fresh or saltwater, and whether it begins its life with you as new or used.
A new boat will cost less to maintain than a used one, at least for the first few years. With cars, you have cleaning, oil changes, tire and brake service, cleaning, perhaps a battery replacement, and maybe an alignment. With a boat, you have all the same engine maintenance costs, and cleaning, but add hull maintenance, storage, winterizing (when you don’t use the boat year-round), haul-out (if not keeping in the water year-round), and spring make-ready and launch.
Costs for these services can vary widely; some of the determining factors will be the boat and engine size, the local area, fresh or saltwater, and the type of storage (inside a building or outside, covered, rack storage, etc.). Likewise, costs increase with boat and engine size.
Upon deciding what condition and price of the boat is best fit for you, it is time to begin the real process of looking at, surveying and choosing the boat for you. Browsing website inventories and stopping by boat sales offices will best help you to see all available options. Getting in touch with a sales associate is a great asset as they know their inventory like the back of their hand. A sales associate will provide options that perfectly fit the range of your wants, needs and budget. They will also take you on sea trials, when you get to take the boat out on the water with the sales associate to really get a feel for the vessel's true power on the water.