The Most Common Boat Buying Mistakes

The hot summer months will be here before you know it, and along with them, the allure of recreation on the water. The winter months have been long, and you’re ready to explore buying a boat for serious summertime adventures.

But before you make your official purchase, there are a few things to know about boat buying and common mistakes to avoid. This is a considerable investment that you don’t want to make without some sound advice.

Common and avoidable boat-buying mistakes

The Rightboat Knowledge Hub recently put together some of the most common mistakes people make when buying a boat. And most of these missteps are avoidable.

One of the most common mistakes, the veterans say is an entirely rookie move, is buying a boat that’s way too big. Be realistic about your boating knowledge, skills, and the bodies of water you frequent. Too much boat than you can handle could be costly and impossible to maintain. 

Another costly boat buying mistake that new boat enthusiasts make is agreeing to finance for too long. Financing a boat loan can be a smart move, but don’t be sold on a low payment, long-term agreement.

Consider putting down a considerable deposit upfront. Remember, unlike a home mortgage, boats will depreciate in value. 

When buying a boat, patience is key

Most boating enthusiasts will tell you that the key to making a successful purchase lies in the buyer’s ability to be patient. Many times, new buyers will be so caught up in the excitement and thrill of boat ownership that they overlook simple decisions.

For example, anyone new to boating should consider buying a used model before sinking thousands into a new boat. Impulse buying is also not recommended, which is what happens to many when they attend a boat show.

Despite what the boat dealers may tell you, buying your first boat at a boat show isn’t the best idea. Instead, practice patience before you buy and take your time to look around and explore your options.

Significant investments require research

Buying a boat, even a small one, can be a significant investment. You don’t want to rush in without doing your homework. Like you would before buying a car or a home, crunch your numbers and carve out a comfortable boat buying budget before you buy.

Keep in mind additional costs of ownership, too, including storage, maintenance, and insurance. Part of your research should include talking to other boat owners about their buying and ownership experiences.

Evaluate pros and cons for various models and narrow down your search to a shortlist of those that fit your budget. Like BoatTEST.com suggests, an informed and prepared buyer is far more likely to have a satisfying boat purchasing experience.

Be smart, take your time, and have fun with it

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Boatsetter shares other first-time boat buyer mistakes, too. And a common theme among those mistakes is buying the wrong amount of horsepower.

Some assume more is better and end up with a boat that has too much power than needed. Others buy the boat without thinking about getting a motor with enough power to do what they want, like skiing, tubing, or wakeboarding.

To avoid these mistakes, take your time to think through how you plan to use your boat. Spending most of your water time on a small lake will require much different equipment from a fishing rig for ocean waters. Think ahead, too, for potential needs in the years ahead. You can still have fun choosing a boat, as long as you’re smart about your process and timeline.

Get ready for a summer of fun on the water with a new boat! But don’t get blinded by the hype and excitement that you lose sight of taking thoughtful boat buying steps. Avoid these buying mistakes, and you might have just as much fun buying a boat as you do cruising in one.