Fantasising about weekend fishing with your mates or a family boating trip exploring the coast of Australia? Perhaps you’re a family keen on water skiing and need a boat with a bit of get up and go. Buying a boat can be a big decision, especially if you’re a first timer. If you’re about to purchase the boat of your dreams, check out these top tips.
1. Decide on the main use for the boat
Are you wanting a boat for water sports, cruising or fishing? Once you determine the main activity you’ll be using the boat for, this will narrow down the type of vessel you’ll need. Fishing boats have exposed cockpits and as much deck space as possible, with less seating to allow room for fishing.
Cruising boats are intended for entertaining and sightseeing. Some boats will offer day facilities , while others have amenities to cater to overnight guests. Water sports boats come with powerful engines and are designed to have the necessary grunt to tow skiers.
2. Size matters
As a first-time boat buyer, we suggest you don’t go for the biggest boat money can buy. Stick to a boat around 24 feet long – one that can fit on the back of a trailer.
3. Brand new or second hand?
New is always preferable, as there shouldn’t be any hidden issues and if anything does go wrong it should be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Second-hand, however, can be a good option because you can pick up your dream boat for a fraction the price. Go over the boat with someone who knows how to spot any issues; the last thing you want is to be stuck with a boat that breaks down on its first time on the water.
4. Diesel or petrol?
Petrol engine boats are generally cheaper, but use a lot of fuel and ultimately will cost more to run. Diesel engines are more economical, but they can smell and need extra maintenance.
5. Passenger capacity
Don’t forget to take the number of people you plan to transport in your boat into account – not just for comfort, but for safety, too.
6. Consider the resale price
Often your first boat is a stepping stone to the boat of your dreams. Check out boating websites and do your research on what the boat you want retails for second hand.
Think about how you are going to transport the boat from A to B. What kind of vehicle will you be towing the boat with? How will the vehicle handle with a boat on the back?
Storage needs to be a big consideration. Will your boat fit in your driveway at home, or do you need to hire a berth at a marina?
9. Take it for a test drive
You don’t purchase a car, particularly a second hand one, without taking it for a test drive – and the same goes for boats. Don’t forget to take the noise level, weight and cruising speed into consideration.
10. Talk to a proven professional
Once you’ve done your research, talk to a boating specialist like Terrace Boating. We can help you decide on a boat to meet your needs and help with finance.