The cold chill of February seems like a world away from the warmth of the July sun. Even so, it’s already time to start preparing for your summer on the lake – starting with local winter boat shows. This is the time of year when you can spend an entire weekend exploring all of the latest models and talking with dealers and manufacturers about any boats you may have your eye on. If you happen to be in the market for a new boat, continue reading to learn how to choose the right watercraft for you.
Know Your Budget
First and foremost, you need to decide how much you are willing to spend on your new watercraft. If you are paying cash, that’s an easy decision. If you plan to finance your boat, you’ll need to talk with a lender to get a pre-approval. While you could always wait until the boat show to apply for in-house financing, you may be able to find better terms by shopping and comparing rates on your own.
New or Used?
There’s nothing quite like the shine and sparkle of a brand new boat under the lights of the showroom floor. However, new boats also come with a big price tag – something you should consider when establishing your budget. Of course, you could buy a used model instead, perhaps even from a dealer at the boat show. The only problem is used boats are less likely to be under warranty and are more likely to require expensive repairs and maintenance. If you buy new, the warranty can take care of at least some of those expenses, reducing your cost of ownership.
Choose Your Boat Type
Do you already know what kind of boat you want? If not, take some time to research your options and decide what will fit your family and lifestyle best. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the vast selection, so start off by narrowing down your choices. Will you spend most of your time fishing from your boat? Consider a bass boat, which offers a versatile outboard motor, anglers’ chairs, and live wells. Do you need a lot of seating for entertaining? Pontoons and bowriders can often carry 10 or more people depending on the size of the vessel. Do you want to learn a new skill, like skiing or sailing? Consider a ski boat or sailboat as you browse.
Don’t Forget Boat Insurance
One of the easiest things to overlook after buying a boat is the insurance. It may not even seem like an urgent necessity given you are unlikely to operate your boat until temperatures warm. Nonetheless, boat insurance is of utmost importance – even if you are only planning to store your new watercraft at first. Don’t count on homeowners coverage, either. It offers only very limited protection if any at all.
A boat insurance policy can protect the investment you made in your boat against damages that can occur anywhere, including fires and vandalism. It can also cover you when you are transporting your boat and while you are on the water. Generally, boat insurance covers things like:
- Property damage liability
- Bodily injury liability
- Physical damages to your boat
- Personal property
- Special equipment
- Towing and emergency assistance
- And more
To request a quote for boat insurance, contact our office today.