The second part of our voyage of how to choose and buy your first boat continues in our search of avoiding the pitfalls and selecting the most perfect boat to suit your every need. Buying a boat can be a stressful experience so these tips should help you along the way.
Lock Down Your Research
Once you think you have found the right boat for you in your online research you now need to lock down your research and make sure it is accurate. There are several ways of doing this and here are four of the best:
- Compare the images of your selected boat between other similar boats, read the information and see if your boat is missing any items.
- Study all the written highlights of similar boats, see what is standard issue from boat dealers and what are the add-on extras, you may be missing out on a good deal.
- If you are research a dealer’s site, take a look at his other offerings to see what his business is really like.
- Stay clear of a great deal of gizmo’s and other paraphernalia that you will never use, it is pointless splashing the cash out on useless items.
Go and See for Yourself
Now that you have narrowed down your choice to a short list it is time you went and saw the boats you have selected. This could mean visiting a dealer, going to your local marina or actually visiting a boat show. Your mission here is to ratify your online selection and see if it is all cracked up to what you thought, and if it is as good in real life as it is on your computer screen.
Inspect the Boat
If you are a boating novice it is advisable to take an experienced sailor with you when you inspect the boat. If you are about to make a major purchase then you need to dig deep, and look at everything, even those bits that perhaps the vendor does not want you to see. If the deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is, be especially careful if your gut instinct is telling you that. First start with a general walk around, let the vendor give you his sales pitch and keep an open mind.
Any dealer worth their salt will offer you a practical demonstration, but note that a sea trial is far different to a pleasure cruise ride. Let your more experienced friend guide you for what you should be looking at during the trial.
Finally if you are serious about making a purchase, then take the boat out of the water and inspect the hull. You cannot possibly expect to know what the condition of the boat is under the waterline if you do not do this. If you do not have an experienced sailor as a friend it is well worthwhile to hire a marine surveyor, as in the long run the fee for their service could save you a great deal of money in the coming years. Then when everything has been fully checked you can go ahead with your first boat purchase, and spend your future leisure time enjoying yourself on the waves.