What to Look for in a Boat

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As the holiday season rapidly approaches, you may be ready to make some big purchases both for you and your family. For families who frequently visit the beach, one of these big purchases may be a brand new — or used — boat. With the wide variety of boats available on the market, it can be hard to even know what to look for.

Whether you’re actively looking for a boat to purchase or are just looking around, keep looking to see what you should be looking for.

Cost

Okay, this is a no-brainer, but there is more to the price of a boat than what is listed on the price tag. On average, a boat owner will pay 10 to 15 percent of the replacement value of their boat per year. So, if a boat’s replacement value is 50,000 dollars, the boat owner will pay 5,000 to 7,500 a year in maintenance, slip, and hull cleaning fees. That replacement value also doesn’t include fuel usage, which you should also consider when buying a boat. Again, the cost is much more than the cost listed on the price tag, so make sure to include the replacement value and fuel costs when determining your budget.

Purpose of the Boat

It helps to determine what you are going to use the boat for when picking one out of the various options available on the market. Most boats fall into the following categories: fishing, water sports, sailing, cruising, or personal watercraft use. Figure out which you are planning to use your boat for, and use that to tailor and narrow down your search.

Size

It goes without saying, but size is one of the most important features to consider when purchasing a boat. Often, the size of the boat depends on how many passengers you plan on bringing onto said boat. Boats that are under 28 feet usually have limits on how many passengers you can bring onto them, but boats bigger than the 28 feet threshold usually do not have limits on the amounts of passengers. However, these bigger boats may have restrictions if they are regulated by the coast guard and the driver of the boat is a licensed captain.

New or Used?

As with cars, one has to decide between a new or used boat when making a boat purchase. Each option comes with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. A new boat comes with updated features, and you can be more assured that it will run properly. However, it is much more expensive than a used boat. Adding on the 10-15 percent of the replacement value that you can expect to pay each year, a new boat can be quite an investment. By opting for a used boat, you can cut down on the replacement value costs but may have to pay costs to fix any issues that the boat comes with.

Make sure to keep these factors in mind when looking for the boat of your dreams!

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