Spending time out on the water can be very enjoyable, so it is not surprising that many people want to own their own boat. But buying your first boat should never be a hasty decision. If you want to buy a boat that will best suit the needs of you and your family, it is important to be informed and prepared. Use the following tips to help you purchase your first boat:
Set a Budget
Boats are available in a wide range of prices, so it is important to determine exactly how much you can afford to spend. When establishing your budget, don't just consider the cost of the boat itself-- you also need to consider how much insurance will cost, as well as registration and regular maintenance to keep your boat in good condition.
New or Used
While there are many boat dealers that sell brand new boats, there are also a large number of used boats for sale. If your budget is not large, a used boat may be a better option for you. But just like buying a used car, a used boat can have issues, so make sure that you research the make and model of the boat you are interested in as well as have it inspected before you buy it. If you opt for a brand new boat, don't forget to negotiate on the price and look for favorable warranty terms.
An important thing to consider before buying your first boat is where it will be stored. If you buy a boat that can fit in your garage, you will have to make sure that your vehicle can safely tow the boat to the lake or ocean when you want to use it. Those who purchase larger boats may opt to keep their boats at a harbor or marina-- if you want to do this, make sure that there is a slip available near you, and don't forget to factor in the cost of keeping your boat in a marina or harbor.
Type of Boat
One of the keys to being happy with your first boat is carefully thinking about what type of boat you want. If you enjoy leisurely afternoons on the lake with a large number of friends and family, a pontoon boat may be your best option. On the other hand, a speed boat may be a better choice if you prefer water skiing and tubing. If you have sailing experience, a sail boat may be perfect for you.