Buying a boat is an exciting thing to do.
It is also an emotional thing that can cause your brain to malfunction – and you may miss (or ignore!) critical things that are right in front of your face.
This can cause you to make bad decisions – sometimes very bad decisions – and your dream boat soon becomes a floating money pit that seems more like an anchor tied around your neck!
Here are three things you really want to do BEFORE you buy that boat;
- Inspection – Make sure you get to inspect the boat both in the water and out of the water, and that you get to take it for a test drive. If possible have an impartial person (meaning you pay them for their opinion) inspect the boat too. Ideally someone knowledgable about boats such as an experienced boat owner, mechanic, or even a surveyor. Some surveyors will charge far less if they do not have to do a written formal report and all you want is for them to look at it and give you a verbal opinion.
- Insurance Quote – It is a shame to already own a boat and then get a quote for insurance that is more than you can afford – or even worse – find there is no one willing to insure it at all that you can find! Beyond just being common sense – insurance is often necessary for you to be able to rent a slip in many marinas. Find out what it will cost and who is willing to insure the boat before you own it.
- Slip Fees or Storage Costs – Depending on the size of the boat buying it is just the beginning of what it is going to cost you to own it. If it is larger than you can safely and realistically trailer you are probably going to be renting a slip. Depending on where you are and the size of the boat, slip rent can be several hundred dollars per month! This is something you need to clearly understand BEFORE you buy a boat you can not afford to pay the slip fees for. Likewise, even if you buy a trailerable boat you need a place to park it that is safe and legal. If you can’t do that because your yard is too small or you live in a condo etc, then you are going to have to rent storage for your boat. You need to know what ist costs and it needs to be nearby – or you simply won’t use the boat much – and that is almost guaranteed.
Your Decisions to Make
I am not telling you to buy a boat or not buy a boat either. All I am saying is that buying a boat is not like buying a car or a motorcycle in so many ways.
There is more to it and there are more factors and costs that can make a big impact in your life.
Of course, you also need to buy the right size boat and the right type boat for what you want to do with it, where you plan to operate it and what you can actually afford to maintain and operate as well as own it.
Before you rush out and make perhaps one of the worst decisions of your life – take a few minutes to do some homework and then proceed with caution. Make informed and intelligent decisions.
When you do that you are far more likely to be much happier with the boat you buy -be able to actually afford it – and enjoy it often too!
There are a number of excellent sources to look at for keeping an eye on the market and what’s available. This is something you should consider doing at all times – not just when you are actively looking to buy a certain piece of equipment.
Why might you want to do it?
The same reason you read trade magazines and blogs (and hopefully you do that too!) which is to stay informed on what is happening in the trucking industry (or construction or whatever other industry you may be in). You get to see trends and that helps you anticipate what is going to happen next. All that information helps you make better day to day business decisions.
When it comes to keeping an eye on equipment availability and prices it helps you there too. For starters, you will always know what the value of your equipment is – and what it would cost to add additional equipment should you decide to do so. If you pay particularly close attention you may even notice some other trends too – such as when there is so much equipment coming on the market as to drive the prices down across the board – and you can guess the underlying causes.
Here are a Few Truck Sales Sources to Look At
- Truck Paper – The first on my list – and one I have studied for years now is Truck Paper and it is a massive market place for all kinds of trucks and other equipment. The system is robust and free to search and you can key in all kinds of parameters. You can even bid on some equipment in auctions online – and other equipment listed will put you in direct contact with the owner/seller for you to negotiate with directly if you wish.
- Craigslist – Hey don’t laugh either. There are often some excellent truck and equipment dealers to be found on craigslist – but do be CAREFUL! There are some scammers there too. I found one who wanted to sell me a $35,000 tractor for $6000 – which would have been a killer deal, except for the fact they didn’t own it! Do your homework and use caution – but do not let that stop you! Some times you can find a small fleet or an owner operator who just wants to get out of the business and is willing to actually sell a truck or several trucks far below actual market value!
- Mega Carriers – you know the big boys routinely sell off their trucks by the hundreds as they continuously buy new trucks by the same numbers? It is possible to get a well-maintained fleet truck (that has been governed) and still has plenty of miles and usually some warranty left on it for a very reasonable price. Sometimes even below market – and especially if you are selling and able to buy several trucks at a time. Years ago when I was a safety director for a small to mid-sized fleet we routinely bout trucks in groups of 10 to 25 at a time this way and paid about half or less than half of what book was because of buying several at a time. Some were even 1/4 of what they would have cost at a dealer!
Obviously you can look at many other places too. Keep a pad of paper and a pencil (or your smartphone) handy and ready and as you see trucks for sale in yards and at businesses around the areas you travel stop and take a quick look – and be sure to get the complete phone number and the exact location!
There are some deals to be found this way too – and sometimes they are never even advertised anywhere!
The owner just sticks a sign in the window and that it. So unless you stumble upon it you will never even know it is there and for sale.
Use care dealers are another source. Sometimes they will take a commercial tractor in as a trade – and then they often can’t sell it as they had hoped – so they may be willing to let it go for a great price just to get that big ole truck off their tiny little sales lot.
Be Sure to Visit Seller Direct Services Too!
Hey, right now we are just barely getting this thing started – but in time my intent is t have many different trucks, trailers, and other commercial equipment along with boats, real estate, and other things featured right here on this site and on our accompanying YouTube channel.
So come back and see us often and you never know what you might find!