The Top 10 Boat Buying Mistakes

...and how to avoid them

Don't make a costly boat buying mistake

If you’re like most people, chances are when you bought your first new boat you made a mistake or two that ended up causing you money and causing you aggravation. Now you’re older and wiser, you’ve decided to move up in size, or purchase something different to fit your needs, but boat buying is still full of pitfalls.

To help you save money and find exactly the right boat for you, we interviewed six veteran dealers and asked them to describe the 10 most common mistakes boat buyers make. Let the buyer beware.

1 . Buyers fail to understand their needs.

Before you buy your next boat, you should also reexamine your needs and ask yourself the following questions:

• What will you primarily use this boat for?
• Is this boat right for your family?
• Do you have a boating partner?
• Will you be boating alone?
• Perhaps you want to fish, but your kids want to ski. Is this boat capable of both?
• Do you really need a cuddy, or does a bow rider offer more useful space?

Talk it over with the family and make sure their needs are taken into consideration. Just because it looks nice doesn’t mean it’s going to accommodate the needs and activities of each family member.

2. Buyers fail to understand the true costs of owning a boat.

When you purchased your first boat you may have thought your major expenditures were over. There’s much more than that, obviously, and it can add up to a considerable amount. Storage and moorage are probably your biggest expenses.

First, before you buy you should have a place in mind that has a slip or storage rack big enough for your size boat.

Second, take the time to itemize taxes, winterizing, spring commissioning, maintenance, repair, insurance and fuel costs. Add these costs up, divide by 12 months, and add the number to your monthly boat payments. Now you have a better picture of what your boat will cost. (Remember, you are not buying a boat to save money. If you want to do that put it in the bank and enjoy your 1.5% annual interest.)

3. Buyers fail to understand the commitment required.

Boating is not only a recreational activity, it is a commitment, and owning a boat is more time consuming than you may think. Boats, even new ones, need some TLC on your part. Boating will also compete with other aspects in your life; so scheduling some boating time may not always be easy, especially when you have several members in a family pulling you in different directions.

If you’re a weekend boater, you may be tied up at your son’s football game, daughter’s ballet rehearsal, morning golf game, lunch with friends and many other countless commitments. If you’re an individual who is generally busy to begin with, you should realize right away that your boating time would be cut in half. If not, you’ll find yourself in a constant dilemma between choosing your hobby and sticking to your commitments.

4. Buyers fail to ask: “When is the best time to buy a boat?”

There are several best times to buy a boat. During a boat show dealers are usually offering some of the best deals. They not only want to move the merchandise, but they also have all their competition surrounding them also offering their own boat show deals. Builders often sweeten the pot at boat shows with rebates. But buyers should realize that these incentives are usually also available from the winter months up until the start of the boating season. In addition, you may find a great deal during...

[ read more ] ... still to come, the complete 12-page article continues with the TOP 10 mistakes that boat buyers make and how to avoid them. In addition, I include a detailed section about moving up (pros and cons) and details about boat design considerations when evaluating the cost vs. quality of the next boat.

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