If you’re looking at buying your first boat, no doubt you have a lot of questions and don’t know where to start. The whole process can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to boating and unsure exactly what features will be important to you.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine the type of boat you want. Work out exactly how you wish to use your boat and the features that are important to you. You may want a trailer boat so you can take it with you from waterway to waterway on all different trips. This will save you a lot of money on docks and winter storage as well. Alternatively, you may want a boat that stays in the docks to save time loading and unloading the boat. If your boat stays in the docks it makes quick, after-work getaways easy! These kinds of boats are generally a lot bigger. Maybe space is important to you and you’d like to have enough room to throw a boat party! Other things to consider would be speed and size.
You may have a family who loves to go jet skiing, or maybe you’re planning some overnight trips. If you plan on having friends or family learn to operate the boat too, it’s worth finding out which boats will be easiest to learn on. Sometimes when getting caught up in the excitement of the purchase, it’s easy to lose sight of what the boat will actually be used for and who will be using it. A great way to determine the type of boat that’s right for you is to attend a boat show. These are held annually in major cities.
Alternatively, there is a lot of information online, or your local dealers may be able to assist.
nEW BOAT OR SECOND HAND
The next step is figuring out if you want to buy a new or second-hand boat! There’s an extra element of luxury when purchasing a brand new boat. New boats will guarantee no expensive issues, as they’re unharmed and under warranty. A beautiful, shiny new boat would look extra impressive out on the water too! However new boats have a hefty price tag and are out of budget for most boat buyers.
Boats depreciate in value a lot, so purchasing second hand can give you all the features you’re after for a fraction of the cost. Modern fibreglass and aluminium boats don’t rot like the traditional wooden boats used to so today’s boats last a long time, especially if they’re properly cared for. If you are concerned about the longevity of a second-hand boat, don’t be! Booking a pre-purchase boat inspection through SeaWorthy Inspections (VIC only) will put your mind at ease.
The final step is working out your budget and if you’re getting a good deal.
GATHER AS MUCH INFORMATION AS YOU CAN
A little bit of research goes a long way when purchasing a boat! Look around online at as many websites as possible.
Attend different dealers, collecting information brochures and prices for the boats that meet your requirements.
Always ask a lot of questions! Whether you’re buying new or second-hand, you need as much information as possible to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
Ask about warranties and service. If the price on offer is the lowest available if they can do better, and what’s included.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate! If you’re buying second-hand, the most important question to ask is “Do you have proof this boat is in seaworthy condition?” If they do not, and the boat you’re looking at meets all of your boating requirements, contact SeaWorthy Inspections in Victoria, Australia, or your local marine surveyors/technicians, to come and check the boat over for any signs of damage that could cost you extra money or risk your safety.