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9 Essential Steps To Buying a Boat


Boat Buying

You’ve been dreaming of owning a boat for some time now, maybe years in fact, and finally, you’ve got to the point where you’re able to make that a reality, but you’re just unsure of where to start…

We’ve broken the stages of boat buying down into some simple steps and put them into this handy blog post that will walk you through all the necessary elements that you should consider when purchasing your boat!

1. Type of boat:

If you’ve been dreaming for a while, you may already have some idea of what kind of boat you want, and what you’ll want out of your boating adventure, for example; leisure, relaxation, family needs, lifestyle, fishing, water sports etc.

However, you may not know exactly what make, model or brand to go for. Therefore, deciding what type of boat is right for you is a crucial part of the process, knowing what you want from a boat will make everything that much easier for you.

Once you know what the purpose of your boat is for, our advice would be to get out and look what’s on the market, there’s plenty of vessels in all sizes for all needs – research on the web, visit local dealers, or, if you’re willing, it’s worth travelling as far and wide as you’re able to do so to find your perfect boat!



2. Do your research:

As with anything, it’s important to do your research. Similar to buying a car, you’d go out, take a look around at all the dealerships and test drive a few you think you may like. This is the same concept for boats!

Read up on any and all information to really get to know what’s out there for you, that way you’ll really get to grips with the kind of budget you’ll need to purchase a boat, where’s the best places to buy and anything else you’ll need to consider that you may not have already thought about.

You don’t want to commit to such a big purchase and then regret it later!

3. Budget:

Knowing what type of boat you want is great, but will it fit within your budget? This is another key part of your boat buying process.

Have an idea of the kind of budget you’ll have to purchase your boat with, and do some further research into any other costs that you may need to spend out on when purchasing – this way you’ll have a clearer indication of the money you have purely just for the purchase of the boat.

It’s important for you to get the best out of your budget!

4. Test sail:

This was mentioned a little earlier on, but, if possible, it’s best to get that boat out on the water…after all, that’s where you’ll be using it!

The boat may look pretty and impressive, but does it still wow you when you get behind the helm?

Check with the dealership or seller if it’s possible for you to take the boat out for a test sail, it’s just a way of ensuring that you’re completely happy before making a purchase.

5. Details:

Before the purchase of any boat, it’s important to check out the details so you know the boat has all the correct and legal paperwork.

Checking the details of new boats is easier than that of used boats, new boats = no previous owners and all paperwork should be provided by the manufacturer via the seller or broker. If you’re buying a new boat and they can’t provide the paperwork, it would be advisable to question the validity of the sale and perhaps look elsewhere. However, this shouldn’t happen if you’re buying from a reputable boat sales company.

A lack of paperwork can cause a number of issues and you should proceed with this situation carefully, particularly with used boats. Without details of a boat’s complete paperwork which includes Bills of Sale, Tax paid status and Builder’s Certificate, etc, you are potentially likely to encounter problems later on should you come to sell the boat. A reputable boat dealer will most certainly talk you through all of this and point out any potential pitfalls.

6. Survey:

Surveys act as a safeguard against buying a boat that could appear to be a bargain, but in fact it actually needs costly work to make the structure sound. They allow you to get a clear indication of the boat’s condition – looking at the structure of the vessel and its equipment.

There are a number of different kinds of surveys (link to a blog post on boat surveys)

If a survey uncovers any issues, it enables you to amend the selling price, or to look elsewhere. However, if a survey comes back positive then it offers you some peace of mind on your purchase!

7. Offer:

Once you are happy and sure you’re wanting to make the purchase, it’s then time to make an offer on that dream boat of yours!

8. Insurance, storage & moorings:

Once completing the purchase of your boat, the next step is to then think about insuring it, similar to a car, insurance will vary dependant on the make, model and type of boat.

Looking after your boat once purchasing is key to ensuring that the vessel has a long and happy life, storage is an important factor for this – make sure you’ve thought carefully about where and how you’ll store your boat.

You may also want to think about moorings – where would you like to moor your boat and are there any local to you? Etc.

It’s difficult to give a clear indication on any of these elements as they're entirely dependant upon the type of boat, and size of boat you go for, and so it would be advisable to research your options for all of these and figure out the best possible outcome for you and your boat.

9. Complete:

Congratulations – you’ve purchased your boat and you can sail away happily in the knowledge that you’ve followed every step to ensure you’ve purchased the right boat for you at the right price!