Not everyone dreams of buying a car — others dream of buying a boat! To each his own, as they say.

So, if you’re one of those saving for your dream boat, you have to prepare yourself for the big day when you’re finally able to buy it. You will need to spend significant hours or days to research your dream boat – its price, make, capacity, purpose, etc.

You have to have all this information ready so you do not rush into buying without doing your homework because sometimes, when you get the money, you become really excited and your tendency is to immediately buy the boat that fits your budget.

Avoid this pitfall, and do your search ahead of time. We have provided these boat buying tips for you so your dream does not turn into a nightmare!

New or Used Boat

If you have the money, it is better to go for a new boat. New boats have warranty that covers the cost of repairs and parts, saving you a lot of headache.

If you’re thinking of spending wisely, you can buy a quality used boat. Before purchasing one, bring a boat mechanic you trust with you and have him check the unit if it’s worthy.

Boat Size

If you’re adventurous and wants to be out in the sea on most days, you will need a large boat with a cabin where you can sleep for the night, as well as a kitchen where you can prepare food, a toilet, etc.

If you’re into short boat trips during the day, a boat measuring 18 to 40 feet will serve the purpose.

Sailboat or Motorboat

Fishing for leisure just near the coast will be enjoyable with a sailboat. If you have a family to take with you further out to sea, a motorboat will be a wise choice.

Frequency of Use

Will you be out in the water five times a week? Or will you be going on leisure trips once a year? If you will be out in the water often, then buying a boat would be your option. For those who want to get away on a boat at least once or twice a year, you might just rent a boat for the purpose. Remember that owning a boat will cost you in terms of maintenance, fuel, docking fees, insurance and registration, and some other necessary expenses.

Purpose of the Boat

The type of boat you will purchase will depend on the use or uses of the boat. Examples are fishing, cruising, loading passengers, etc. You also have to consider the number of passengers it will carry – five family members, just a husband and wife duo, or only you?

Boat Loan

Other people want to use their cash on hand on other important things, so they opt for a boat loan or financing that provides payment terms of up to 20 years. If you’re thinking of getting a boat loan, consider the lenders’ requirements, interest rate, and amount of required cash out.

Legalities

The U.S. has commissioned the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) to issue required certification to all boat manufacturers. All boats are required to comply with the certification requirements to ensure all boats are safe to use and are seaworthy.

Insurance

Just like certification, a boat insurance is also a must for all boat owners. There are numerous boat insurance agents that could provide you with the necessary surety. Make sure you deal with the legitimate ones.

Boat Amenities

Boat dealers will most often tell you the amenities that come with the boat you’re planning to purchase. These are optional. You may choose to buy what the dealer is offering, or buy what you need from another store or supplier.

Storage

This is an important consideration because larger boats may require higher fees for storage. Check this information at the marina where you plan to store or dock your boat.