We were the 1st buyer on 2/8 and feel redeemed by this forum. We had asked whether there was deck crazing before we bid on the boat and were assured the only crazing was limited to a little crazing in the cockpit. We sent the deposit of $2000 and immediately made plans to travel from Caribbean to Florida to see the boat with the check for the balance in our hands.
This clearly is not the right approach even if you got good advice here (we do try). For a first time buyer being in a hurry is not the best course. You only think you are in a hurry. Chasing after deals is also a bad percentage game
. Taking your time and looking at boats closer to home is part of the process of learning
how to buy a boat. If you are not near the water
it just will cost you an extra $5,000 - deal with it. Chasing deals means you never really learn the things you would learn taking the time and walking docks as well as reading at CF and looking at ads. Walking docks and looking at real boats in the water
teaches the reality of boats. What they really look like and how much money
they are asking is just the basics. It's common ground you can be sure of. The offers and the deals come a whole lot later. You'll lean why you like things even if you have littrle experience you'll still learn a lot more.
They can look nicer in pictures than in a real life. Boats often feel better than the pictures when you get there. Never buy a boat you don't like and never buy a boat you can't afford. Those are absolute limits so come to terms with that idea. The key is liking the best boat you can find that you can afford and closing the deal. You should know it's your best option and why before you try to buy it.
Running around great distances to get a bargain is the surest way to lose a lot of money
. No $20,000 boat is worth the price of an airline ticket or a 12 hour drive - period. You really can't judge a boat by it's pictures to fully understand it enough to put down a deposit - ever. A boat that needs work 1000 miles from home is going to bleed you silly. The descriptions and assurances mean little. Even if accurate in descriptions they don't say what they don't say. There is always more no matter what perfect boat comes along.
Age is not the only factor as a well maintained boat can be in good shape even if the shine is a little dull. A poorly maintained 5 year old boat can be a disaster too. The stuff you can't see in the pictures can bleed your bank account dry in a heart beat. A $20,000 boat could cost another $50,000 easily. What they don't tell you is usually everything that matters most. It is possible to like a boat based on an ad. I have to say I liked both boats we purchased from the ads even if getting to the purchase
included other boats in between and finding the real reasons to buy it. The process assures you can't buy a boat you never really saw in person.
For anyone that can't afford to throw the boat away if they don't like it, you need a process - not a bargain. The money you pay up front is just the entrance fee to the main event. With slip fees
, and maintenance
(doing your own) you are into thousands of dollars every year you breath even if you never leave the dock
. That is where the real money comes in. Ten years later the $20,000 boat just costs far more than you paid for it. Make sure you are in love first, then consider the money, then add more money before you show up for the wedding. The savings in being sure and knowing why are the best deal there is.