Boat Shopping: From Insurance for a Boat, to Transporting

budget boat shopping boat insuranceIf you dream of buying a boat odds are you can find one that you can afford. The most important thing is to figure out a reasonable budget. Look at your current personal budget and determine what you can afford to spend on a recreational boat and then determine what items in addition to the boat (ex: insurance for boat) you would need to purchase in order to enjoy your new toy.

When you buy a boat for pleasure, you need to budget for more than just the boat. You’ll have additional expenses including registration and plates, buying insurance for your boat, maintenance, storage, fuel, equipment like lifejackets and possibly a trailer and toys including tubes, rafts, skis, etc.

The next thing you need to do is figure out which kind of boat not only falls within your budget but also suits your lifestyle. The possibilities are endless, from an aluminum all-purpose fishing boat to dinghies, sail boats, ski boats, deck boats, pontoons, cabin cruisers to high performance boats…to name only a few.

Here are some things to think about when you are looking at boats that fall within your price range:

  • Is it big enough to hold the number of passengers you hope to take on the water regularly?
  • How is it powered? Have you budgeted for fuel expenses?
  • How will it be transported? Will you need to purchase a trailer? If you will be hauling the boat do you have a vehicle that can tow it safely?
  • Where will you store the boat during boating season and the off-season?
  • Who will perform routine maintenance on the boat? For example will you winterize the boat yourself or pay to have it done?
  • What will insurance for boat cost and what boat insurance agency will you work with?
  • Will the boat be able to safely navigate the waters you want to boat in? If the boat’s hull is too deep you run the risk of hitting objects in shallow waters. If the boat is too small for rough waters you run the risk of being constantly wet or worse yet flooding or capsizing.
  • Will the boat allow you to do everything that you want? For example, travel to a certain destination you have in mind, accommodate watersports like tubing and waterskiing or have sleeping quarters that will provide enough room to stay for the weekend.

Many people looking to get into recreational boating on a budget think they can only consider used boats. However, pre-owned is not always the best option and there may be financing incentives available so it’s a good idea to consider all of your options.

Check for used listings online, but the same cautions for buying used cars go for used boats. The benefits of buying new from dealers include extended warranties and competitive financing with low monthly rates. Boat shows are great opportunities to really learn about different types of boats and explore your options by talking with more experienced boat enthusiasts.

Before you buy, get a boat insurance quote. Global Marine Insurance has an online boat insurance quote tool which at times can be easier than calling. Boat insurance is variable, influenced by factors such as the length of the boat, the type of vessel and the level of coverage you require. Sometimes insurance will be lower for a new boat than it is for a pre-owned boat. You may be able to reduce the cost of  your insurance for a boat by taking boater safety courses.

While some home owner policies offer coverage for pleasure boats, it is almost always better to have a separate marine insurance policy from an agency that specializes in boat insurance because the home owner policy typically covers only minimal risk and not salvage or environmental damage.

Contact the boat insurance experts at Global Marine Insurance for all of your boat insurance needs.

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