A boat is a large investment, so you want to carefully consider the major factors before purchasing one. Whether you’re buying your first boat or upgrading your existing one, continue reading to discover some of the most pertinent things to consider before buying a boat.
Boats vary greatly in size, so you’ll need to think about the best option for your needs, lifestyle, and budget. If you have a big family and plan to have them on board often, a larger vessel may be the right choice. With more space, everyone will be able to spread out and thoroughly enjoy themselves on the water.
You should also consider where you’ll use the boat. If you plan to float only on rivers or lakes, the water is calmer and doesn’t require a large vessel. However, if you want to cruise primarily the ocean or open sea, a larger boat is better equipped to handle unpredictable waters.
Lastly, how will you primarily use the boat? If you’re interested in only fishing, you won’t need much space beyond storage for your supplies. On the other hand, if you love to water-ski or participate in other water sports, a larger motorboat can go fast enough to enjoy these types of activities.
In recent years, electric motors have become increasingly popular among boaters. As industries continue to adopt environmentally friendly practices, a shift to electric power sources has become commonplace. Therefore, before you purchase a boat, you’ll need to think about electric vs. traditional outboard motors and which is right for you.
In general, electric motors are more efficient, quieter, and better for the environment than their traditional counterparts. However, an electric-powered vessel has a higher upfront cost than a traditional model, so you’ll need to crunch the numbers prior to your purchase. Still, even though the upfront cost of an electric motor is higher, you’ll save money over time in reduced maintenance and fuel costs.
Another thing to consider before buying a boat is the overall cost. Purchasing the boat is a significant expense, so you’ll need to review your finances and decide whether it’s best to pay in full upfront or obtain financing. Even if you decide to finance, you may need to make a down payment, so consider the amount of liquid cash you have available.
Beyond the purchase price, there are various costs associated with properly maintaining and storing your vessel. You’ll need to budget for gas (for traditional motors), dry-docking, cleaning, and insurance. Plus, if you live in a climate with brutal winter weather, you’ll need to store your boat during the offseason. But don’t panic—if you think about the costs of boat ownership beforehand, you’ll be able to budget accordingly and enjoy the open water whenever you please.