Boating is a popular sport and hobby all across Australia. To cater to this need, the market is full to the brim with boats of varying specs and features, making it confusing to choose for the first-time boat buyer.
There are also many dealerships and private sellers to source your new boat from, which adds to the list of decisions you have to make. These are enough to make anyone befuddled. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before buying a boat.
Below we have gathered our top tips (and common mistakes to avoid) for the first-time boat buyer:
1. Determine your use for the boat
To steer you in the right direction, you must first determine what you’re going to use your boat for. Is it for fishing? Serious water sports? Whole day cruises with the family? Whatever your purpose may be, it will help you figure out the type of boat to shop for, and should narrow down your choices significantly.
To narrow your choices down even further, think about the body of water that you’ll navigate the most. It could be the rivers, lakes, or the ocean. If you’re going for shallow rivers, then only consider the boats with flat bottoms. Meanwhile, larger vessels with V hull are more appropriate for ocean boating to battle the enormous waves. As for the lakes, you go for performance or jet boats.
2. Test drive the boat
Once you have a shortlist of two to three possible boats to purchase, you can make the final decision by doing a sea trial with each boat. It’s one of the first-time boat buyer tips that will give you a good idea of how it feels to be driving the actual boat out on the water. Test driving will also allow you to experience the different features that the boat has to offer.
Just like with cars, you’ll know if a boat is the one for you once you’ve got the feel of it. So, make sure to schedule a sea trial before signing any purchase agreement. If you’re test-driving a used boat, bring along an experienced boater or mechanic to help find any defects or potential problems.
3. Enrol for practical training
Novice boaters must also learn as much as possible about boating. That includes learning to man the boat properly, understanding the different water conditions, and comprehending all the boat traffic rules. Also, if you haven’t got one already, you need to get a boat driver’s license should you wish to drive a boat for at least 10 knots. It will require you to complete a boat safety course.
All of these are very important to ensure you know what to do out on the waters with your new boat.
4. Shop with a reputable dealer
There are two options when it comes to sourcing your boat: a private seller or the dealership. If you’re aiming for a used boat and know someone personally who’s selling one, then go for the first option. However, it’s almost always better to go with a reputable and experienced dealer, whether you’re buying a new or used boat.
Dealerships can give you loads of information about the boat and can give you on-water tuition. Aside from these points, buying a boat from the dealership includes a warranty, which means you’re protected from any defects or problems the boat may have. More importantly, you can get huge discounts on new boats with the dealerships if you shop at the end of the month or end of the fiscal year.
5. Get the right boat financing with Aussie Boat Loans
Boats are expensive, but with boat financing, you’ll be able to drive your dream vessel even if you’re a first-time boat buyer. But you mustn’t get just any boat loan product. You should get the right one. That means the boat loan suits your financial profile, has a competitive interest rate and offers flexible repayment terms that you can utilise without additional cost.
Aussie Boat Loans can help find the right boat financing for you. Whether you’re buying a watercraft for recreation or business purposes, we can provide the best loan product with the most competitive rate and great deals.
Call Aussie Boat Loans now at 1 300 769 999 or enquire online to get more information on our boat loan products. Start your loan application today, get a pre-approved boat financing in a few minutes, and ride your new boat sooner.