If your plans include a trip to a boat show or two this season, chances are you are considering a new boat purchase. Whether you’ve always dreamed of being on the water or you’ve been boating your entire life, watercraft purchases are a big investment – one you should be well-educated about before buying. In this post, we’ll offer up tips for choosing a boat and protecting it for years to come.
Know Your Boats
Even if you already have an idea of which boat you might want, it still helps to familiarize yourself with the different types to ensure you are making the right decision. Most boat shows feature many different types of boats, from bass and pontoon boats to ski boats and personal watercraft.
You can narrow down your choices by asking yourself the following questions:
- How much do I want to spend?
- How many people will I be carrying as passengers?
- Will I be pulling skiers, wake-boarders, or tubers?
- Will I be fishing from my boat?
- Where will I store my boat?
Some boats are created for specific purposes. If you intend to use your boat strictly for fishing, for example, you may be better suited for a bass boat. If you and your friends are experienced wakeboarders, you may need a wake boat with a pole tower for aerial stunts. Other boats are more versatile, allowing users to enjoy a variety of activities. Pontoons and runabouts, for example, can be customized for cruising, fishing, or skiing.
What Size Boat Should You Buy?
Size is an important factor when purchasing a boat. If you have a lot of passengers to entertain, you’ll need a boat with a bigger capacity. On the other hand, larger boats are sometimes more difficult to maneuver on the water and also more difficult to transport. Also, they can drive up the cost of a boat, drain your fuel budget, and require rented storage space if your garage is not big enough to house it. If you are a novice boater with low capacity needs, it may be easier and more affordable to hone your boating skills in a small to moderate-sized watercraft.
New Boats vs. Used Boats
When you are ready to buy, you will have the choice between purchasing new or used. It may be easier to find exactly what you are looking for when you purchase new. Although the price tag is usually higher than the price on used boats, new boats typically come with warranties that can help lower the cost of ownership. If you prefer the upfront savings a used boat has to offer though, be sure to thoroughly inspect it before buying. Used boats are more likely to have mechanical problems or to require costly repairs and maintenance. If possible, consider buying a used model from a dealer a strong history of positive customer reviews.
Don’t Forget Boat Insurance
Finally, don’t make the mistake of relying on your home insurance policy for your watercraft coverage. Although there may be some limited protection under that policy, it is probably restricted to only certain loss scenarios and may not even cover your boat at all.
Instead, take time to arrange for dedicated insurance coverage for your new boat. Boat insurance helps protect you against financial liability if you injure someone or damage someone’s property. It can also cover your passengers’ injuries, physical damages to your boat, special equipment, and any emergency assistance you might need out on the water.
For more information about boat insurance or to request your free quote, contact our office today.