So you’re interested in buying a boat. Maybe you’ve recently gone out on a friend’s boat, maybe you’ve seen videos with watersports that look like a blast, or perhaps you’re just interested in a new form of fishing or exploration. Here are some of the main considerations to think about before buying your first boat.
Budget comes first, for obvious reasons. How much can you afford to spend? If you don’t have cash on-hand, there are a number of financing options available through banks, online lenders, or directly through local watersports dealers. When buying a boat, you should always keep some reserves available for tune-ups and accessories. Used boats may come with a significantly lower price tag - just make sure you have it thoroughly inspected before making a commitment.
Know your boating goals. When it comes to picking a boat, form should follow function. A shallow water fishing boat is not always the best option for skiing or watersports. If you start out knowing what you want to accomplish, it will be much easier and safer to select the proper hull style. For a family boat, make sure to look into passenger capacity as well! You’ll likely want to fit your whole family on there, with some room for friends.
Consider your region. It’s important to know whether you’re going to be accessing coastal water, lakes or rivers. Outboard speed boats are not generally the correct choice for quick-moving rivers, since large rocks can cause damage. If you want to soar across an open lake, though, power is a much bigger consideration than ruggedness and durability.
You’ll definitely need to keep boat storage in mind! Depending on climate, boat size and space where you live, you may be able to keep your vessel right in your own driveway. Considerations to look into include whether or not you have an HOA, city ordinances, etc. There are also lots of secured, public storage lots and marinas available where you can pay to store your boat.
Finally, don’t forget the paperwork! Many states vary in their boat inspection requirements, so check with your local DMV, fish and game or parks departments. Make sure to register your boat, you can do that in our website! You will also want to look into insurance coverage options, that will bring you some peace of mind.
With a bit of due diligence and consideration about what sort of boat is the ideal fit for your family, you can be on the water in no time!