Can’t you just see yourself casting a rod from your new bass boat or entertaining friends on your new deck boat this summer? With so many beautiful lakes throughout Minnesota, it’s no wonder boating is such a popular pastime. If you’re planning to invest in your own watercraft this year, chances are you’ll find yourself at a local boat show within the next few weeks. Not only is this a great way to acquire information and explore new features for 2018, but you might even find a deal that’s too good to refuse. Arm yourself with the information you need by following our top tips for buying a new boat.
Narrow Down Your Options
The different types of watercraft on the market are seemingly endless. Deciding between them requires a lot of thought for even the most experienced boater. Generally, you can narrow down your options by answering the following questions:
- Where will you use your boat? (freshwater, saltwater, shallow water)
- What will you do on your boat? (fish, cruise, ski)
- How much seating do you need?
- Where will you keep your boat when it’s not in use?
- What is your purchase budget?
- What are you willing to spend on maintenance and repairs?
- Would you prefer an inboard, outboard, or inboard/outboard motor?
According to The American Boating Association, runabouts (bowriders) are the most popular recreational boat in the United States since they offer plenty of seating, storage, and ease of transport. If you prefer more thrills, you could opt for a personal watercraft or a ski boat, which is specifically designed for towing water skiers. Bass boats and pontoons are popular choices for anglers, and sailboats are the choice of boaters who prefer the challenge of learning a new skill.
Once you know the type of boat you are in the market for, consider its size. If you need the seating, there may be no other choice than a larger boat. If you don’t need extra seating however, there may be advantages to downsizing. Not only do smaller boats consume less fuel overall, but they are also easier to pilot in the water and easier to transport via trailer. A smaller boat may also fit in your garage space, whereas a larger boat may require alternative storage solutions.
Used vs. New
When it comes to buying a boat, you can purchase new or new-to-you. New boats typically come with a higher price tag, but they may also include money-saving warranties and specialty services and assistance offered by the dealer. A used boat, on the other hand, usually boasts a more affordable price, but the difference could be negligible if it has mechanical or structural problems.
Boat shows are a showcase of new models, but if you decide to purchase a used boat, there may still be a dealer onsite who can help you. A second-hand boat purchased from a dealership is more likely to have been inspected and tested to rigorous standards. Some dealers may even throw in a limited warranty for your purchase – something not available from a private seller. Just be sure to read the reviews of any dealer before purchasing.
Don’t forget to purchase a new boat insurance policy to protect your investment. Accidents can happen both on and off the water, and everywhere in between. If you crash your personal watercraft (PWC) into someone’s pontoon boat, for example, insurance can cover damages to the other boat, medical bills associated with injuries, and more. It can even compensate you for the damages to your own PWC.
Don’t rely on your homeowners insurance to cover your boat, either. Generally, the watercraft coverage in homeowners policies is highly restrictive and only covers small non-motorized watercraft or boats with low horsepower. Even then, the coverage is typically inadequate to protect against the potential losses associated with boat ownership.
Instead, contact the team here at the Andreotti Agency to find out how we can save you money on the coverage you deserve. Call us today to request your free quote.