Buying a boat for the family is a major expense and one you’ll have to deal with for years to come. For many people, this might be a lifelong dream, and they might overlook some details just so they can realize it. However, if you go in uninformed or ignore a few important things and rush your decision, it could rapidly turn into a nightmare. Smart buyers are informed and have a clear checklist of things they should be looking for before making any purchase. Here are some of the most important points to consider when buying a boat.
Pre-Owned or New?
When buying a boat, you have the choice between a brand-new boat and a pre-owned one. Just like a car, both have their set of pros and cons.
If you have the money for it, and it’s really not an issue, then it’s always better to go with a new one. The main reason why going for a new one is usually a better decision is because of the warranty. Repairs on a boat can get pretty expensive and knowing that you’ll be covered will give you some extra peace of mind.
However, note that new boats lose a lot of their value after their first year and many people prefer buying a pre-owned boat for this reason. Pre-owned boats are considerably cheaper, and they don’t always have a lot of wear and tear on them, so some used boats are just as good as new.
What Size would be the Best?
When choosing a size for the boat, there are a lot of things you’ll have to take into consideration. First thing you should think about is where you’ll be using it and how. If you’re going to be using it on lakes or rivers, anything between 18ft and 40ft should have everything you need for a day on the water. However, if you were thinking of using the boat as a sort of second summer home where you can spend the night, you might need something a bit bigger with more amenities, like a cabin and a galley among other things.
You also have to consider how many people will be on the boat at any given time. Do you expect to have friends over in addition to your family? Do you want an extra room if you plan to entertain? Or do you simply need something simple where you’ll be able to get some quiet time?
Your budget will also dictate how big a boat you can actually afford. And we’re not only talking about the price of the boat. There are tons of other things you’ll have to consider like moorage, cleaning, drydocking, maintenance, gasoline, boat insurance, cleaning and winter storage, all things that will be affected by the boat’s size.
Sail or Motor?
The choice here usually boils down to preference. However, sailboats will have more of a learning curve and are dependent on the wind. But a sailboat might be perfect if all you need is a boat for gentle cruising or quiet fishing. But if you want to do some water-skiing with the kids, then you’ll have to go with a boat with either an outboard or inboard engine.
What will the Boat be Used for?
If you still can’t figure out which type of boat would be the best for you, there are a few questions you can ask to make the choice easier. Do you want to put it on a trailer? How much experience do you have? Do you want to impress people coming over or business contacts? Is it going to have multiple purposes? How much money can you actually afford? This should give you a clearer view of what boat you should go for.
There are tons of different options available if you’re looking for financing for a boat. Loans on boats will usually have longer terms, and you’ll be able to repay within 10 to 20 years in most cases. Some lenders will only work on bigger, more expensive boats, and others with boats costing $30,000 or less.
However, if you have poor or no credit, your options might be a bit more limited. In these cases, you’ll often have to offer the boat as collateral for the loan. So, if you can’t repay on time, the lender will be able to seize the boat. You could also use your home equity to get a loan. Or you could look for a personal bad credit boat loan.
Services like Bonsai Finance can connect you to hundreds of different bad credit boat loan providers, so you can pick the right one for you. These people will be less concerned with your credit score, but more with your ability to actually repay the loan. However, if you’re concerned about getting rejected, you could ask a friend or relative to endorse you. However, know that they’ll bear some of the responsibility as well.
Insurance is also very important when buying a boat, and it will need to be insured first if you intend to finance it or buy it with cash. While most people will start looking around, it’s always better to work with a reputable agent who works with underwriters who are familiar with boats. Agents will usually have access to much better deals than the average buyer since they already have long-standing relationships with many insurance companies.
The size, value, and age of the boat will all have an influence on how much you can expect to pay. In the case of a used boat, a survey will have to be performed first to assess its condition.
Buying a boat can be a dream come true, but make sure that you take the steps necessary to make sure that you buy the right one. Also, make sure that you’re aware of the responsibilities of owning a boat before you make your decision.
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