A Guide To Buying A Boat: Part 1

At Aussie Boat Loans we’re keen to help you buy your first boat. That’s why we’re here to help you from the beginning stages, right through to the boat finance, purchase and even boat insurance.

We’ve put together a series of blog articles to help guide you one the basic steps of buying your first boat. From the initial research you do to work out the best boat for you, the pros & cons of boat brokers and private sales, inspecting the boat and taking it out on the water for a test run.

Part 1: Research

Image by Yamaha Watercraft GroupThere are so many different kinds of boats out there, all suited to a particular style of boating. The first step in buying a boat is to decide on the style that will best suit your needs. Do you do a lot of deep sea fishing? Are you interested in water sports? Do you want to travel long distances or are you more inclined to slowly cruise along the coastal areas?

Below are some of the most common boating activities and the kinds of boats that best suit them.

Boat Types / Activities

Cruising / travel

  • Multi-Hull Cruising Sailboats
  • Sports Fishing Boats
  • Stern Drive Cruisers
  • Motor Yachts
  • Cuddy Cabins
  • Sedan Bridge
  • Inboard Cruiser
  • Cruising Sailboats
  • Trawlers

Entertainment

  • Deck Boats
  • Inboard Cruiser
  • Motor Yachts
  • Pontoons

Fishing

  • Inboard Cruisers
  • Multi-Hull Cruiser
  • Multi-Hull Power Boat
  • Closed Bow Runabouts
  • Sports Fishing Boats
  • Bass Boats
  • Bowriders
  • Centre Console
  • Walkabouts
  • Cuddy Cabins
  • Fishing Boats
  • Flat Boats
  • Sedan Bridge

Water Sports

  • Stern Drive Cruisers
  • Inboard Wakeboard Boats
  • Fish and Ski Boats
  • Closed Bow Runabouts
  • Fishing Boats
  • Inboard Ski Boats
  • Deck Boats
  • Cuddy Cabins
  • Bass Boats
  • Bowriders
  • Jet Boats

Once you’ve decided on a type of boat you can start refining your search. Obviously an important factor will be what you can afford to spend. You can talk to a boat loan broker at this stage and even apply for a pre-approved loan so you know exactly what your budget is and don’t waste time with anything that’s out of your price range. Then you can start thinking about these things;

Things to consider when buying a boat

Boat size – How many people do you intend to take with you out on the water? Where will your boat be when you aren’t using it? All boats have a maximum carrying capacity for safety reasons, so you need to find a boat that can carry the number of people you intend to take out with you. Will you berth your boat or tow it home? If you’re going to tow it home you’ll need a boat trailer, a car with the power to tow it and space at home to safely store it. Alternatively you can find somewhere to berth your boat, although this is an added expense.

Boating locations – Much like cars built for different terrains, boats are designed for different waters. From Lakes and rivers, to estuaries, harbours, coastal areas or deep seas, you need to find the right boat for where you’ll be taking it most. Check the size, hull and equipment too as different boats are kitted out for different activities.

Engine capacity – Once again, your chosen usage will determine the kind of engine and power level you’ll need. If you’re interested in water sports you’ll want an engine built for power, while short range fishing boats won’t need much, and deep sea fishing will require pretty good fuel economy. There are inboard, outboard and jet engine motors to choose from, as well as the option of diesel or petrol.

Storage & transport – consider where your boat will be kept. If you can’t afford mooring fees at your local marina you’ll need to be able to load your new boat on a trailer and take it home. Is there room at home? And do you need to get a more powerful car to be able to tow it?

Make of boat – What your boat’s hull is made of will be determined by where you’re planning on going with it and where you’re storing it. Hulls can be made from aluminium, fibreglass, steel, timber, composite, plastic or even inflatable materials. You can even choose between single or multi-hulled boats. What your hull is made from will affect the weight, maintenance, cleaning, and how easily you can transport it.

After researching all these points you should have a better idea of the kind of boat you’re looking for. Armed with this you can start looking for boats available in your area, the market value, and the best brands that make your preferred boat model.

In the next article we’ll look at the pros and cons of boat brokers versus private sellers.

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