What you need to know before buying a boat

What you need to know before buying a boat

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Buying a boat is a big investment and one that you will want to be sure that you get right. Whether you have experience with boats or this is your first boat purchase, it's crucial that you take the time to consider your options and find a boat that will suit your needs and provide you with a comfortable, safe and enjoyable vessel to set sail in.

If you were buying a new car or home, you would take the time to carry out a careful, in-depth inspection before committing to the sale and buying a boat is different.

Pre-purchase boat inspections when buying a boat are essential, not only to give you more peace of mind about your purchase but also to ensure that your boat is safe and seaworthy.

Regardless of whether you are new to the world of boating or you are a seasoned vet, you need to know that your vessel is shipshape before you buy.

Continue reading to find out what you need to consider before buying a boat.

Choose the right boat type

There are many different types of boats out there, from fishing boats to powerboats, yachts and more. Knowing how you intend to spend time on your boat, who you will be venturing out to sea with, where you will be boating and how you will store your new vessel will help you to determine which type of boat is right for you.

Decide between new and used

Of all the things to know before you buy a boat, the debate of new vs used is one of the more pressing. New boats are expensive, and just like a new car, they are susceptible to depreciation as soon as you sign on the dotted line.

However, many boat-buyers feel more secure buying a new boat, as it will be problem-free and generally under warranty. On the other hand, used boats are much more affordable, but you will need to be careful that you buy something that is safe and seaworthy.

A faulty boat could cost you thousands to rectify, or worse leave you stranded at sea.

Understand the costs

While buying a boat is not cheap, owning a boat has a lot of additional costs that you should be aware of. From insurance to storage to maintenance and repairs, there are a lot of additional expenses that you will need to take into account when you're buying a boat.

Be sure to budget for these additional costs from the outset to ensure there are no hidden surprises down the line.

Know where to shop

Boats can be bought directly from authorised dealers, at boatyards, auctions and from private sellers in the local classifieds.

Where you buy your boat will largely be dictated by the type of boat you want to buy, the budget you have available and what add-ons or specs you have in mind. Knowing where to shop will save you time and help you to get the best value for your money.

Take it for a trial run

You wouldn't buy a car without taking it for a test drive, and you certainly shouldn't commit to buying a boat without first taking it for a sea trial. Remember that the boat is likely to perform differently if it is just you and the seller onboard compared to having a full crew or a group of family and friends on the deck.

If your boating experience is limited, you can contact an independent marine inspector or surveyor to inspect the boat on your behalf to ensure that it is in good condition before you buy it.

Take your time and find the right boat for you

Buying a boat can take time and should not be rushed. While you might be keen to get out on the water as soon as possible, waiting a few extra weeks can make all the difference in finding a boat that will meet your needs.

Take your time, be patient and avoid rushing into a sale to ensure you find the perfect vessel for you.