So you’ve gotten the bug and are interested in a new boat! Before you go buy a new boat, though, there are several crucial questions you should ask yourself. What follows are 5 easy questions to answer that will help you make a much more informed decision.
1. Can you afford to buy a new boat?
If you have just started the shopping process, you might be met with a some sticker shock! Boats are very expensive. Depending on what kind of boat you are shopping for, you can expect to see prices ranging from $25,000 (good entry point for new pontoon boats) all the way up to $60,000 (good entry point for new sport boats). These are starting ranges, however, they can get much more expensive as you add options, look into specialty boats, etc.
2. Where will you store your new boat?
Will you be one of those people that has a shiny boat sitting in their driveway 9 months out of the year? or will you opt for keeping your boat at the marina? This is an important decision and there are many pros and cons to each – we have an article about this very thing – you can find it here…
3. Can you take care of your new boat?
Think about how you take care of your car – do you wash and wax your own car? Do you keep it detailed, neat and clean at all times? Owning a boat is something that requires a lot of maintenance. We find that the type of person who ENJOYS doing all of their own auto maintenance makes the best boat owner. If this is not your style – then you’ll have to consider marina storage and possibly hiring others to keep your boat clean and maintained.
4. Do you have time to enjoy your new boat?
Buying a treadmill and having it end up as a place to pile things is bad enough – buying a new boat and having it sit in your driveway because you never have the time to get out and enjoy it is a very expensive lesson. Take stock of how much free time you actually have, and how much of that time you can dedicate to getting out on the water.
5. What are some other options to buying a new boat?
If these questions cement your desire to buy a new boat – that’s great! We hope you and your family will get the most out of the boating lifestyle. However, if these questions give you reason to second-guess, then we have done our job. Nobody should have to make a $60,000 mistake.
So what are some other options? Some people rent, and there are a lot of things to consider about renting. Especially liability – 99% of the time, when you rent a boat, you assume ALL liability to the boat, and more importantly, to any property damage or personal injuries. That can be an expensive proposition.
Another great trend is joining a boat club. A boat club is much like a country club – you pay an amount of money each month and in turn – you have access to an entire fleet of boats, rather than only the boat you purchased. Much like a country club member reserves a tee-time, a boat club member reserves their time on the boat. Boat clubs are perfect for those who simply don’t have the time to maintain a boat. With a boat club, you simply show up and use the boat, park it when you are done and go home. The club handles all of the hassles. Boat clubs also keep you covered as far as insurance and liability goes.
We hope this article helps in making the best decision possible. The boating lifestyle is one of the most rewarding choices you can make for you and your family, and the memories you make on the water will last a lifetime. Happy boating, and we’ll see you on the water!