For many sailors, buying a boat is the culmination of a dream. Whatever your plan, it will cost you time and money. So it’s important to make the right choice. Here is a guide to help you buy your boat.
1. Choose a boat that fits your sailing plan
Your crush on a boat can turn into a real ordeal. The first step is to make a choice based on your sailing schedule. Do you prefer a motorboat to a sailboat? Are you ready to spend a lot of time on a classic wooden motor? There is a multitude of models with completely different uses. If you are experienced, take your time to make the right decision. If you are a novice, it is better to get help from a specialist. This will help you avoid many unfortunate mistakes.
2. Define your budget
Don’t kid yourself; there is more to buying a boat than just the cost. You have to consider maintenance, insurance, harbor space, etc. Per year, these costs can be as high as 10% of the purchase price of the boat. They can climb even faster than old boats. To do this, you must do your accounts and, above all, define your priorities. Determining your budget will allow you to better orient your choice.
3. Do your research
Once you have determined your budget and chosen the features of your boat, it is time to start looking for it. Start by creating a list of favorite boats that have the essential characteristics that interest you. This list will allow you to make the first selection and refine your search.
Then, go to the brokers’ ads. For the most part, they are comprehensive and give you the opportunity to verify the specifications yourself. Take a close look at the photos in the ad, and don’t be fooled. Also, explore the internet for specialized boat sales portals.
Nowadays, almost all boat brands have at least one website. This gives you direct access to a multitude of boats. Do not neglect the used boat sales websites. Also, do some research on the online comparison sites. Thanks to their filters, they will give you access to a wide range of boats.
4. Make visits
Whether you are a regular or not, have a broker accompany you on a boat tour. While on the premises, make sure you remain objective. Don’t let euphoria or a negative first impression guide you. Start by checking out the boat’s engine. Then, move on to the interior of the boat to get a close look at the woodwork, electronics, cabins, etc.
Look out for any leaks or other faults. However, keep in mind that no matter what the problem is, a solution can be found. After this step, ask to try the boat. During the test drive, pay attention and take notes on the boat’s behavior. This may help you adjust the estimate if you feel repairs are needed.
5. Negotiate the sale price
Prepare an estimate of all the items that will need to be repaired and the prices of similar boats. The goal is to pay a fair price for the boat. Keep in mind that the negotiation can be lengthy. The seller may offer to do the repairs himself and keep the sale price. Consider all options and make some compromises. However, never feel obliged to accept conditions that are not to your liking.
Buying a boat is like buying a home or car; it is a real and significant investment that not everyone can dream of or even achieve. This is why you need to do your due diligence before putting yourself on the market to buy one. If you are buying a boat, you should splurge a little but also respect your budget.
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