Buying your first boat should be a fun and exciting experience, not an overwhelming one. In this article let’s break down all purchasing aspects to make it easier for you!
How to Approach a Purchase
If you are a first-time boat buyer, having an agent could greatly aid you in this. A buying agent will help to lead you in the right direction as to what is worth considering. They will do all the dirty work for you and find you a boat without you having to even break a sweat! These agents are experts in the field and can survey every aspect of a boat ascertaining the value on the spot.
But whether it is your agent or you are approaching the situation in person, you need to have a game plan from the second you step foot on the seller’s property.
You should have a bit of a poker face up, so the seller doesn’t really know your level of interest. As long as you keep them guessing toward your true intent, the longer you will have to negotiate. Also don’t settle early on any one boat, instead of settling on just one model, you should have at least 3 different boat models in mind.
And while you scope out these prospective boat models, you should go ahead and takes notes. If you see something you like to jot it down. This is very important for your own future reference, because after viewing several boats; you just tend to forget what it was that you actually looked at. There is also cut a bit of “kicking the tires” or in the case of boat buying “kicking the hull” that comes with deciding which vessel to ultimately purchase.
This means that you want to test out the reliability of a boat before you buy it. Aiding you in this is a screwdriver and a trusty flashlight. That way you can use the screwdriver to tap around on different parts of the boat, testing its integrity.
You can also use the flashlight to look down deep into the nooks and crannies; making sure everything is in a sound shape. Along with these items, you should also take a digital camera of some sort with you so that you can take some photos of your prospective purchases.
When looking at a used boat you need to learn to be analytical; learn to be led with your brain and not your heart. This goes back to the concept of keeping up a poker face, don’t let the seller or your own emotion lead you astray, stay focused, and only make pragmatic decisions. This is very important because all too often buyers find themselves falling in love with the wrong boat.
Instead of just going by superficial features like paint and deck molding, you should really have the boat taken down below the water line and then step aboard and observe just how the boat handles when it is actually in service, this will give you a more realistic picture of just what this boat is all about.
Develop a Relationship with the Previous Owner and Closing the Deal
Make sure that you know the owners and brokers well so that you can build a solid rapport that will help you make a decision of what to buy.
Even though you will most likely never see the previous owner of the boat again, when you purchase a boat from them you are entering into a relationship nonetheless because from that points on you are picking up from where they left off. You are taking charge of al the work that they did or didn’t do for that boat, and every last extra mile placed on that vessel becomes your own.
Once you decide you are going to buy a boat, then it is time to close the deal with the previous boat owner. This means that you have to begin the process of negotiating a final price.
There is no one size fits all strategy for how to do this, every buying situation is usually a little bit different from the last. Sometimes a buyer may get a sweet deal that hands them a boat for as much as 30% below the original asking price, but other times they could very well get in situations that where they end up being overcharged.
It all depends on the magic that you can work with the owner. Once the two of you do come to a decision, however, make sure you leave everything official in writing. A handshake alone won’t cut it; you will need a verifiable paper trail, just in case something goes wrong later on.