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What to Know Before Buying a Boat

By September 17, 2021September 20th, 2021Boat

If you have decided that you want to buy a boat, that is an excellent decision! Owning a boat can add exciting experiences to your life. However, there are a few things to consider before you finalize a sale. Thinking carefully about them can save you the pain of regret and send you on the road to memorable fun. Here is what to look for when buying a boat:


Decide what type of boat you want

People sometimes want to buy a boat but begin shopping for one without narrowing down their choices to a specific type. Your first task is to determine what kind of boat you want. Since there is a boat for almost any activity on the water—fishing, sports, speed, entertaining, etc.—you will need to ask yourself a few questions:  

  • Who will use the boat?
  • Where will you use it?
  • How will you use it?
  • How often will you use it?

Some boats are dedicated to specific activities, so you need to know how you will be using the boat. Then, do some research to find the right one to fit your activities and tastes.


Consider the costs of owning a boat 

Remember that the price of the boat is only the initial cost. You will need to calculate and include storing, maintaining, operating, and insuring it. Much of these costs will depend on factors such as the style and size of the boat you choose. The rule of thumb is that simpler and smaller will be less expensive.

Used boats will have a smaller price tag than new ones, but there is always the risk that they will eat up some of the savings with higher maintenance costs. Be sure to have any used boat examined by a professional to determine both its condition and value.


Decide where you will keep the boat

Keep in mind that if you buy a trailer for your boat, you can store it at home and save money on docking and winter storage fees. But every time you want to use your boat, you will need to take the time-consuming steps of driving it to a launch ramp and possibly waiting in line to get it in the water. If your boat is already stored in the water, you can make those after-work getaways much easier.


Inspect the boat with a walk-through, sea trial, and survey

Knowing how to buy a boat includes understanding the inspection process. If this is a significant purchase for you, you should go beyond a cursory walk-around. Sellers may try to confine your inspection to what they want you to see, so be sure to dig a bit deeper. If a deal sounds too sweet, that is just one more reason to be thorough.

Go for a sea trial to make sure you enjoy being on the water with the boat. After the trial, have the boat hauled from the water to find out if anything is hidden below the waterline. Then, consider hiring a surveyor, especially if the boat exceeds 30 feet. Many insurance companies will require a survey, and you will learn even more about the boat you are considering purchasing.


Should I buy a boat that is new or used?

Once you start shopping, you will soon discover that many used boats are available at a fraction of the price of the same one that is brand new. Since aluminum and fiberglass do not rot as traditional wood does, these boats could last a long time. However, you should exercise due diligence on all aspects if you want to buy a boat that has been previously owned.


Take precautions when closing the deal

Bring your poker face when you negotiate the purchase price. The more you appear to love the boat, the higher the price will be. Keep your emotions at bay as you check for online fraud, complete the paperwork, and agree on a price. If it is a private sale, make sure the person selling the boat actually owns it.

Check the paperwork thoroughly, and if the boat is stored at a marina, be sure to ask the manager if there are outstanding bills or liens on the boat.


Who Can I Contact to Get Boat Insurance?

The insurance professionals at White Cloud Insurance help you protect yourself and your new boat, regardless of the size or type. We represent the finest and most reputable insurance companies in the country, and we will work with you to find the best coverage.

Use our convenient contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at At NSI Insurance Group, you are always our priority.