Owning a boat is a dream come true for many. There’s nothing quite like being out on the open water, enjoying the sun and the breeze. The freedom to go where you want, when you want, is an unparalleled feeling. However, before you head to the dealership or start perusing online listings, there are a few things you need to know. With so many different types of boats on the market, it’s important to do your research, so you can find the one that’s right for you and your needs. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a list of the seven essential things you must know before making your purchase.
What Type of Boat Do You Need?
The first thing you need to determine is what type of boat you need. There are three main categories of boats: fishing boats, pleasure boats, and pontoon boats. Fishing boats are designed for, you guessed it, fishing. They tend to be smaller and more maneuverable, so you can easily get into tight spots. They also have features like live wells and storage for your gear. Pleasure boats are meant for cruising and relaxing. They’re usually larger than fishing boats and have amenities like comfortable seating and entertainment systems. Pontoon boats are great for entertaining and leisure activities like tubing and waterskiing. They have a large deck area and, plenty of seating for guests. The type of boat you need will depend on how you plan to use it, so be sure to consider that before making your purchase.
What Size Boat Do You Need?
The next thing to consider is the size of the boat. This will be determined by a few factors, such as the number of people you plan to have on board, the type of activities you’ll be doing, and the size of your trailer (if you’re planning to tow your boat). If you’re buying a fishing boat, keep in mind that smaller boats are easier to maneuver around tight spots. However, they may not have enough space for all your gear. If you’re buying a pleasure boat or pontoon boat, size is important for comfort and entertaining guests. You’ll want to make sure there’s enough seating and space for everyone to move around. However, don’t get too big of a boat if you don’t have a large enough trailer to tow it, or else you’ll need to invest in a new trailer as well.
What Kind of Insurance Do You Need?
Another important consideration is insurance. Boat insurance is not required in all states, but it’s something you should seriously consider. Even if it’s not required, it’s still a good idea to have in case of an accident or other unforeseen circumstances. The cost of boat insurance will depend on many factors, such as the size and type of boat, your age and experience, where you live, and the coverage you choose. As seen at www.ahoy.insure, it is not expensive to cover a small boat with limited coverage, but it can get very expensive to insure a large yacht, especially if you opt for full coverage. Regardless of the cost, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. However, be sure to get quotes from multiple insurers to find the best rate.
What’s Your Budget?
Of course, one of the most important things to consider is your budget. Boats can range in price from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s important to set a budget before you start shopping, so you don’t get in over your head. Keep in mind that there are also additional costs associated with owning a boat, such as fuel, insurance, storage, and maintenance. And if you’re planning to store your boat in a marina, you’ll need to factor in the cost of slips and dockage fees. You should also consider the financing options that are available to you. In most cases, you’ll need to put down a 20% down payment, but some lenders offer 100% financing.
What Are the Operating Costs?
In addition to the purchase price of the boat, you’ll also need to consider the operating costs. This includes fuel, oil, a boat transporter and routine maintenance. Depending on the size of your boat, fuel costs can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars per year. You should also factor in the cost of oil changes, as well as any routine maintenance that may be required. For instance, boats with inboard engines will need to have their propellers serviced regularly. On the other hand, boats with outboard engines will need to have their lower units serviced. Every boat is different, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific maintenance requirements. Since these costs can add up quickly, it’s important to be aware of them well before making your purchase.
Where Will You Keep Your Boat?
Once you’ve bought your boat, you’ll need to find a place to keep it. If you have a garage or other storage space at your home, that’s ideal. You will only need to invest in a few items, such as a boat cover and some blocks to keep the trailer from rolling. However, not everyone has the luxury of storing their boat at home. In that case, you’ll need to consider other options, such as renting a storage space or keeping your boat at a marina. The cost of storage will depend on the size and type of boat, as well as the length of time you plan to store it. If you opt for storing your boat at a marina, be sure to check out the available amenities. Some marinas offer fuel discounts, laundry facilities, showers, and more, so if you plan to use your boat often, it may be worth the extra cost.
Do You Need a License?
Depending on the size and type of boat you choose, you may need to get a boating license. In most states, anyone who operates a boat with an engine larger than 25 horsepower is required to have a license. Some states also have age restrictions, so be sure to check the laws in your state before making your purchase. Even if you don’t need a license, it’s still a good idea to take a boating safety course. These courses are usually offered by the Coast Guard or local marinas. They typically last for one day and cover topics such as navigation, weather, emergency procedures, and more. The cost of the course is usually around $100, but it’s worth the investment if it means keeping you and your passengers safe while out on the water.
Deciding to buy a boat is a big one. As you can see, there’s a lot to consider before taking the plunge. But if you do your research and ask the right questions, you’ll be sure to find the perfect boat for your needs. With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to set sail on your new adventures in no time.