What To Do Before Buying a Boat

September 20, 2021

Summer may be coming to a close, but for those in the market for a new boat, fall can be a great time to make the purchase and get out on the open water to enjoy it.  Before you head out to the boat show or contact a sales agent, there are some things you should do before buying a boat that can ensure you are in the driver’s seat long before you sail off into the sunset.

To help, we’ve compiled a few tips:
  • Educate yourself about potential added expenses.  Sure, you’ve factored in the cost of fuel, insurance and other well-known expenses, but all boat owners need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, especially if they are purchasing a previously owned vessel. Engines lose power, boats spring leaks and batteries die. Also, all boats require annual maintenance, which costs roughly 10% of the new purchase price. And these are just a few of the added expenses boat ownership brings with it.
  • Buy a boat for your long-term needs. If you do not plan to buy a new boat again anytime soon, it’s important to choose a boat that will meet your needs for years to come. Will your teenagers want to take it out for a spin? Will you want to travel a bit further after you retire? Be sure you ask yourself these questions before signing on the dotted line to avoid having to sell and buy a new boat and pay the costs associated with doing so.
  • Choose the right boat. Not all boats are created equal, and some are equipped to fare better in the colder weather of the Northeast. Others are designed to perform better in shallow water or coast slowly along. Some are better for fishing. Be sure you do your research to make sure the boat that you fall in love with was designed for what you have in mind and where it will be sailing.
  • Make sure you have a place to put it. If you are planning to keep your boat at a marina, it’s important to know that it’s not uncommon, especially at those in Florida, for there to be a waitlist. Keep this in mind to avoid having to put your new boat at a marina located hours away or leave it sitting unused on land.
  • Find the right lender. There are many options when it comes to financing a boat purchase, and in obtaining a loan you’ll enter into long-term commitment. So just as you would with any loan (auto, mortgage, etc.), be sure to compare lenders, rates, fees, closings costs, etc., and choose a lender that can provide not only the best loan for you but also a team of trusted experts who can help you every step of the way, such as BayFirst.
Boat ownership provides opportunities for memorable experiences with family and friends, trips to places you cannot access by car and journeys to wide open spaces. But it also comes with a level of risk and a lot of questions you’ll need answered by your sales agent and a trusted lender. So be sure to consider all of the above before buying your next boat. Then reach out if a boat loan from BayFirst can help get you behind the wheel this fall or anytime the open water is calling your name.

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