The decision to buy a new or used boat will depend on each person and each situation. While there are pros and cons for each, the goal is to decide whether new or used will be right for you. Here are some things to consider:
Some new boats come with warranties, which can help give you the peace of mind that certain parts of the boat can be fixed at the cost of the manufacturer. As you may expect, this is often not the case for a used boat, as the costs of repairs would be your responsibility. The best way to learn about the condition of a used boat and any potential problems that may arise is to have the boat surveyed. The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (S.A.M.S.) and the National Association of Marine Surveyors (N.A.M.S.) are two accredited organizations that can help give you accurate information about the boat you are looking to purchase. They will inspect the engine(s), hull, electronics and all mechanical equipment, interior, safety equipment, bilge, sea trials, engine lab analysis, valuations, recommendations and provide a detailed report with pictures.
New boats depreciate much quicker than used boats. In fact, boats depreciate the most within the first year of use. Used boats that are kept in good condition have a relatively low depreciation rate.
If you are planning to take out a loan, the interest rates and down payments tend to be the same whether you are buying a new or used boat. Some banks may require you to have a survey done on your boat before they offer you any financing option. Keep this in mind when setting up your boat budget.
While the opportunities a boat can bring are endless, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the number of options and considerations to think about before signing a check. The key to finding a boat that is right for you is to be patient. Be patient, honest and ask a lot of questions. The more you know about your expectations and the boat’s capabilities beforehand, the better your boating experience will be.