How to Get Your Feet Wet Buying a Boat!

Planning on buying a boat in the near future? If so, take a few precious moments and read up on my tips and tricks. Boating entails a whole lot more than having fun with your friends on the weekends at your local lake.

Ask yourself seriously what you know about boats and what you want out a boat. Do you know an outboard from an IO or maybe an inboard motor? OK, let’s take this one step at a time.

1. What do want to do with your boat, fish, cruise, go fast or slow and easy, day trips, hang out over night or longer?

2. How many people do you plan on taking with you boating? Just you and a significant other or a whole crowd?

3. Are you handy mechanically? Boats, even new ones, break down at the most inopportune moments. New boats are probably under a warranty, but if you are in the middle of the ocean when it breaks down you still need to know what to do. I’ve never seen a dealer mechanic rush out to a particular location.

4. What does your budget look like? Planning on financing or paying up front for the whole enchilada? Always keep in mind that boats need insurance, a place to stay, be it a trailer in your backyard or a wet /dry slip and of course FUEL! Even sail boats need fuel for when the wind isn’t blowing. boat parts

5. Do you know how to run a boat? Believe it or not, in the United States, you do not need a “boating License”… any fool can get behind the wheel and set sail! A Coast Guard Auxiliary course… usually held nights or weekends is the perfect way for you to get your feet wet, pun intended, in the world of boating.

Once you have these basics established, then you can visit a local marina to get a real feel for what you are looking for. You need to jump on board several boats and see how they meet your needs… always keep in mind that when you are boating, you are on the water, now as silly as this sounds, many folks forget that you just can’t pull off to the side of the road and get off- LOL! Your boating decision is somewhat final… at least for the moment. Try to find a boat that will meet more than one requirement in your budget and you will have hit the boating jackpot.

For instance, we like to fish and cruise and in addition, love to spend up to 3 months at a time on the water. We have a 43 foot boat with a fly bridge that gives us the room and flexibility to do just that, but if we just want to go shelling in the shallow back waters then we can’t do that easily.

Visiting boat shows can be a great source of information and you can check out all types of new and used boats at the same time. All of this gives you an idea of what you should be looking for in a boat and once you know what will meet most of your needs then you can fine tune your search. Looking online is an awesome way to find a great deal on a boat. There are tons of boat selling sites, especially used boats for sale. Even eBay is a terrific place to pick up some great deals and of course, when you price out any boat, find out if there are any selling fees involved or if you are dealing directly with the owner.

When you find what you are looking for make sure that you have someone who is experienced with boats go with you to really check it out. For a larger boat you will probably want to have it surveyed so all of this needs to be considered when you finally make that decision.

Buying a boat is a big decision so take your time and enjoy the journey, once you are hooked on boating chances are that this won’t be the last boat that you buy!