Buying a boat, like buying a car or a home, is one of the biggest investments you will make and requires research and prep before doing so. The process of buying a boat is not as simple as walking into a dealership and making your purchase, and there are some questions you should ask yourself to make your decision easier. Here are the most important things to consider, from the experts at Fish Tale Boats.

What Activities Do You Want to Use Your Boat For?

Not all boats are created equal. Some are better for fishing, watersports, sailing, or leisurely cruising. Also, some are better for freshwater or saltwater. Another consideration will be how many people you plan on taking out on your boat at a time. Take the time to consider what your ideal day on the boat would look like and let that be in the forefront of your mind when you chose which boat is right for you.

Our previous blog post can help you determine what boat brand might be best for you depending on your needs. For example, Grady-White boats are the best for offshore fishing, while Chaparral is the family-friendly boat best for pleasure fishing or a relaxing day cruising on the water.

What Is Your Budget?

A boat will most likely be a large purchase for you regardless of how much you want to spend. It’s important to set a high and low-end budget to have an idea before you begin shopping. When you browse online or go into the dealership, you have an idea of what boats will fall into that range.

What Is the Real Cost of Owning A Boat?

Your investment doesn’t end when you purchase your boat. There are several other financial factors that go into owning and maintaining a boat once you’ve purchased it. Firstly, your boat will need regular maintenance. We recently highlighted our best tips for keeping your boat maintained, including regular oil changes, washing, and more.

Our extensive service department also has several different in-house services to ensure your boat stays well-maintained. Another cost to consider is fuel; the average boat owner will run their boat approximately 90 hours and burn 1 to 3 gallons of fuel per use. Additionally, you should consider insuring your boat in case of damage from a collision, extreme weather, theft or vandalism. Research to estimate these costs and factor them into your overall budget.

Should I Buy New or Used?

Depending on the type of boat you’re looking for and your budget, this question may already be answered for you. But if you’re still not sure, consider whether you should buy new or used. You may discover that there are a lot of used boats available at much lower prices that you would pay for the same boat brand new, due to the stability of fiberglass and aluminum most boats are made with.

What Boat Dealer Should I Work With?

Once you’ve set the standards for what you’re looking for, you should be ready to work with a local boat dealer near you to find the best boat for you. In Southwest Florida, Fish Tale Boats is the leading regional boat dealer with locations in Fort Myers, Naples, and Bonita Springs. We have new and used boats from manufacturers Grady-White, Chapparal, and Robalo; as well as an extensive service department. If you are ready to purchase a boat, contact us today for more information!