If you’re in the market for a boat, there’s no better place to see all the latest models than at your local boat show. You can browse and peruse to your delight, asking questions, looking at inventory, and checking out all the newest bells and whistles each manufacturer has to offer. There’s plenty to learn about the different types of watercraft and what they have to offer. Whether you are a first-time buyer or you’ve spent most of your life on the water, buying a boat is an exciting experience. Continue reading to learn our tips for making your boat shopping experience a positive one.
Choosing Your Watercraft
There are several different types of boats, all of which offer different types of benefits on the water. Bass boats are designed for fishing enthusiasts, ski boats and personal watercrafts are made for those who want to experience thrills on the water, and sailboats are ideal for people who enjoy leisure and relaxation. Other boats, such as pontoons, are more versatile, allowing for fishing, leisure, and limited water sports.
You should also consider other factors, like how comfortable you are maneuvering a large watercraft and where you will store your boat. Unless you plan to keep your boat in a slip or dock, you may need to secure alternative storage.
When you decide on the type of boat you want, it’s time to start exploring your options. First, decide how you will pay for your watercraft. Most boat shows have lenders onsite to help with financing, but you may be able to find better terms on your own by shopping and comparing rates before the show.
Next, you’ll need to decide if you want to purchase a new or used vessel. Boat shows are generally about selling new boats, but many dealers also keep used inventory in stock, as well.
When you purchase a new boat, you can either select a watercraft from a dealer’s existing inventory, or you can have a boat custom built to your specifications. Most new vessels come with warranties, and dealers may offer additional warranties and special services at the time of the sale. We recommend shopping and comparing options from multiple dealers in your area – something that may be easier to do at a boat show than by walking into individual salesrooms. You should also read reviews of local dealers to rule out any business that has a poor reputation.
If you purchase a used boat, you could save thousands of dollars in upfront costs since the depreciation has already been factored into the price. Used boats are available from private sellers, as well as dealers, although some dealers may offer additional benefits, such as a limited warranty or special assistance services. Keep in mind, however, that used boats come with higher risk of problems and mechanical failures. Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to fully inspect the engine and electrical systems, and also look for signs of rot, cabin leaks, failing pumps, or saturated foam.
Don’t Forget the Insurance
After you close the deal, give an independent agent here at Carrigan Insurance a call right away to secure coverage for your boat. While your homeowners insurance may provide limited watercraft coverage, chances are it is highly restrictive and only applicable to small sailboats and low-horsepower vessels.
With a dedicated boat insurance policy, you can get coverage that pays for liability, physical damages, your trailer, special equipment, emergency assistance, and more – both on and off the water. We’ll help you shop and compare policies and rates to find the coverage that’s right for you.