How to buy your perfect boatGet ready to set sail this summer! Read on for the ultimate boat-buying guide. Step 1: Choose your boat type before you can start browsing, decide on the kind of boat you’d like to buy. Boats, like cars, should be purchased with their intended use in mind. Take some time to think about your favorite water activities and determine which are most important to you. Research different boat types and ask your boat-owning friends to share their own impressions and tips. Step 2: Decide if you want to buy a new or used boat You can save a ton of money by buying a previously owned boat. Check out used boats that are on the market. You might be pleasantly surprised! However, keep in mind that just like used cars, insurance premiums, repairs and maintenance may be higher for a used boat. Step 3: Start boat shopping! Now you’re ready to hit the shops! Start your browsing with online listings. You’ll be able to sift through hundreds of models and compare prices, all from the comfort of your sofa. Once you’ve exhausted your online options, start making the rounds of local boat dealers. Hop aboard as many boats as you can to get a real feel for the quality and potential ride. Be nosy and ask lots of questions. Snap pictures and organize them by boat so you can look it all over again when you get home. Step 4: Narrow your choices Now that you’ve spent some time checking out boats, you may have different priorities. Sit down and list what’s most important to you in a dream boat. Include all boat categories you will consider, and then narrow that by your must-have features, ones you’d like to have and ones you want to keep away from. Next, review the snapshots of the boats you’ve looked at, both in real life and online, and list the ones that fit all, or most of, your preferences. Finally, it’s time to make that nail-biting decision, choose your boat! Step 5: Inspect your boat Don’t be shy about inspecting your boat deeply – especially if a deal seems too good to be true. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises once the deal is done! Walk through the entire boat and closely inspect each structural component, feature and amenity. Step 6: Find out what’s included Before you sign a contract, sit down with the seller to discuss exactly what’s included in the sale. Request a list of all equipment that comes with the boat so you can ensure you’ve got it all. You can also ask the seller about an amenity package; they may be more than willing to get rid of their “boating stuff” and you can save a ton in add-ons this way. Step 7: Seal the deal You’re ready to make it happen! Assuming you’ll have the financial details worked out by now, all that’s left to do is sign the paperwork, and then the boat is yours. Make sure you keep a clear mind so you don’t fall for any last-minute gimmicks. Step 8: Purchase insurance, warranties and more Before you set sail, make sure your boat is adequately insured against damage. You may also want to purchase a warranty against your boat’s condition. If you’re going to be hauling your boat around yourself, you’ll also need to buy a trailer before you can head out to the docks. Finally! You’re all set to hit the water and take in many enjoyable hours away from it all. Power up that engine, or feel the wind in your sails and enjoy the ride!
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