There's nothing like a brand new boat. That new boat smell, sparkling fiberglass, trouble free operation (well sometimes), the latest in gadgets & electronics, up to date IPS propulsion with fuel savings, crisp white sails for sailboats and zero hour diesel/gas engines for power boats. There are a lot of good reasons to buy "new", providing the economy and interest rates are co-operating.
Every boat has it's pro's and con's and some boats are built far better than others. Requirements for coastal cruising, trans ocean and inland lakes are all different - so think your purchase through carefully. Most buyers will have to make some compromises along the way on size, quality and equipment because few of us have a wallet as thick as Tiger Woods. In the end, buy what you like that represents the best value for your budget.
In Georgian Bay and surrounding area there are many reputable new boat dealers to choose from that can help you in your decision making. Do some research online and then visit several dealers to narrow down your favorites.
Why Some Boats Are Built Better Than Others?
There has been immense pressure in the boating industry to reduce costs in the last number of years. Simply said, some boat shoppers will simply not pay the price for the quality and materials that some boats would cost to manufacture. So the manufacturers determine their target market and they build a boat for that market priced accordingly.
What has to give are the materials and workmanship. It doesn't mean one is right and one is wrong. But the old saying that "you get what you pay for" holds true for the most part when buying boats as it holds true with many purchases that consumers make. So buyers must determine their use and must evaluate what they are willing to pay for the attributes they require. It is normal that features that stand out, like bells and whistles will be that last to go on a cheaper boat and materials and workmanship where possible will be sacrificed first. This is only natural because first time boaters or budget boaters tend to overlook things like quality of caulk or glass layup and focus more on gadgets, layout and conveniences. Same thing on the space in a boat. Some would not sacrifice quality for space ... and some would go for the bigger lodgings in the same sized boat and sacrifice some quality.
As you can appreciate lately the margins are tight at both the manufacturing and retail levels, so something has to give to maintain competitive pricing. So every brand has a market and you cannot compare boat for boat say a Hatteras to a Cruisers by example. They are as different as night and day and the guy who buys a Hatteras would never think of buying a mid economy built boat and the economy boat buyer just wouldn't spend the extra cash to own a Hatteras. Different strokes for different folks I suppose. Everyone is proud of their boat and likes what they bought so no sense in doing a lot of direct comparisons because it will only hurt feelings, but it is important that new boat buyers see beyond the basics and know what quality they are shopping for which will narrow down or determine the brand. Luckily many manufacturers sell multiple brand lines so the boat buyer can find the right boat for the budget and task.
New Boat Owners Buying Tips
To discover the right type of boat with attributes that match your interests, go boating with friends on their boats to experience boating on several different styles of boats.
Buy the right size of boat. Bigger is not always better. Consider economy, ease in getting around, boat handling (e.g.: IPS vs. no IPS). Pick a boat that you can learn on and grow into over a few seasons.
To pick the perfect boat that suits your needs, consider what your primary boating activities will be, and the number of people you plan to have on board. Do you plan to travel long distances by boat and take extended cruises or do you simply want to take day trips? Are you interested in fishing or do you enjoy entertaining friends? Do you want a boat that is small enough to trailer or do you require a bigger, live aboard boat?
Take a close look at the true cost of boating and the time commitment that owing a boat requires. Consider not only the original cost of the boat, but also insurance, borrowing costs, fuel, maintenance, docking, storage, accessories, registration, etc. Think about the time it will take for you to pack your gear, travel to your boat, clean and service your boat, participate in on the water activities, return home again and unpack. Ask yourself if this is how you will enjoy spending your leisure time or will you tire quickly of the routine requirements of boats ownership?
Boat shows offer a great way see a wide range of boats from a variety of boat builders all in one place. At boat shows you can climb aboard to inspect dozens of boats for sale, collect brochures and speak to knowledgeable local retailers.
It is particularly important for new boat buyers to find a good boat dealer to help them through the buying process. To find a reputable dealer who will provide excellent service, shop around and speak to other boaters, visit dealers in your area. Make a wish list of what you want in a boat, what you would like to do with the boat and give this to your prospective dealer, along with your budget. A good dealer will be able to match you with a boat that is right for you and that will provide you with a good boating experience for years to come. Once you have moved on to your second boat, you will have a more in-depth understanding of what want in a boat and you will have developed preferences and dislikes about specific boat brands and models.
Your dealer may have a great demo boat that is in excellent shape and with factory warranty that would be a terrific first boat. He may also know of brand new boats of earlier model years that are available.
Consider the advantages of buying a boat produced by a large boat builder as opposed to a small builder. While many smaller boat builders build fine boats and do a good job servicing boats located in their area, some fall short providing service in other in locations across the country. Large boat building companies can usually provide service for their boats in particularly any location across Canada and the United States.
Be very careful of anyone offering a "buy now" low dollar deal. Reputable boat dealers are concerned that you purchase the boat that is right for you and will not apply pressure tactics. It is important that you do not make a spur of the moment decision because a cash strapped boat dealer is offering a limited time offer that could be too good to be true.
A practical alternative to whole boat ownership for the first time boat owner is to purchase a boat with a friend or to purchase a share of a friend’s boat. There are many advantages to being a part owner of a boat with a friend who has more boating experience. It is a great way to gain boating experience for yourself and give you the confidence to purchase your own boat or to purchase a larger boat with your partner sometime down the road.