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Beginner's Guide to Buying a Boat

So you want to buy a boat? Most of us know the basics of buying a car but may find ourselves in deep water when shopping for a boat for the first time.

There’s a boat to suit all water marine interests, ranging from fishing vessels to sail boats, speed boats and even luxury yachts.

We’ve put together a basic guideline to help you with looking for your first boat.

1 - Finding the right boat

Before you go visiting any boat yards you need to consider what you want from your boat. Are you going to go fishing, water skiing or island hopping, and how many people are going to be with you. Is it for family trips, a day out with your mates, or are you looking for your own personal escape?

Once you know the type of boat that suits your needs, you’ll be in a better position to shop.

2 - Apply for a boat loan

You might think this should be a later consideration but did you know you can apply for a pre-approved boat loan? You can even apply online so you know in advance what you can afford and have the peace of mind the money is ready and waiting for you to seal the deal. Being able to buy on the day can often improve your haggling position and actually end up saving you money.

3 - Choose the right dealer

Before you start shopping for a boat you need to shop for a dealer. Decide whether you want a second hand or brand new boat first, then narrow down the dealers based on the brands they specialise in and their reputation. You can check out online reviews of local boat dealers to find those with a good history of dealing in quality boats at affordable prices.

4 - Boat warranty

Investigate the warranties for the boats you’re considering as they won’t all cover the same things. It’s also worthwhile finding out what kind of services are provided if you need to make a claim on your warranty.

5 - Test drive your boat

Before agreeing to buy you can take the boat for a sea trial. This way you know how the boat handles and the way it feels on the water. Test it out in the conditions you intend to use it, as well as in moderate seas. You don’t want to find out after you’ve parted with your money that it can only be used on the calmest of days.

6 - Buying your boat (haggling)

Make sure you've done your research so you know what the boat is worth based on market prices and deduct any expenses you're likely to incur, such as necessary repairs, updates to equipment etc. With a dealership negotiate on the price of the boat alone - some sales staff will try to include other items as part of a package to entice you to spend more. Most importantly, remember you can walk away if the price is not what you consider fair for the boat you are buying.

Consider these points and you’ll be able to get out on the water faster, in the boat that’s right for you.

Fill out our application form and find out how much you can finance for your new boat! While we're based on the Gold Coast, we offer our finance services Australia wide!