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!