Boat shows have a way of stirring up excitement for summer – especially if you are in the market for a new boat. In just one visit, you can see the newest models for 2018, learn about innovations in nautical gear and equipment, meet with manufacturers, and talk money with dealers – all under one roof. If you think a new boat may be in your immediate future, read on to learn our tips for choosing the one that’s right for you.
Decide Your Budget
It takes a lot of money to buy and own a boat. Before you start shopping around, determine how much you want to spend on a boat and how much you plan to spend on maintenance and repairs. New boats, for example, may cost more, but they typically come with warranties that pay for certain mechanical failures and other expenses. Buying used, on the other hand, can save you money on the purchase price, but you could sink more cash into the boat for repairs.
If you are planning to finance your boat, consider getting rate quotes and a loan pre-approval before you start actively shopping. If you are planning to purchase a boat at the boat show, in-house financing will likely be available, but you may find more favorable terms by shopping for a lender on your own.
Choose Your Boat
If you are a veteran boater, you probably already have an idea of what type of watercraft you are looking for. If you are new to the boating world, however, it may take a little research to assure you make the right purchase. With so many different types of boats, make sure you know the answers to these questions:
- What do you want to use your boat for most – fishing, skiing, entertaining, cruising?
- What experience do you have piloting a boat on the water?
- How many people do you need seating for on your boat?
- Do you have room to store your boat at your home? If so, how big is that space?
The first question will tell you which type of boat you may want. Bass boats are a popular choice for anglers since their outboard motors allow them to travel into both deep and shallow waters, and the live wells make it easy to store bait and fresh catches. If you are more of a sports enthusiast, you may prefer the power and speed of a ski boat or wake boat. Other popular boat types include:
- Cuddy cabins
- Deck boats
- Personal watercraft
- And many more
The next three questions will tell you what size boat to purchase. Obviously, the biggest factor is the number of passengers you require seating for, but it is also important to consider your comfort level piloting a large boat. If you are new to boating, a smaller watercraft may be easier to maneuver on the water and transport to and from storage. Smaller boats are also easier to store in garage spaces. If your boat is too large, you may need to rent specialty storage space instead.
Don’t Forget the Boat Insurance
Lastly, don’t forget to purchase boat insurance for your new purchase. Homeowners insurance does not provide much coverage – if any – for moderate to large watercraft. With a boat insurance policy, you can rest assured that your entire boat and all of its special equipment is covered against damage or loss. Boat insurance can also cover passenger injuries and protect you against financial responsibility for third-party bodily injury or property damage liability.
To find out more about boat insurance and how an independent agent can help you save, contact our office to request a free quote.