Looking for a new boat are you? If so, then you should know that buying a new boat is not like buying a bicycle for your son. The decision to buy a boat is a major one as it is considered as a luxury purchase. It's not a matter of finding the one that looks good, whip out your cash and then off you go boating. It's a matter of finding everything you can about the type of boat that you have in mind before approaching a boat dealer.
Although there are many honest boat dealers out there, you should be aware that there are boat dealers who are purely business men and out to make money off of you. These kinds of boat dealers are everywhere, although not commonly found in developed countries. If you live near the water, chances are there are dozens of them to choose from. So, how do you find the right boat dealer for you and forget about the rest of the bunch.
Before you go searching for a boat dealer, you should do research of your own. The Internet is one of the best places for that. Another one is boating magazines. You may also want to study brochures and sales materials carefully. If you're using the Internet, you'd want to find a forum that discusses boats. In here, you'll find boat owners who are willing to share with you their experiences of owning boats of their own. Who knows, you might get a few tips from them either about boating in general or about what it is like to deal with a particular boat dealer.
You'd like to ask around about the types of boats that are out there, the brands, the prices and only then, you should be able to find out about the most reputable boat dealers in your area. We will be discussing each of the points below.
The kind of boat you want – Decide on the type of boat you want. What types of activities are you planning to do with your boat? Are you planning to go fishing with it? Or just cruising around the lake? Or water skiing and other water sports activities? Only you can make this decision. Take note that not all boat dealers sell all types of boats. For example, if you are looking for a jon boat, most likely you will not be buying it from a bass boat dealer. By knowing the type of boat you want, you are able to narrow down the dealers easily.
Boat brand of your choice – To further narrow down your choices, you should also decide on the brand name. Choose at least two or three different brands and find a boat dealer that sells both brands. This way you'll be able to get a solid opinion from that dealer and he might be able to give you the feedbacks that he received previously from his customers who had made a purchase.
Size of your boat – Knowing how big you want your boat to be is also important. Boats come in different sizes. Big boats are expensive, smaller boats cost less. Decide whether a certain size fits the type of activities that you want to do, the number of friends or family members your boat might want to cater.
Name your price – As with cars, the prices for boats can vary from one another. Once you know the type and brand of the boat you want, you might want to compare the prices of these boats. You will not know how much money you can save by comparing the different boat dealers available. In some parts of the world, the prices of the boat depend on the boating season. Usually most boats are marked down significantly when the boat season is over, usually in fall. You might want to buy it and keep it until the next boating season starts. Last but not least, decide on the comfortable price, know exactly how much you want to spend before you walk in.
Now that you know exactly what you want, it is time for you to find the right boat dealer.
Finding the most reputable boat dealers in your area – Before that, we have to bear in mind that boat dealers are businessmen and very good ones at that. They will try their best to get you to make an impulse purchase. They will also try in their best ability to nail you on boat accessories. In the end you may end up purchasing more than what you originally had budgeted for. One tip that should be shared is: Do not bring a checkbook with you to prevent from impulse purchases.
With that in mind, how do you go about finding a boat dealer? Ask around, either from your neighbors, your friends or those who know about boating if they could recommend you a boat dealer that they did business previously with. You can also find dealers in the phone book and the Internet by typing "boat dealer + your location" without the quotes in the search box. You can also make a call to Better Business Bureau in your area to find out wherever there are any customer complaints registered to a certain dealer.
Once you find a boat dealer, ask questions and negotiate for a good price. Do not worry about it. If you're armed with all the knowledge everything will come to you naturally. If not, just act like you know everything about boats.
You should ask if the boat purchase comes with registration fees. If not, register the boat yourself with the state. It depends on where you live. In the states, you can do so through your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.
You should also ask if the boat has been used before. If it has, ask about the year of the boat and the problems that you should look for.
As mentioned in the beginning, a boat is a luxury purchase and a big investment. As with most investments, you might want to take your time to evaluate the offer and compare it to other available offers.
It is natural for a boat dealer to push you to make your purchase. It's their job! Your job is to take your time and compare, find out everything you can before making that purchase.