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New vs Used Boats – The Pros and Cons

4 minutes read
25 Jan, 2023
By Natasha Baldwin

New vs Used Boats - The Pros and Cons

New vs Used boats

Not sure whether to buy a new boat or an older boat? Let’s take a look at the benefits of each to help make your decision a bit easier.

See also buying your first boat to see what else you should consider.

Why buy a new boat?


The benefits of buying a new boat


There is more choice when looking at new boats

The world is your oyster when it comes to selecting a new boat. You don’t have to rummage through the listings to find a boat which only meets some of your criteria; you can buy a boat that ticks all of the boxes. You don’t have to compromise, and you can even customise your boat to ensure it is equipped in the right way for its desired purpose.

A new boat is brand new

Whilst this is painstakingly obvious, a new boat has suffered no damage; no prior history of misuse or damage, and everything is fresh and new. New models will have the latest iterations of tech, making it more efficient. For this reason, newer boats are likely to be more environmentally friendly, too.

New boats are covered by a warranty

Provided by the dealer, a warranty is peace of mind that your boat will operate safely and swiftly. If you do experience any problems or find any faults with your boat, you are protected, and can be confident that any issues will be addressed and resolved in a timely manner.

You can choose the style of the sale

There are more routes to buying the same boat rather than it being a one-off sale with one seller. Whether you want to use a dealer, broker, or private seller, you can go through whichever suits you best.


Things to consider when buying a new boat


The delay from purchasing a new or custom boat

If your boat is custom built rather than buying it from stock, you may need to wait longer for it to be built, shipped, and delivered. If your boat is a brand new model and is in high demand, you are likely to have to wait longer for it to even be available for purchase.

New boats are more expensive

A new boat will be more expensive due to the reasons listed above - it will be unused, its design and technology will be the latest and more modern with options of customisation.

New boats experience depreciation

Typically, a boat will experience depreciation around 15% in its first year. This will differ depending on the boat, conditions of the market and how often you use it.

Testing a new boat

If you want to buy a new boat and you have a very specific model in mind, the exact model may not be available to test. The test model available may have a different engine/set-up or be a different weight/size, so you may not get the feel of the exact boat you intend to purchase.

There are less people who have tried and tested the boat

A new boat is likely to have less consumer hours on the water; therefore, aspects of its design will be less tested by fellow boaters. Therefore, it is harder to know the genuine thoughts and feelings from others who have bought and used the same boat you intend to buy. There may be design faults or points of failure that are yet to be discovered.


Why buy a used boat?


The benefits of buying a used boat


Used boats have a lower initial cost

A used boat will be cheaper for you per year of ownership due to its initial lower cost. This does not mean that buying a used boat will not be a large investment; a good boat (and depending on the type of boat) will still be costly.

A used boat is more likely to be available immediately

Typically, a used boat is available when you want it as it is a one-off offer on a specific boat. There may possibly be boats of similar ages or models to look at and compare – whatever boat you have in mind when you begin your search may not be the exact craft you finally purchase. It’s an exciting prospect to journey to the perfect boat. It is likely you can also then drive the boat (usually following a survey). You will get a better sense of what it is like to operate, as it will be the actual boat you could own.

Used boats have already undergone most of their depreciation

A boat will inevitably undergo depreciation, so you can save money on a boat that has already experienced this - it would happen to the boat anyway. You also eliminate the pressure of keeping the boat in perfect condition, as it has already experienced minor wear and tear.

You can have confidence in the boat’s condition

Any initial problems with the boat have likely already surfaced and been resolved by the former owner; therefore, you can be confident that the boat is safe and works to the correct standard. A survey is always recommended to ensure the soundness of the boat and give peace of mind; any faults will be found by the surveyor and reported back to you in a full report. A used boat is likely to have parts or technologies that have stood the test of time, so you can research online to find out any experiences that other boaters have had with the same style, make, or components. Bringing along an expert who is experienced in vessel structure, build types, and components will also help confirm this.

If you’re interested in a project, this is a great opportunity

If you are buying a used boat that needs repairing or upgrading, this is a fun (!) project to undertake which, at the end, you will be rewarded with a boat you can vouch for. This will also mean you have a boat with a great sense of history.


Things to consider when buying a used boat


Used boats may need more maintenance

Depending on the condition of the boat that you are buying, there may be aspects of the boat that need upgrading or refurbishing - for example the electronics, gear, or engine. This will also need to happen sooner than upgrading the parts of a new boat. You should also be vigilant to look for any hidden problems that may not have been realised by the seller.

See which boats we have available or contact us for more information.

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