As boat show season rapidly approaches, beginning with the 51st Annual Fort Myers Boat Show from November 9th to 12th, it’s crucial to do your research to make an informed decision and find the vessel that best fits your needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to research buying a new boat:
Determine Your Boating Needs and Goals
Start by defining your primary purpose for the boat. Are you looking for a fishing boat, a family cruiser, a sailing yacht, or a powerboat for watersports? Consider the number of passengers you’ll typically have on board and the activities you plan to enjoy.
Set a Budget
Establish a realistic budget that covers the purchase price and includes costs such as registration, insurance, maintenance, storage, and fuel.
Research Boat Brands and Manufacturers
Look for reputable boat brands known for quality, durability, and customer satisfaction. Visit the websites of these manufacturers to explore their boat models, features, and specifications. Our Boater’s Directory is a great place to start.
Attend Boat Shows
Boat shows are excellent opportunities to see a wide variety of boats in one place. Attend local or regional boat shows to view and compare different models, ask questions, and gather information. You can find upcoming shows here.
Read Reviews and Boat Tests
Search for professional boat reviews and tests conducted by boating magazines and websites. Reading reviews can provide insights into a boat’s performance, features, and overall quality.
Visit Dealerships and Showrooms
Locate local dealerships or showrooms with the brands and models you’re interested in. Schedule visits to physically inspect the boats, ask questions, and discuss pricing and financing options with sales representatives.
Consider Resale Value
Research the resale value of the boat models you’re interested in. Some brands and models hold their value better than others.
Ask experienced boaters, friends, or family members for recommendations and insights. Join online boating forums or social media groups to connect with the boating community and gather advice.
Schedule Test Drives
Schedule test drives or sea trials whenever possible to experience how the boat handles on the water. Pay attention to comfort, handling, and performance during the test drive.
Review Warranty and Service Options
Carefully read and understand the manufacturer’s warranty, as well as any extended warranty options. Inquire about available service and maintenance packages.
By following these steps and conducting thorough research, you’ll be well-prepared to make an informed decision when buying a new boat that perfectly suits your boating lifestyle.