14 Issues You Must Know About Shopping for a Boat (We Simply Purchased Our First Boat)

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Hewescraft 180 Pro V boat

At first look, it might sound bizarre to see boat articles on our residence and backyard web site, however that is a part of our “boat entry cabin” collection and so in that context, it matches.

I can’t say proudly owning a ship was a dream of mine.  It was not one thing I aspired towards.

After which it occurred.  Out of the blue.  It began after we all of the sudden purchased a ship entry cabin.

As quickly as we put a proposal on the cabin, we knew we wanted a ship.  We additionally wanted a marina slip (that are in brief provide in our space).

After two months of analysis, many calls, scouring dozens of internet sites, speaking to different boat homeowners, we discovered and purchased our first boat.

Right here’s the boat we purchased:

Hewescraft 180 Pro V boat

Hewescraft 180 Pro V

The massive shock to me is I’m very enthusiastic about having a ship.  Nearly extra so than the precise trip property. It’s not only a means to get to our cabin. I count on I’ll be spending a ton of time on the boat.

Now that it’s moored solely ten minutes from our home, I can head out on the water any time I need.  There are a lot of nice boating locations the place we reside (which is North Vancouver, BC).

From the beginning, we confronted many boat-buying questions similar to:

  • Which boat ought to we purchase?  Size, aluminum or fiberglass, sort, price, and so forth.? So many selections.
  • How a lot ought to we spend (it’s not like we’ve got a limiteless funds)?
  • New or used?
  • The place can we purchase it?

As we went additional and additional down the boat-buying rabbit gap, we discovered quite a bit.

The boat you select relies on the place you’ll be utilizing it, what you’re utilizing it for and your funds.

For us, we’ll be utilizing it in protected waters near shore always as a commuter boat to our cabin. Our funds was $100K+/-.  Really, after we first realized we wanted to purchase a ship I had a $30,000 to $40,000 funds in thoughts.  It didn’t take me lengthy to understand we’d have to spend an entire lot extra to get the perfect boat for our scenario.

Right here’s our detailed define setting out the whole lot you could learn about shopping for a ship.

Do Your Analysis!!!

1. Begin your boat search ASAP as a result of it might take some time to determine what you want and the precise boat you need

We obtained actually fortunate discovering a ship seller a couple of hours away that truly had the boat we wished in inventory.  I believed we’d have to put an order and get supply within the Spring.

New boats go quick.

2. Discuss to boat sellers

I discovered salespeople at boat sellers to be tremendous useful.  They know boats.  They confirmed for me that getting an aluminum fishing boat with hardtop was the proper boat for us.  As soon as we knew that it was a matter of discovering one.

If you’d like a fishing boat however undecided the place to start out, ask a salesman at a seller.  They’ll be capable of clarify your choices.  Similar with a water ski boat, cruiser, and so forth.

3. Discuss to different boat homeowners

It didn’t take lengthy for us to fulfill folks who’ve a ship entry property in our neck of the woods.  They had been tremendous useful about providing us recommendation as to which boat to get.  Furthermore, I paid consideration to what sort of boats had been sitting at docks after we went as much as the property.  Luckily, many people all had the same boat which was an aluminum, hard-top fishing boat.  That helped slim my search significantly (but in addition elevated our funds significantly as a result of they aren’t low cost).

That stated, not all different boat homeowners will likely be useful.  In the event that they aren’t utilizing it for a similar functions you might be, that gained’t show to be tremendous useful except they only occur to know quite a bit about boats (which is usually the case… boat homeowners are fairly hog wild about boats).

4. Comb by boat itemizing web sites

There are a lot of nice used boat web sites that gives you an concept of what’s out there and the way a lot it’ll price.  What I discovered most annoying although was that the majority boat seller web sites don’t put up the costs of latest boats.  They require that you just contact them.  I did. I contacted many to get quotes.

These web sites additionally assist you determine a lot varied boats retain their worth.  In truth, I made a decision to purchase a brand new boat as a result of used aluminum fishing boats weren’t less expensive.  It is because if they’ve a very good motor, the boat itself lasts for many years.  Since I’d save possibly $20K, I made a decision to purchase new.  Typically, I want new autos as effectively simply because I don’t actually know tips on how to assess autos and boats.

I additionally discovered these websites useful in studying concerning the several types of boats out there.  After I began our search, I had no concept that aluminum fishing boats with a hardtop cabin existed.

5. Boat size – not really easy to resolve

Earlier than I settled on the aluminum fishing boat possibility, I used to be cruisers.  We didn’t want the sleep-on-board stuff however I wished a ship with lined areas for defense from wind, rain and chilly.

One solution to determine it out is to safe storage or moorage first.  You might need no alternative how lengthy of a ship you purchase you probably have restricted storage concerning size.

However there are further concerns as effectively and it’s extremely variable.

We might have gone with a 20′ and even 21′ foot which might have added two to 3 toes of area which I do know might have come in useful in some unspecified time in the future hauling stuff, however however, the 20′ model was $10,000 extra.  The opposite consideration for us was I’m hoping a barely shorter boat will likely be simpler to navigate in a really tight marina.

I’ve a pal at present searching for a sailboat.  He’s over 6′ toes tall.  Shorter sailboats don’t have adequate headroom so he desires one thing over 30′ so he can stand upright. I believe that’s an necessary consideration as effectively.

In fact, funds comes into play.  When you have tens of millions you should buy a 50-foot yacht however should you don’t size usually determines price.  For us it actually boiled right down to the size of marina boat slip we might get.  There are fewer longer slips (26′ plus) than shorter slips (18′ to 25′).

6. Boat funds and financing – what you could know

Your boat will price you excess of the sticker worth of your boat.  The prices add up quick.

  • If shopping for new, you’ll pay excess of the sticker worth.  The boat we selected had a sticker worth of $77,000.  After taxes, add-ons and so forth the ultimate price ticket was $98,200.
  • Will you pay money or finance it?  If financing, you usually have to put 10% down.  It’s not like shopping for a automobile the place you possibly can virtually at all times put nothing down. So should you’re shopping for a brand new $100K boat, you could cough up $10K.
  • If financing it, will you be authorized?  What are the month-to-month funds?
  • If financing, remember to ask whether or not the seller provides financing or whether or not you could organize your personal financing.  Our seller referred me to a financing firm.
  • Boat insurance coverage? Most marinas require you’ve gotten insurance coverage with a view to retailer it there.  Third-party legal responsibility insurance coverage is basically necessary (that is protection within the occasion somebody is harm in your boat or because of your boat).
  • Boat equipment, gear and security gear:  Boat security and leisure gear provides up.  We opted for a second emergency motor (referred to as a kicker) which price $5,280.  We would have liked the underside painted, added on a swimming ladder, fenders, ropes, sounder, oars, trailer and so forth.  We have now extra but to purchase similar to life jackets, first help package, flashlight and who is aware of what else.
  • Taxes: Boats are sometimes thought-about a luxurious merchandise.  The taxes in our jurisdiction got here to $10,000 on a $77,000 boat.
  • Don’t overlook the price of fuel, marina moorage, service, and so forth.  Boats aren’t low cost (as I’m shortly studying).
  • Boat license:  We have now to have a ship license in our jurisdiction. This price me $60 (needed to take the take a look at).

7. If shopping for used, pay for a ship survey (if a sizeable boat)

I actually didn’t need to purchase a used boat as a result of I do know little about them. I do not know what to search for.  Perhaps in 5 years I’ll be a veteran boat proprietor however in the intervening time, I’m a beginner boat proprietor.

However, if keen to purchase used, you possibly can both save some huge cash out of your funds or get extra boat on your cash.  There aren’t any scarcity of used boats on the market.  I did discover what seemed to be an honest used aluminum fishing boat however it wasn’t that less expensive than new so I went with new.

For those who’re shopping for a sizeable boat, particularly a cruiser, yacht or sailboat, it’s price paying for a ship survey (aka boat inspection) and take it on a sea trial.  It’s all a problem to do (one more reason I want shopping for new) however when spending $10K or extra, due diligence is necessary.

In fact, if you understand boats effectively and what to search for, then you’ve gotten the benefit.

8. Do NOT hesitate to tug the set off and purchase it if you discover it

For those who discover seller or used vendor that has what you need, don’t delay.  Resolve quick and take motion.  When I discovered a seller who had what we wished, I put a deposit on it instantly.  It’s a very good factor I did as a result of one hour later, one other buyer wished to purchase it.  That deposit held the boat for me till I might get to the seller (at which era I wrapped up the acquisition).

9. The seller will want as much as one to 2 weeks to organize your boat

As a result of we additionally purchased a pile of further gear (a kicker motor, wanted the underside painted and so forth.) the dealership wanted two weeks to deal with all of this.  It’s a bit like assembling the boat… actually after we toured the boat there have been components that wanted to be assembled.

I solely deliver this up within the occasion that you just count on to get out on the water the day you purchase it… which may not occur.

10. There may very well be further delays

In our case, I wanted to get a ship license, financing and insurance coverage. I’m glad I obtained the ball rolling on these gadgets as quickly as potential as a result of all of them take time as effectively.  Luckily, I had all of it in place fairly quick in order that I might choose up our boat as quickly because the seller was carried out with it.

11. You may have to get a ship license… I did

I knew from the beginning that our jurisdiction requires all boat homeowners to get a ship license however I didn’t count on that the licensing would take almost 4 hours.  Word that not all jurisdictions require that you just get a ship license or take an examination.

I’m glad I began the method a number of days earlier than selecting up our boat.  With out the license, I can’t drive it.

With a purpose to get the license I needed to spend 3 hours reviewing the take a look at supplies.  Luckily, it’s all on-line and I simply paid for this course which offered all of the examine supplies after which entry to the examination.

I didn’t count on it to be so detailed.  I handed the primary time by however was more durable than I anticipated.

On the steadiness I discovered a ton and it was a very good factor to do.  Boats with motors aren’t a joke and could be harmful.  So whereas it wasn’t

12. It is likely to be greatest to safe boat storage first

Whether or not it’s at your own home, a marina or elsewhere, you could understand how huge of a ship you possibly can retailer the place you’ll be storing it.

Boat storage for us was an enormous drawback.  Solely very small boats slot in our storage.  Our driveway is way too steep for a ship.  Once we began this course of all marinas had no out there spots.  Our plan was to purchase a skiff that would slot in our storage till we secured moorage… which we had been instructed might take two years.

Really, an alternative choice for us earlier than we secured moorage was to seek out somebody with a protracted flat driveway and supply to pay to retailer the boat there.  And but an alternative choice was to seek out mini storage for a ship… though that could be very costly.

Lo and behold we magically secured a ship slip for a 25′ boat which solved all our issues. That meant we didn’t want to purchase a skiff and as an alternative might get the boat we actually wished which was an 18 to 20-foot aluminum fishing boat.

13. Boats are literally longer than marketed – motor not included in reported size

Boat size is necessary when getting a ship slip or storing it in mini storage or your storage.  The issue is they’re virtually at all times longer than reported as a result of it doesn’t take note of a swimming platform (if added) or the outboard motor.  So our 18′ foot boat is basically a minimum of 22′ and even 23′.  It’s a very good factor I opted for the 25′ boat slip.

14. How will you fuel up your boat?

Many marinas have a fuel pump however ours doesn’t. So I requested round and luckily, there are water fuel stations within the space which is improbable. I wasn’t enthusiastic about having to haul jerry cans of fuel aboard each time.

My level is earlier than you get going you’ll need to discover out the place you may get fuel on your boat.  For those who’re launching each time at a ship launch, you possibly can simply refill at a fuel station.  I don’t ever plan on taking it out of the water so with the ability to fuel up at a neighborhood marina or floating fuel station was necessary.

I believe our scenario is exclusive as a result of our boat is just about within the metropolis.  There are 8 marinas inside an hour’s drive from us so it’s a excessive boat site visitors space which is nice as a result of the infrastructure is all arrange for boating.

How lengthy did it take us to seek out and purchase a ship?

It went quicker than I anticipated.  From begin to end it took from August to November 2021.  A giant a part of that was determining our boat storage/moorage scenario first.  Till we knew the place we’d maintain our boat, we actually didn’t know whether or not to get a small momentary skiff or our dream boat.  As soon as we secured moorage, it was go-time. I knew what we wanted and as soon as I discovered a dealership with one in inventory, we purchased it instantly and had it in our fingers 2.5 weeks later.