Smart Boat Buying

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Before buying a boat, one must consider a number of factors in order to make a smart, informed decision. Take a look at these tips before purchasing what will inevitably become your most treasured and valuable luxury asset!

Choosing the right boat – for you.
We covered this in depth in our May edition and Honda Marine offered a few valuable tips on how to decide what boat you should purchase. It is arguably the most important step in the process of boat buying and it should be paid the most attention. Narrow your choices to a short list of boat categories and make short lists of features that you require, features that you would like, and features that you want to stay away from and take it from there.

Can I afford it?
Boat ownership is not as dauntingly expensive as some people fear. Boats can be financed and paid off on a monthly basis just like motor vehicles, and, for most, the cost of owning a boat is nothing compared to the benefits derived from owning and using your own boat. However, it is important to realise that paying off the boat isn’t the only expenses you’ll have. Boat insurance costs vary by boat length and type, cost of the boat, and level of coverage. Consult your insurer for quotes or compare rates online. Smaller boats can be insured for next to nothing – this is also one of the reasons why smaller craft are dominating the local market at the moment.

Maintaining your boat is another expense that you need to consider, however, your boat, trailer, and engine maintenance can be kept to a minimum by giving it a simple freshwater wash down after each use and storing it properly (covered and oiled) between outings. See our May edition for how to winterise properly if you don’t plan on using your vessel during the winter months. Nonetheless, be sure you understand all the costs involved in boat ownership and do extensive research or talk to other boat owners.

Browse for best boat+dealer package.
Once you’ve compiled your lists and narrowed the choices down to a shortlist, it’s shopping time – and here I’m referring to the kind of shopping you’ll actually enjoy, not the kind where you are dragged along behind the missus, forced to give a defi nitive answer on whether those jeans make her look fat (for those of you who haven’t fi gured this one out yet – no matter the dimensions of curvature you’re looking at, the answer is always an immediate and fi rm ‘no’). Back to boats, once you have narrowed your category choices down, fi nd out when a boat show is happening in your area (shows are held annually in Jo’burg, Durban and Cape Town). Take the whole family and make a day of it; board as many boats as you can and ask as many questions as possible. Remember, you are interviewing your dealer as well as searching for the perfect boat. You want to fi nd the right boat-branddealer combination. Ask similar questions to each dealer and pick the one whose answers seem most knowledgeable and to your satisfaction. Even if you’re not quite sure of the exact boat that you want yet, you certainly know what type of quality service and experience you would like to deal with, so don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.


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