Boat owners often say that buying a boat was one of the happiest days in their lives. Whether you want a smaller boat that is just right for fishing on the lake, or you want something large enough to accommodate your whole family, you may feel the same way after bringing home a new boat. The problem with buying one of these water crafts is that the cost can be much higher than you anticipated. With some shopping tips, you can learn how to buy the right boat at a great price.
Evaluate Your Needs
Some boat owners make the mistake of buying a boat that doesn't meet their needs. Those who live quiet fishing trips might purchase something with a powerful motor that scares away the fish, and those who want a powerboat might buy one that is too small to accommodate all their friends. Think about how you want to use that boat and how often you will use it too. Make a list of the things that you must absolutely have and a list of things that you would like to have but can live without.
Look at Damage
Unless you have a lot of experience working with boats, don't assume that you can overlook some damage. Water stains on the floor can indicate a leak that a previous owner patched up and a leak that may return in the future. You may think that you can replace broken seats, reupholster stained or ripped upholstery and even make engine repairs on your own. While damaged boats cost less than newer boats do, you may find yourself losing money in the long run or with a boat that spends all day on one of your boat lifts and not in the water.
Shop in Different Ways
Saving money while shopping for a new boat requires that you look at different shops and buying methods. Outdoor specialty shops often host clearance sales in the fall and winter, which can help you save up to half on a new boat. You'll also want to check the classified ads in your area and online auctions. You might get a great deal on a boat that a previous owner purchased but can no longer afford. The more you save on your next boat, the more money you have for fishing and other trips on the water.