8 Tips for Buying a Boat or Yacht
If you are looking to buy a boat, there are several factors you may want to consider. Buying a boat is not necessarily a small investment. So if you are looking to make a smart choice, the following are some tips you could follow. These are considerations you should make and aspects you should look into before making a final decision.
Types of Boats and Yachts
There are a host of boats and yachts in the market. What is the type you are looking for? Assess all the possible types and see what suits you the best. When you recognize the type you may want, it will become easier to make a decision.
Some commons types you could consider are:
- Fishing boats
- Dinghy boats
- Cuddy cabins boats
- Motor yacht boats
When assessing different types of boats, it’s important to figure out what you will be using the boat for. Is it just a recreational device to spend a weekend away on? Do you want to fish? Will you be enrolling in contests? All of these things will help you decide the type of boat you should get.
Think of Where You Will Be Sailing
The area, climate and conditions where you will typically be sailing also decides what type of boat you should buy. The climate and wind patterns will also decide what kind of boat you should get. What is more suitable for the location? A centerboard? A deep-fixed keel? These are all questions you need to find answers to before buying your boat.
Think of What Size You Want
The size of the boat will be determined by what you intend to do with it. Are you going to use the boat as a family getaway or for solo sailing? How many people would you like onboard at once? Will you be requiring a crew?
Also, keep in mind, the larger your boat the more it will require funds to maintain. When you put together the cost of maintaining all the different parts of your boat, like gear, winter storage, berthing, etc., the math may come up to a lot. This brings you to the next aspect of buying a boat — setting a budget.
Consider Your Budget
Setting a budget will allow you to make a decision. If there is something that is outside the budget you have set, that automatically gets disqualified. Now you can focus on the boats that are, in fact, in your budget. This helps you be on track and not get derailed looking at things you simply cannot afford. Setting a budget also involves deciding the size of your boat, the type of boat you will require and its use. In a nutshell, all the points mentioned above come together to decide your budget. So pay close attention to these factors and then assess them alongside your finances to see what is a real possibility and what may be a fiscal stretch.
Consider a Used Sailboat
If this is your first boat, it won’t be a bad idea to consider a used boat. It could lower prices down considerably and also allow you to experience what it’s like to be a boat owner. You can enjoy the experience at a much lower cost before you need to decide if you want to commit to the life fully.
Owning a used boat doesn’t mean it needs to look used. You can use your own discretion and carry out work on the boat to give it a personal touch and make it your own. You can find many used boats on sale at a bargain price. But be sure that it does not require more work than the boat costs. If repairing a used boat costs as much buying a new one, you might as well buy a new one. All said and done, this could be a good option for you so don’t neglect the used boats up for sale in the market.
Get a Full Boat Survey
If you are buying a used boat, ensure you get a full boat survey. A small defect that went unnoticed at the time of purchase could cost you a lot of money to fix if you unknowingly bought the defective boat. You can hire a marine surveyor that is an accredited member of SAMS, ACMS or NAMS. If the hull can only be surveyed out of the water, don’t hesitate to have it pulled out. It is your right to make an informed choice.
Besides, you will need to carry out a survey to acquire an insurance for your boat anyway so you might as well get it out of the way at the time of purchase. Based on the problems found in the survey, you can negotiate a price that is more suited to the situation.
Take a Sea Trial
If the owner permits, take the boat out for a test drive. You will know how well a boat works or does not work only once you have taken it out to the sea. In fact, if you are carrying out a survey, several parts of the boat can only be tested when it is in the waters. Use this time to see if the boat is everything that it promises.
This May Not Be Your Last Boat
Always keep in mind that this may not be the last boat you buy. In fact, if this your first boat, you may want an upgrade a few years after you have tasted the waters. You may be looking for greater speed, greater control. In that case, you may want to invest in a boat that has a greater resale value. If you are buying a new boat, there’s a good chance its value will depreciate by at least 50%. These are numbers you may want to keep in mind when making a decision.
Now that you have a better idea of what you want, you can make a more informed choice. It is always better to deliberate, think and mull over your decisions instead of jumping into an investment you may regret later. Sailing may be one of the best experiences of your life, you don’t want it to be tarnished by debt or regret.