Buying A New Boat

Buying a new boatBuying a boat can be fun and easy if you have done your homework before hand, and know what you are looking for.

New or Used

First things first. Are you wanting to purchase new or used. There are benefits to both. With a new boat, you are the first owner. You are not getting a boat that has been used by someone else, that may have problems, as well as wear and tear. Most new boats come with a warranty, that a used boat would not have, unless you purchase an independent extended warranty on a used boat. You also have the support of the dealer you purchased your boat from. And I always like the smell of something new. A new boat will carry a higher price than a used boat that has depreciated over time.

Purchasing a used boat can provide some good deals, especially if you have done your research. It is interesting to see the habits of boat owners. Some are really meticulous when it comes to the care and upkeep of their boat, while others really abuse it. You can usually tell from first inspection. A used boat, if broken in properly, will run well. Boats, after they are broken in seem to run much smoother than when first purchased. Depending on the area, there are always an abundance of used boats on the market. The price of a used boat is much less than a new one, however, used boats have been known to maintain their values, compared to that of automobiles.

What Kind?

You need to determine what type of boat you are looking for. Whether it is for fishing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, entertaining guests, transportation, or all of the above. Boats come in all different sizes and purposes. If you are strictly looking for a boat for fishing, you certainly would not buy a Malibu or a Supra boat. And if you are going for a boat to fish from, there are different types of fishing boats, whether you are bass fishing or deep sea fishing. So determine what type. Once you are narrowed that down, then you are ready to do some research.

Researching Boats

It pays off to do a lot of research on the type of boat you are looking for. There are excellent boating forums that can give you first-hand information on different types of boats and what is good, better and best. The largest boating forum is iboats forum at They have a wealth of information, have been around a long time, and have really helpful and friendly members. It is free to join. iboats also has a section on their website that gives all the specs on new boats.


Once you’ve done your homework, its time to go shopping. Go out and look at a lot of boats. Don’t go out and buy the first boat you look at. It is helpful to look at the comparisons between new and used, and the different boating types and manufacturers. There are high-end, medium and low-end boats. And sometimes the difference in price, doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting a lower quality boat. For example, a Bayliner has been considered a lower-end priced boat, but their boats are made to last. There are a lot of really old Bayliners that are still running great.

Work a Deal

After you have done your research and have shopped a little, you are ready to make a deal. Because you have educated yourself with the boating market, you’ll have good leverage in cutting the best deal possible. If you are shopping for a new boat, let the dealer know that you are considering other local dealer’s boats in the area. Get them to commit on their absolute lowest price, and then shop that price with other dealers. Don’t let them talk you into a deal right then and there without talking to the other dealers.

If you are shopping for a used boat, know the market values for the year, make and model boats you are looking at. When inspecting a boat, point out all the problems, scratches, dings and indicate the cost it will take to repair them. This gives you leverage in negotiating a lower price. It is also important to know the reason they are selling. They may be desperate and willing to take a low-ball price if you can pay them cash up front now, and not have to wait for financing approval.

You certainly want to take the boat out for a test drive, or at least start it up with the proper water hookup, to know how it sounds and feels.

If you have done all of the above, and then more, you’ll be more prepared to made a smart purchase on a boat than 90 percent of the boat shoppers out there. Have fun, and enjoy your new boat!