Boating is a rewarding hobby that can be great for people from all walks of life. Many people buy a boat because they already have a passion for fishing and want their own vessel to take out on the water. Others may buy a boat because they like the challenge posed by sailing, a demanding yet rewarding hobby.
According to Grow Boating, a marine industry organization that aims to generate awareness and interest in boating, retail sales of new boats, marine engines and marine accessories in the United States totaled $20.1 billion just a couple of years ago. That marked a 9.5 percent increase from the year prior, highlighting the growing popularity of boating.
The fun of boating compels many people to buy their own boats. For first-timers, buying a boat can be both exciting and confusing. Prospective buyers must decide on everything from the type of vessel they want to the size of the boat to where to store it when they’re not out on the water. Such decisions can make the process of buying a boat somewhat intimidating. However, the following tips might facilitate the process of buying a boat for the first time.
Assess your skills. An honest assessment of your skills will help you determine if the time is right to buy a boat. There’s no shame in waiting to buy a boat until you become more comfortable navigating it. Boating schools can be great resources for novices, teaching them the ins and outs of boating. The United States Coast Guard notes that boating safety courses are offered throughout the country for all types of recreational boaters.
Ask around. Boaters tend to be passionate about boating, and many are willing to offer advice to novices about boats that may suit their needs. Local marinas can be great resources for first-time boat buyers. Visit a local marina and seek advice from current boat owners. Some may share their own travails and triumphs from their first boat-buying experience, and those stories can serve as a guide as you begin your own journey to boat ownership.
Be patient. Boats are significant investments, so it serves prospective owners well to be patient and exercise due diligence before making a purchase. Do your homework on the type of boat that best suits your needs, skill level and budget.
Do your homework in regard to fees. The cost of owning a boat is more than just the sticker price and the cost of fuel. Much like you would before buying an automobile, get a quote on boating insurance before making a purchase, being as specific as possible in regard to the boat’s make, model and age when asking for an estimate. In addition, get quotes on docking and mooring fees. When buying a boat, people envision taking their boats out as much as possible. That’s only possible for boat owners who fully grasp the full cost of boat ownership and how to finance all of the ancillary expenses of owning a boat.