There are over 14 million boats in the United States. Recreational boating is one of the country’s favorite pastimes, especially in sunny seaside states like Florida and California. 

If you’re new to the boating world, you might be wondering how to get the best boat deal when you’re trying to buy a vessel. 

Here’s our boating guide for buyers. 

Set Your Budget First

Before you even begin the process of buying a boat, you need to set a clear and rigid budget for how much you’re willing to spend. Boat costs vary from vessel to vessel and depend on all the accessories and extras that come with the boat. Knowing how much you are willing to spend will help narrow down your search. 

When you’re looking at boat listings online, most websites will allow you to filter your results based on price. If you put your budget into this filter then you’ll only see the boats that you have the money to purchase. 

Mechanical Condition Comes First

We all want our boats to look the part, but you should never make a decision to buy a boat on aesthetics alone. The engine and other mechanical components of the boat should always be your priority. 

Once you find a boat that you like, go and see it and take some time to appraise the engine to see if it is in good working condition. Avoid getting swept away by listings that are trying to sell you all the bells and whistles. 

These types of listings can often be hiding the fact that the boat is in a poor position mechanically and will need a lot of expensive refits. 

Ask Lots of Questions

It’s your money at the end of the day, so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions of the owner. Ask about the condition of the boat, the cost of upkeep, and any repairs that you might need to do to get the boat back up to good condition. 

Don’t just ask questions of the owner either. Speak to officials at the marina to see if the boat in question has any outstanding fees or bills that the owner has not been upfront about. 

Go for a Sea Trial

Finally, the best way to know if you’re getting a good boat deal is to give the boat a sea trial. Take it out of the marina and see how it feels to sail. 

While you’re doing the sea trial, make sure that you’re keeping mental notes on everything that you can notice about how the boat is performing, what you like about it, and what things you think would potentially need expensive repairs. 

Offering a Great Boat Deal? Sell Through Us 

Are you trying to sell your vessel? Think you’re offering a great boat deal but not getting any traction on your private listing? Let us help you sell your unwanted boat. 

Place a classified ad in The Mariner today to get your boat sold quickly and easily.