Buying a boat is like receiving your first Christmas present. It gives you a tingling feeling of excitement and happiness. I meant, who doesn’t want to own a boat, right?
But for this article, let’s set aside your emotions and avoid impulsive buying. Because today, we’ll discuss the important things to consider when you are purchasing a boat.
It’s important to know your personal agenda when buying a boat. Do you want a boat for fishing? Or do you want a boat where you can sail with your family and friends?
If you haven’t made up your mind yet, here are some top boating activities that you can do when you have your own boat:
- Fishing, of course, is the number one activity that you can do on your boat. Most boaters especially men consider this as a relaxing and exciting hobby to reduce their stress from work.
- Sailing activities are perfect for people who are not into sports or other recreational activities that need a lot of energy. Let’s admit it, some of us just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the extraordinary view of the sea.
- Water sports are recommended for boaters who are into fun activities and adore the adrenaline rush. These water sports include wakeboarding, water skiing, kayaking, paragliding, etc.
Now that you’re aware of the activities that you can do with your boat, it’s time to know what type of boat fits your needs.
But wait, how will you know that it’s the best boat for you? Easy, by considering these factors before buying:
- Boat Size
Are you planning to buy a boat that can accommodate more than 4 people? Do you need some extra space for your boating gear such as fishing rods? How about a boat with a sleeping cabin?
Though some boats have similar looks, they’re divided into different types and purposes. Generally, there are three boat type categories; cruising boats, water sports boats and fishing boats.
And under these categories are various types of boats. For example:
For cruising boats, we have the runabout boat, cabin cruiser boat, pontoon boat, catamaran boat, etc.
For water sports, we have a jet boat, ski boat, crossover boat, etc.
For fishing boats, we have the convertible boat, flats-fishing boat, centre console boat, walk-around boat, etc.
- Boat Conditions
The last factor that you should consider is the condition. Are you willing to buy a brand new boat or do you prefer a used boat?
Buying a secondhand boat can be affordable but you must keep in mind that maintenance is highly needed in its condition. Though it depends on the condition of the boat, you can still get a good deal with pre-owned boats. Just make sure that you’re familiar with boat engines and parts.
Finally, you’ve bought your own boat! But if you think that you’re done with all the expenses, then you’re totally wrong. Buying a boat is the easy part but maintaining its condition is where the true challenge starts.
- Maintenance – just like cars, you need to spend some cash to keep your boat in good condition. Normally, it’s recommended to change your boat’s oil at least once a year or every 100 hours of operation.
- Fuel – if you’re not aware, boat fuel rate is higher compared to car fuel. Another factor to consider is the speed of your boat, the faster the boat the more gallons of fuel is needed.
Normally, fast motorboats use between 20 to 30 gallons of fuel per hour when cruising at normal speed. If boat fuel costs $2.50 per gallon (still depends on your state) and you’ll have a 4-hour trip with your friends, it will cost you about $300.
- Mooring/Docking fees – this expense is only applicable to people who don’t have enough space at home to park their boats. Normally, the price depends on the size of your boat and your local marina rates but you can expect to pay hundreds up to thousands of dollars monthly.
- Gear and Accessories – who wouldn’t want their boat to look nice and classy? Of course, you want your boat to have the right gear/accessories such as; lights, fenders, life vests, fire extinguishers, solar panels, etc.
BOAT INSURANCE COVERAGE
Since a boat is a major investment, it’s important to have it insured against any damages. You also have the option to choose from different insurances depending on your budget and other additional insurance for your boat’s accessories like; trailers, fishing equipment, and onboard gear.
So what does your insurance need to cover? If you have zero ideas about boat insurance, here are the important details that you should review before getting your boat insurance:
- Should cover any damage or loss to your personal properties that are onboard.
- Must protect all physical damage to your vessel.
- Must consider damages to other vessels.
- Should cover injuries from any boat collision.
Surely, a boat is a great investment but it needs a lot of knowledge, skills, maintenance, and cash to keep it in a good condition. If you’re not physically, mentally, and financially ready for this, then maybe it’s not the right time for you to own a boat.
As a guide for new boaters, you can check and download our checklist on what to inspect when buying a boat here.
Do you agree with our list? Share us your suggestions and comment below.