The type of boat you buy will all depend on your needs and the activity you will do in the water. Whatever it is that interests you, you have to exercise caution before deciding to buy a boat.

You must also consider your budget as well as the cost of boat maintenance. You will also need to get a boating license and registration, fees for which vary by state. Some states charge minimal fees of $10 to $20.

We’ve compiled several tips for you to consider before finally deciding on a boat. Read on to know more…

1. Think very well of your reason for getting a boat: What will you be doing with the boat most of the time? Will you be fishing or cruising? How many passengers will it carry?

Boats come in different types – there is a boat designed for freshwater fishing, for cruising or boating leisure, for shallow waters, water sports, offshore fishing, etc.

2. Cost of the boat: The cost would highly depend on whether it’s brand new or used. Brand new boats would usually cost you maintenance of around 10 to 15 percent of the boat’s value on a yearly basis.

If you decide you want to buy a used boat, you must have a reliable repair man you can turn to for fixes or improvements, which will cost you quite a sum depending on the improvements you want to implement. You must also have some knowledge to fix simple problems if the need arises.

3. Ensure you’re buying a certified boat: A boat certification is important because you are assured that you’re buying a safe vessel. Certification from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) ensures that your boat is safe and has complied with federal construction standards.

Boat dealers are knowledgeable about NMMA certified boats so they’re your best source of information. You can also go to boat shows to find out more on this, or check the internet for NMMA-certified manufacturers.

4. Consider where to buy the boat: There are numerous options where you can source your boat. The most sensible is from a boat dealer. Boat dealers are also your go-to people when you need repairs or if you want more information after your purchase.

Another option is buying directly from a boat manufacturer. Big manufacturers tend to point you to buy from their dealers, but not so with small manufacturers. Again, make sure you’re buying an NMMA-certified boat.

Buying from boat shows is a wise decision because dealers would often have discounts or freebies available solely for boats purchased during the event.

Numerous boats are also offered in online boat shops like boats.com, boattest.com, etc. However, you must be ready to take the risks that come from online purchases.

Lastly, you may buy from private boat sellers, however, this would most often mean you’re buying a used boat. But there are also private sellers that sell new boats. When buying from this type of seller, ensure you conduct a thorough check of the seller’s reputation before handing him your hard-earned money.