Buying a boat is so much more than going into the store, picking out the fiercest looking one, and going to pay for it. Especially in the case of fishing boats, you need one that is nice and sturdy in case you need to sail around a bit to find somewhere you can get a good catch, or in case you need it maintain its stability while you heave the impressively large fish you caught onboard. Understanding your needs is only the first step in buying your first boat. There are a few other things to consider so that you can make an informed decision. Got your heart set on getting yourself a fishing boat? Here’s what you should do:
- Know what you want
A series of questions to ask yourself should be the first thing to note down. Find out where you’ll be using it, how many people it can carry, if it will be used for only daytime fishing, and how fast it needs to go. These are just the basics, but they’ll greatly narrow down your search.
- Do some research
The Internet would be a huge help here. Get to know all the available options and their features. Check out photos to find out if you like the look and read through the various boat reviews available. Make a list of pros and cons for each boat. Find out if there are boats still available with your preferred material (whether aluminum for rough seas, or high caliber for relaxed weather). Lastly, try to see which shops or sellers you can contact to get the best prices, particularly if you’re looking to buy a used boat. Explore options on the Internet is quick, but be sure to exhaust all other options in finding the best deals.
- Do some costing
Just because you’ve bought the boat, doesn’t mean your expenses end there. Owning a boat comes with a price, and that includes registrations and applicable taxes. You also need to account for maintenance costs, fuel costs, oil costs, as well as looking into insurance options. If the boat you’re looking to buy needs repairs or a new paint job, factor that into your costs as well. Safety equipment costs should also be accounted for. Lastly, you should definitely consider the boat’s resale value if in case you’d want to sell it in the future.
- Check for warranties
Boat warranties can last anywhere from a year to three years. Ask sellers if your purchase would come with a warranty. Also try to see their policy on returns, in case your boat has any defects. Boats that don’t come with a warranty or are not eligible for returns should be crossed off your list as that would be a huge risk.
- Take it for a spin
Never commit to a boat without taking it for a test drive first. You should be able to see if you’re comfortable with the controls, and if the boat is easy enough to navigate. Be sure to check out how everything on the boat works, and learn how to deal with common problems aboard that particular vessel. Once you’ve ticked off everything on your list, you should be left with the boat of your dreams. Now you can conquer the seas, and enjoy all the tasty morsels that will be coming your way.