So You’re Thinking about Buying a Boat?

We’ve heard this question a lot lately:

“When is the best time to buy a boat?”

And we thought it might be time to voice our opinion and let you in on a few things we’ve come to learn through the years about when and how to go about purchasing a boat.

To be frank, there’s never been a better time than right now. Not only are prices great at this time of year as dealers make room in their inventory for newer models, but this season, typically January through March, boasts a majority of noteworthy boat shows like the Miami International Boat Show (look for us!) being held this February 17-21.

Boat shows are an excellent resource not just for the avid boater, but the novice as well. See the world’s best boats in action, compare and contrast brands, add-ons, and find great dealers all in one place.  Before you make any decisions or purchases, make sure you ask yourself three key questions to determine the best type of boat for you:

Who will be using my boat? Just you and a fishing buddy or two? The entire family? Family and friends? Determine the size and utility of the boat you’ll need by knowing beforehand what you’ll need it for!
Where will I be using this boat? On the lake? In the river? In the ocean? There are certain boats that are better suited for each situation. Be in the know before you go!
What is my budget for this boat? As with any major purchase, it’s always a good idea to establish a reasonable budget before you even browse. If you don’t, you may fall in love with an out-of-price-range option and be heartbroken when it doesn’t fit with your finances.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for at a boat show, though we highly doubt that will be the case, , we recommend using the learnings you pull away from a boat show to approach a certified dealer in your area after the fact. It might be a good idea to check out a few simple tips and tricks before attending, as well.

Once you’ve decided on your boat, make sure you have all of the necessities in place like a storage facility or marina, safety equipment and all state requirements like registration and titling fulfilled. You can register right on our site.

So there you have it, folks! There’s never been a better time to buy a boat than right now. If you’re ready to get started and are looking for a few suggestions on boat shows, check out Discover Boating’s helpful list.

Good luck on your sure-to-be-incredible boat-buying journey!

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Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.