The Basics of Buying a Boat

Are you thinking about buying a boat? Great news – as boaters ourselves, we highly recommend it.

Here at Terrace Boating we stock a range of boats – both new and used – plus have a host of reviews, boating specification documents, and over 40 years of experience. We can help you each step of the way, to ensure the process of buying a boat is smooth and enjoyable.

But first, let’s look at the basics so that you can get a head start.  


  1. Choose your boat type
  2. Determine whether you’d like to buy new or used
  3. Browse listings, work with a broker, or attend a boat show
  4. Narrow down your options
  5. Before you buy, conduct a walkaround, a sea trial and a survey
  6. Close the deal


The first question to ask yourself is: What kind of boating would I like to do? If you haven’t done so already, consider where and how you will use the boat that you buy.

Boats are specialised, so what you buy should be largely determined by how you will enjoy the water. Take the time to do your research. Just as you wouldn’t buy an off-road vehicle to commute on a highway, it’s important to find the right boat to fit your activities, tastes, and needs of your crew.

Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly before signing a purchase contract.

Do you want something you can put on a trailer and haul from waterway to waterway?
Is entertaining guests with cocktails at sundown the primary motivation for your purchase? Will you do a lot of overnighting?
Do your kids have plans to water-ski and wakeboard?

Each of these is a valid reason to buy a boat, and each will lead you to a different boat.

For more help finding those answers, read What Type of Boat is Best for You? Top 10 Choices for Boaters.

Even once you decide on a type, there are more choices to make because each boat type will require different investments of time and money to enjoy it properly.

For example, a boat that can be used with a trailer can save you money on dockage and winter storage, but each time you want to use it you will have to take it to a launch ramp and get it in the water. Whereas a boat stored in the water can make quick after-work getaways possible.

Here’s another great resource from Discover Boating which runs you through boat types in a little more detail.

And if you’d like some help to narrow down your choice of boat even further don’t hesitate to give the team at Terrace Boating a call on 02 4983 5600.

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