Buying a Boat

Thinking about buying a boat? Here are some helpful tips when making the boat buying decision.

Ready to get out on the water, enjoy the weather, spend time with family and friends, or wake surfing? Here are some things to think about when preparing to purchase a new boat for the first time. 

master craft boat in water
  • Assess what you (and your family) want to do on the water, where you will be boating, and who you want on your boat. The Great Lakes are far different from the small inland lakes and coastal waters. You can find out detailed information at discoverboating.com.
  • If you are keeping the boat at your residence and trailering it to many different inland lakes, make sure you have a tow vehicle that will handle the boat with ease. Calculate the total dry weight of the boat, all the equipment, and toys stored onboard, a full tank of gas, and the total weight of the trailer. This is the maximum weight you will be towing.
  • You will also need the proper tow package on your vehicle. Evaluating your tow package requires knowing the maximum tongue weight for your hitch and if tandem axle trailer brakes are allowed. You will need a compatible brake and blinker light harness.
  • If this is your first time trailering a boat, practice a few times with your significant other at the launch when it is quiet. Launching your boat for the first time on a busy Saturday in July is not advised. If your dealer is delivering your boat, take the opportunity to ask for tips. When you plan a launch, consider the weather, boat launch access, and special events.
  • If you plan to purchase a boat lift for your private or association dock, be aware that they vary significantly in cost and dependability depending on the brand and style you select. Consider the total dry weight of the boat, a full tank of gas, the total weight of all equipment on the boat, and the weight of people who may be in the boat when it is on the lift. If you are on a large lake or one of the great lakes, the wind and wave action can be overpowering. It’s crucial to get a lift that can handle it. A hydraulic lift may be the best option.
  • The costs to operate the boat include annual maintenance, such as winterizing and maintaining the trailer and lift, boat insurance, fuel, and storage on and offseason. If the boat is under warranty, it’s essential to follow the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule and keep accurate records. In the event of a boat insurance claim, they may be helpful.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy your boat shopping experience and get the most of boat ownership.

Author,

Matt Anderson, President

Global Marine Insurance Agency

Pricing Your Yacht to Sell

Occasionally our yacht insurance specialists are asked about pricing a yacht to sell. Selecting a competitive, fair price can be challenging. Here are some things to consider when pricing your yacht:

Sell yourself or list with a broker?

There are brokers and boat appraisers who specialize in yachts, and sometimes it’s better to employ professionals to assist you in pricing and selling your yacht.

  • Brokers, like marine surveyors, have access to databases not available to the public that provide useful sales information like reported sales prices (in addition to listing prices).
  • If you’re not confident in sales and negotiating, paying a commission might be the best way to get a fair price for the vessel
  • Your time is valuable and hiring experts to handle the sale can save you a lot of trouble

Tips for handling the sale yourself:

  • You’ll want to set a listing price the same or above comparable yachts on the market – just as you’d shop around for yacht insurance, take time to do your research when valuing your yacht
  • Refer to websites like BUC, ABOS, and NADA for valuations (some have a fee)
  • Brokers use the site, Yachtworld, and many buyers search on Boat Trader; you can search them to benchmark sale prices of comparable yachts
  • To accurately appraise the value of your vessel, search for at least 10 to 12 yachts with similar specs built in the same year, the year previous and a year later
  • In addition to the model and manufacturer, also consider the year, length, engine and any upgrades or unique accessories you intend to include in the sale
  • Expect potential buyers to negotiate, so leave a 10-15% buffer above your best sale price