The ins and outs of buying a boat
Buying a boat can be a very exciting and exhilarating experience but it can be equally daunting and overwhelming.
To make it more exciting than overwhelming, we have put together some tips to give you direction and focus through the process of finding the right boat for you.
Get a Clear Picture
It’s easy to get carried away with the amazing boats available for sale, but to narrow your search down you need to get realistic and practical and have a very clear idea of what you want, starting with how you are planning to use the boat and where you are going to keep it, consider:-
- Fishing on inland lakes and rivers - trailer boat or to take offshore to chase the big ones.Holidays and family fun times on predominantly sheltered waterways, with how many people aboard?
- Moored or berthed permanently?Water skiing or other specialty purpose Power or sail?
- Berthing or mooring costs? Dry storage? Trailer boats – do you have space to park or store it and a vehicle with the capacity to tow it?
- Your boating skill and experience.
New or Used
Most boaties would love to own a brand new vessel, ordered from the dealer with customised finishes. But it is not always within budget.
A new boat offers:
- Possibly being able to add your input in the final stages of construction to customise to suit your taste and purpose
- More berths to suit the family, more space for fishing activities etc
- Warranties and possibly less maintenance as everything is brand new
- However, you may have to wait a while for delivery and require time to run in engines etc
- High price tag but could attract a better new boat loan deal – speak to your Jade representative.
- Factor in any transport costs which may be added to the purchase price
- The used boat market is massive and plenty of great gems can be found. Consider:
- Immediate possession
- Lower price tag
- Possible repairs depending on condition and renovations to suit your purpose
- Engine and electronics age and condition: do they require updating, replacing or getting close to repair stage
- Hull repairs/maintenance: consider the materials, ie timber/aluminium/fibreglass
- Title checks: is all the paperwork in order and verified?
- Always organise an independent inspection by a certified marine surveyor to ascertain the quality of the boat and all equipment included.
With the growth in online boat sales sites, researching the market for both new and used boats has become a lot easier.
Utilise sites to compare availability, prices and get an idea of the condition of the vessel from description and photos before inspecting in person.
Buying Through A Boat Broker
Boat brokers usually have certification of some type as a member of a boating industry association and as such, have a reputation to uphold.
They may have used boats on commission or ‘on the books’ or at their marina for you to inspect in person. Alternatively, give them your brief and they may search for the right boat on your behalf and negotiate a great price. They have the resources to search wider than you as a consumer and thus have a wider choice.
By law, they must advise you of any known defects with the boat with full disclosure of repairs required and provide full a title check.
When negotiating with a broker, they may have to refer to the owner for final price. By using the Jade Boat Loan Calculator to arrive at estimates on various loan amounts, you will be well-equipped to negotiate a deal on the spot.
Tip: try not to buy as the boating season approaches as a lot of other people will have the same idea, creating a more competitive buyer market.
Buying Through a Dealer
New boat dealers are licensed sellers and normally have popular boat manufacturer franchises. They are normally members of a reputable boating industry association, for example Boating Industry Association (BIA).
They must operate under local consumer trading laws and more importantly under their licensing guarantee clear title and ownership for used boat sales. If there are any encumbrance or ownership issues from a prior owner it is the problem of the boat dealer to fix. You are protected.
Tip: Look for end of financial year when dealers are looking to clear stock levels and remember it is easy to shop and compare prices with other dealers if you are looking at popular new makes and models.
Buying Through A Private Seller
Buying a boat privately can offer the best in pricing but highest in risks. Private sellers may not be compelled to comply with all the same consumer trading laws as brokers and dealers. Importantly you have to ensure correct title ownership and do encumbrance, write off, and stolen goods checks.
Even the most honest of private sellers may simply not be aware of all possible upcoming repairs on a boat. They also do not have to disclose all faults with the boat. Always get a full inspection of the boat so you are aware of the full condition. You can use a good mechanic or a marine surveyor
Tip: time your buying – look to buy in winter, a less popular boating season, private sellers may be keener to sell to save themselves on berthing costs in the off season. more info for private boat sales
Buying from Overseas
A lot more people are turning to international boat sales sites for unusual boats and good prices. Especially from the US market which is vast and can offers great pricing.
But only the very naïve would have to be told, buyer beware! Of course you need to deal with a highly reputable broker and speak with other locals who have purchased through them.
Have an independent inspection from a person who can assess the boat in relation to meeting boating specifications and regulations in your area. You don’t want to get it here, only to realise extensive and expensive work is required to meet registration standards. If you are looking for secured boat loans this boat be aware that most lenders avoid this type of purchase and at the very least insist the boat is in Australia first before settling. We do suggest talking to one of our expert marine staff who can walk you through getting a suitable loan to suit.
Get A Boat Loans Approval Before You Buy
There is no need to wait until you have found the right boat to get the right boat loan! Jade Boat Loans can arrange pre-approved boat loans and you can use our Free Boat Loan Calculator for an estimate on your monthly repayments on any boat loan.