The Top Questions to Ask Before You Invest in a Boat

Before You Buy A Boat

Are you ready to buy a boat? Before you make this major investment, take a look at the questions to ask first.

What’s Your Boating Budget?

How did you budget to buy your home? A first-time boat purchase requires a similar type of financial precision. While unexpected costs can put a dent in your budget, you can prepare with a general picture of how much you can spend.

Luckily, boats are sold at a variety of price points. This makes it possible to find a vessel that fits your budget. Some boat owners prefer to finance their first boat buy. This makes it possible to spread the payments out over years — like financing a car or mortgaging a home.

If you don’t want to finance your boat, you can find a less expensive option. Used boats provide first-time owners with a lower cost alternative that still provides plenty of space and power.

Even though you have lower-priced options, don’t sacrifice quality to save a few dollars. A world of difference exists between cheap and inexpensive with your boat purchase. Only buy your new or used boat from a reputable dealer. If you’re not sure what a quality craft consists of, discuss issues such as the boat’s benefits, materials, and manufacturer with the sales team.


How Much Maintenance Does the Boat Require?

Whether the boat is new or used, you’ll need to maintain it. Along with the boat’s exterior, you’ll also need to maintain its interior, engine, electrical system, and other systems it may have (such as an HVAC or plumbing system). These types of maintenance often require professional help. When you create your budget, make sure to add in these costs.

Beyond the maintenance costs, you’ll also need to find the just-right professional to help you with these duties. If your boat requires immediate maintenance, explore your options and interview potential contractors before you make a purchase.


What Type of Insurance Do You Need?

Your car isn’t the only vehicle you need insurance for. Even though you won’t drive your boat on the road (unless you need to tow it from one dock to another), you still need coverage for it. While small crafts, such as rowboats or canoes, are often covered under homeowners’ policies, large crafts require their own insurance coverage.

Before you purchase a boat, explore the insurance options available for your overall budget. Talk to an agent about what type of policy you’ll need for the type and size of boat you want to buy. The policy should cover physical damage to the boat. Some policies offer the actual cash value for replacement costs, while others provide an agreed amount value.

Actual cash value policies will pay you for the boat replacement or repair costs, less the depreciation value. Like the name implies, an agreed amount value policy is based on an agreed value for the vessel. You’ll determine this amount with the insurer prior to finalizing the policy and not at the time of damage or loss.

Along with general coverage, you may also want to purchase additional coverage for trailers, accessories, loss/theft of belongings, towing, medical payments (due to injuries), property damage, or guest passenger liability.


Where Will You Store or Dock Your Boat?

Unlike other purchases, you can’t keep your boat just anywhere. You’ll need to plan for a place to store or dock the vessel before you buy it. The specific storage options available to you depend on the type and size of your boat. Contact local docks and marinas to get a better idea of how much you’ll spend on storage.

Do you want to buy a new boat? Contact Petzold’s Yacht Sales for more information.