Buying a new boat isn’t like buying groceries or a new pair of sneakers. There’s a lot to consider well beyond just the price tag. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the boat buying process.

  1. Narrow your choices. The number of boats out there to choose from can seem overwhelming. Narrow your choices by making a list of what features you need on your boat, what features you want, and anything you’d like to avoid. You should also factor in what you’re willing to pay.
  2. Go to boat shows. Boat shows are a great opportunity to explore a wide variety of boats all in one place. This will save you time (and aggravation), as it sure beats traveling to every dealership in your region.
  3. Find the right dealer. Besides being a great place to explore boats, boat shows are also a great place to meet and interview dealers. Choosing the right dealer can be just as important as choosing the right boat. Think about the boating experience you want to have and the service you expect to receive, and then talk to dealers about both.
  4. Consider warranties. Getting the right warranties are an important part of buying a boat, as a good warranty will provide great protection against potential problems. Talk to your dealer about what warranties are included and what kind of service you’ll receive. Also, find out if any warranties are transferable, as that is a good selling point if you ever decide to sell.
  5. Do a test drive. If you are boat shopping in winter, getting to do a test drive might be difficult depending on where you live. But, if you can do a test drive, it is a great way to get a feel for how your boat handles on the water.