If you are considering buying your first boat, this is not the time to make an impulse buy. This is one of those purchases that you are going to be attached to for years, so you better take the time now to get starlight on if this is what you want or you are going to find that you are going to be sinking deep into a financial whole that you had no idea about.
Consider these things first before opening your checkbook to buy that boat:
1. If you already have friends who are avid boaters, ask them if you could stop by one weekend early and see all that goes into the preparations to get on the water each day. This is a labor of love, and it can be quite challenging for those who simply think they jump in a boat and hop out when done.
2. Find out when the next boat show will be in town, and get a ticket and plan on spending the day there. This will be the best money you ever spend because you can see the boating lifestyle from the inside, and you will be in a position to pick the brains of as many boat enthusiasts as need be until you get all the answers you are looking for.
3. Never assume you have to buy a new boat. There are boat owners around the country who made an impulse boat buy, used it a few times, and now need to get out just as fast. Compare used versus new, and you may find that the price of a slightly used boat for sale by owner will save you thousands of dollars.
4. When buying a boat, always try to get some things thrown into the deal to sweeten it for you. If you are buying used, you can ask the seller to include safety equipment, the trailer, fishing equipment, basically anything they bought for the boat after they took possession. These accessories could add up to thousands, and might be yours for the asking.
5. Take the time to write down all the additional coats associated with boating other than the cost of the boat. Include things like insurance, fuel, maintenance, permits, licenses, safety equipment, fishing gear, a trailer, marina fees, and storage fees.
Now that you know how to get sure about this purchase, congratulations! If you made it this far you are going to be just fine after you find the right boat that works best in your situation.