Should I Buy a Boat?

10 minutes

Why do I need a boat?

Let’s face it – you don’t. But if you live at the seaside, or at least own a summer house somewhere near water, you are definitely not going to be disappointed by treating your family to a boat.

The moment you sail off into the horizon, you stop thinking about anything else, literally leaving all your worries behind. Sailing all alone, with the wind in your hair, hearing the sound of the waves – that is the best cure for the stress that accumulates at home, at work… You get the opportunity to bring your loved one and have a romantic overnight stay, dinner on the deck under the moonlight and the stars that cannot be seen every night from the city lights, will make your date unforgettable.

If you have a family, a boat trip might be a great way to spend some quality time together, making up for all the moments you lost working all day, and kids going to school. Bringing kids on board is also a great way to teach them responsibility – sailing is always better when you have a crew.

7 reasons to buy a boat

If you find yourself on the fence about buying a boat, or perhaps need to persuade your partner about its benefits, here are 7 great reasons why owning a boat can significantly improve your quality of life.

1. Reduce stress and improve happiness

Boating offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, providing a break from work, cell phones, and traffic. Spending time on a boat allows you to engage in relaxing activities like fishing, water skiing, or simply enjoying the sunset, leading to reduced stress levels and increased happiness. Scientific research supports the mental health benefits of being near the ocean, with the sound of waves promoting calmness and perspective.

2. Get fresh air and exercise

Engaging in boating activities involves physical exertion, from loading supplies to water sports, which contributes to overall fitness. Breathing in fresh, salty air while on the water and participating in activities like sailing or swimming helps tone muscles and improve cardiovascular health. Balancing on a boat platform also engages various muscle groups, offering a unique form of exercise.

3. Learn new skills

Owning a boat presents opportunities to acquire new skills, such as knot tying, navigation, and maintenance, keeping the mind sharp and engaged. Embracing the challenges of boat ownership introduces you to a community of fellow boaters and opens doors to learning experiences, from mastering mooring techniques to cooking onboard.

4. Freedom and Adventure

Boating empowers the owners to choose their destinations and activities, fostering a sense of freedom and self-esteem. Whether sailing along the coast for a weekend or embarking on longer journeys, owning a boat provides autonomy in holiday planning and a personalized adventure experience. It facilitates quality time with loved ones, allowing for shared experiences and the creation of lasting memories.

5. Make new friends

Joining the boating community introduces individuals to like-minded enthusiasts, fostering friendships and a sense of belonging. Engaging with fellow boaters allows for knowledge sharing, socializing, and the opportunity to connect with others who share a passion for the sea. It creates a supportive network and a space for camaraderie.

6. Have lots of fun

Boating inherently offers enjoyment and entertainment, serving as a versatile platform for various recreational activities. From water sports to leisurely cruises, a boat provides endless opportunities for fun and relaxation, making it a valuable investment in recreational experiences.

7. Uncover new destinations

Boating enables exploration of diverse locations, whether locally or on a global scale, providing the flexibility to tow boats to new cruising grounds. Whether opting for short day trips or extended voyages, owning a boat opens doors to discovering new destinations and embarking on exciting adventures on the water.

Key considerations before buying a boat

Before diving into purchasing a boat, there are several key questions you should ask yourself to ensure you make the right decision:

  1. What is my reason for buying a boat?
    Understanding your primary purpose for buying a boat is crucial. Whether it’s for leisurely cruises, watersports, or fishing, knowing your goal will help determine the type of boat you need.
  2. What is my budget?
    Setting a realistic budget is essential, considering not just the purchase price but also ongoing costs like insurance, maintenance, and fuel.
  3. Should I buy new or used?
    While new boats offer warranties and the latest technology, used boats can provide significant savings. Consider the pros and cons of each option before deciding.
  4. What size boat do I need?
    The size of the boat should align with your intended use, storage options, and passenger capacity. Smaller boats are easier to maneuver, while larger boats offer more comfort.
  5. What type of engine should I choose?
    The choice of engine (inboard, outboard, diesel, petrol, electric, or hybrid) depends on your preferences and usage plans. Consider factors like fuel efficiency, maintenance, and performance.
  6. How will I transport and store my boat?
    Consider logistics, costs, and available storage options if you don’t have space at your property. Research local marinas and storage facilities.
  7. What type of insurance will I need?
    Boat insurance is essential. Research different providers and policies to find the best coverage for your needs and budget.
  8. What are my financing options?
    Explore financing options, including interest rates, loan terms, and fees, to make an informed decision.
  9. What are the ongoing costs of boat ownership?
    Factor in maintenance, marina fees, licensing, insurance, and fuel costs when budgeting for boat ownership. As a rough rule of thumb, consider budgeting double your mooring fee to cover all aspects of boat ownership. This includes mooring costs, general maintenance like cleaning and antifouling, insurance, river licensing, fuel, engine servicing, safety certification, and potential long-term expenses such as new canopies. This estimate also accounts for depreciation. For example, a Haines 32 Sedan, measuring 9.75m, would approximately cost:
    Annual mooring fee: £420 x 9.75m = £4,095
    Additional maintenance, insurance, fuel, and depreciation costs: £4,095
    Total estimated annual budget: £8,190.
  10. How experienced am I as a boater?
    Consider your boating experience level and whether you may need additional training or certifications for safe boating.
  11. Do I need a license to own a boat?
    Understand the licensing requirements for boating on specific waterways, including the need for a boat/river license and Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) certificate.
  12. What safety features should I look for?
    Research essential safety features and ensure the boat is equipped with necessary safety equipment for the waters you’ll be navigating.
  13. Are there any boat shows or exhibitions I can attend?
    Explore boat shows and exhibitions to view different boats and gather insights from industry experts.
  14. What type of boating community or clubs are available in my area?
    Connect with local boating communities and clubs to engage with fellow boaters and learn more about boat ownership in your area.

Where can I look for a boat?

It is quite difficult to choose the right boat if you are a beginner, but as soon as you perform a little bit of research, you will see that the different options correspond carefully to the needs of the boat-owner and the sailing style, and the many choices will dwindle into a few realistic boats.

Because boat shows are normally scheduled in the winter, their timing is perfect for you to get out of the house and investigate the market. It will also be a great opportunity for you to get more depth into the different types of boats and manufacturers.

You can always use this chance to give your top choices a test ride and see if they really suit you. Just remember – while shopping, do not buy from the first dealership you walk into, as a personal boat is not something you will change that often – whatever you get, you’re stuck with it for a longer period of time.

When is the best time to buy a boat?

If you have plans for the next season, and you’re thinking about buying a boat, December and January are the time to do it.

The end of the year is known as the best period to go into the large boat market. This is when the prices are the lowest, and the salespeople most willing to attend to any whim buyers might have. The year’s latest models expire when the clock strikes midnight, December the 31st, and everything in their stock instantly loses value.

Key questions to ask the seller or a broker

When interacting with the seller or broker, consider asking these questions:

  1. How comfortable is the boat?
    Evaluate the boat’s comfort features, especially if you plan to spend extended periods on the water.
  2. How fuel-efficient is the boat?
    Inquire about the boat’s fuel efficiency to estimate fuel expenses.
  3. What kind of warranty does the boat have?
    Understand the warranty coverage for new boats and transferable warranties for used boats.
  4. How easy is it to find replacement parts for the boat?
    Check the availability of replacement parts, especially for older or less common models.
  5. What is the boat’s maintenance history?
    Request service records and consider a marine survey for used boats to ensure good condition.
  6. What is the boat maintenance schedule?
    Familiarize yourself with a maintenance schedule to keep the boat in optimal condition.
  7. How does the boat’s resale value compare to similar models?
    Consider the boat’s resale value as an asset for potential future sales or upgrades.
  8. Can I take a test drive?
    Request a test drive to ensure the boat meets your expectations before finalizing the purchase.

Boat Maintenance

Since this boat is meant to last a lifetime, you need to think about many things that will be important in the long run. A boat is a hole in the water into which you throw money, a wise man once said, and all the sailors agreed.

Although most climatic zones in the world don’t permit you to take the boat out the year round, you will need to take care of it constantly. It is crucial that you make a good maintenance budget plan before you think of purchasing a boat. This will give you a better idea of whether you want to buy a brand new boat, and cash out on mechanics less often in the first few years, or you should look into cheaper, older vessels, and invest in building the boat back into ship-shape.

You will also need to be very careful when choosing a marine mechanic, for the same reasons as when choosing a car mechanic. You can ask fellow boaters around the marina about their experiences, or you can join a local boat or yacht club where you can find only the best experts.

Buying a boat

So there you have it. Buying a boat could be one of the best lifestyle decisions you make, as long as you enter the decision prepared and informed.

If you are thinking of buying a boat, do not hesitate too much. As it reaches the end of the year you could miss out on some great deals when it comes to prices, as they are, after all, the lowest around the holidays.

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