Archive for the ‘boat buying tips’ Category

Possible Tax Deductions When You Buy a Houseboat

Do you dream of living on the sea? The IRS may be able to help you make that dream a reality.

“If you navigate several Internal Revenue Code Sections successfully, you can deduct interest on a boat loan as second-home mortgage interest.” (Can you ride a rising tide of deductions?)

With all of the housing market woes, there are still some ways that homeowners can get a break. However, make sure that you read the stipulations carefully and follow them to the letter.

Getting a mortgage interest deduction when you buy a houseboat is only an option for people who itemize their deductions. And any boat that you want to use to qualify as a second home must have features that are standard for living quarters (berth, bathroom and galley). Even if you claim you do not need all of this to live, the government will likely not accept your claim to a mortgage interest deduction if your home at sea does not have these things.

Also remember that boats do not tend to appreciate in values as a home on land can. So while you do not have to pay property taxes on a houseboat, you also are not able to deduct that expense as you can for a house on land.

Boats have long been used as instruments of both transport and commerce. More often than not these functions have been combined.  Many people bought passage aboard ships that were also being used to send good from one place to another.

Buying a Boat You Can Afford

When you decided to buy a boat, you need to factor in other costs besides the initial price of the boat. There is no reason to worry about the costs of boat ownership; you just need to do some research and factor some of the potential costs before making a purchase.

One boater reports that “Just to keep a small sailboat in the water in Marina del Rey will cost you a minimum of $4,000 a year.” You have to consider the costs of renting a slip, fueling your boat and be able to have money at the ready for any repairs that are needed. You also have to think about boat insurance. These are some of the necessary expenses; you will also want to make sure you have money for entertaining on your boat or for hobbies such as fishing and waterskiing.

Depending on the kind of boat you want, you may decide to buy a used boat, rather than getting a newer one. Buying a used boat may allow you to get a more expensive model. Then you can make sure that you have budgeted enough for repair and boating expenses.

Boating Basics: Different Types of Line

If you are going to be a boat owner, you will need to know something about rope and tying knots. Sailors have all kinds of high-tech gadgets and navigation tools in modern times, but they still have to know how to use rope.

In sailing parlance, rope is referred to as line. You can get line that is made of natural or synthetic material and there are situations where one is better than the other.

Manila is one of the most flexible fibers around. It is food for mooring and anchoring and must be allowed to dry before being put away. If you have used manila line in saltwater, you will need to clean it with freshwater and dry it before you put it away.

Nylon line stretches well and can be used for docking and towing. You can stow nylon line when it is wet because it will not rot. It should be washed though because it can be damaged over time if it is not cleaned.

Polyester line is not as flexible as nylon and it should be used with chafing gear. This reduces flexibility does not mean polyester line does not have its uses; for example it is good for use as a halyard.

Boating Basics: The Hull

If you are thinking that you want to buy a boat, but know little about the parts of a boat, it would be good to brush up on basic boating vocabulary. Understanding some boating vocabulary will be useful as you research different boats to figure out what kind of boat suits you best.

The hull is the bottom of the boat and although all boats have a hull, the type of hull they have will depend on the type of boat. There are a variety of hull types, but most are variations of two hull categories: displacement hulls and planing hulls.

Displacement Hulls as so named because they work to move a quantity of water that equals the weight of the boat. Most displacement hulls have rounded bottom. A boat with a displacement hull is usually fairly easy to move in the water, but they are not good if you are looking for speed.

Planing Hulls are made to glide on the water, not to displace it. This is achieved because planing hulls are flat. They can go faster than displacement hulls, but they are not as easy to handle. A boat with a planing hull can be difficult to maneuver in choppy water.

When is the Best Time of Year to Buy a Boat?

Of course there are varying opinions about when is the best time of the year to buy a boat, but many people will agree that the first quarter of the year (January-March) is the best time.

One of the reasons that the early part of the year is a good time to buy a boat is that this is when boat shows are in full swing. You can get a good deal when you buy a used boat because a number of boat owners want to sell their current boats in order to buy new boats.

Another reason that the early part of the year is a good time to buy a boat is that it is a time when demand may be less in some parts of the country. When spring hits, some people will also get hit with boat fever. This means that demand will go up and prices will increase. Buying a boat while some parts of the country are still dealing with cold temperatures may yield you a better price than if you wait until the weather is warmer.

Overall, the best time to buy a boat is when you are ready to invest money and energy into boat ownership, no matter what time of year it is.

Buying a Boat for Water Sports

As you probably already know, boat ownership requires time and money and if you are truly into boating, you will be happy to invest both. There are so many reasons to buy a boat and when you do, you will want to make certain that you get a boat that fits in with your lifestyle and allows you to pursue your interests. Some people enjoy sailing, while others are serious about fishing, and some really enjoy water sports.

If engaging in water sports is a hobby of yours and you want to buy a boat to accommodate this, you will have to take some time to think about your needs before you buy a boat. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you think about buying a boat for water sports:

  • Will this boat be used for tournaments or just for recreation?
  • What kind of water sports do I want to engage in (wakeboarding, waterskiing, etc.)?
  • Do you just want to waterski now and then?
  • What kind of body of water will be used in?
  • What kind of propeller will suit me best?
  • What kind of money will I need to spend on equipment (tow ropes, wet suits, water skis, wakeboards, etc.)

Buying a Yacht

Earlier this week, we looked at different types of yachts. When some people hear the word yacht, they picture a huge luxury ship, but you should know that all yachts are not created equally. You don’t have to be intimidated at the thought of buying a yacht since there are many kinds of yachts that fit into different lifestyles and different budgets. There are yachts that are designed for ocean voyages and others that are good for a trip that lasts a few days.

Before you buy a yacht, you have to think about what you want to do with it. For example, if you are all about sport fishing, then buy a yacht that will accommodate that. However, if you think you might want to try sport fishing at some point, but know that you really just want a yacht to cruise around one of the Great Lakes, get a day cruiser or even a cruising yacht and buy fishing gear in the future.

Whether you know exactly what you want or want to look around a little, you can shop online for a yacht. You can enter in exact details or look at a variety to yachts to find the one that is right for your lifestyle.

Motor Yachts

Motor yachts are typically used in larger bodies of water, such as the ocean, large rivers or even the Great Lakes. They vary in length from about 26 to 100 feet, with a typical motor yacht being over 60 feet long. Motor yachts can have one or two engines that usually burn diesel fuel and most also have a generator.

There are also several types of yachts that fit into the category of motor yachts:

  • A day cruiser is just as it sounds–a yacht that is good for cruising around, is not likely have a cabin and is not somewhere you would want to live for an extended period of time.
  • At the other end of the spectrum would be a luxury yacht, a larger boat that is designed not only for extended stays, but has the amenities for you to stay in style.
  • A sport fishing yacht is equipped for you to stay and equipped for you to engage in sport fishing.
  • A weekender yacht is a step above a day cruiser, since a weekender has at least one basic cabin, along with basic appliances.

All of these kinds of yachts have plumbing, but once again, the level of comfort increases in yachts that are made for longer trips.

Factor Fuel Costs into Your Boating Expenses

When you shop online for a boat, you need to factor fuel into the upkeep costs for your boat. Buying a boat involves more than simply calculating the price you will pay for the boat.

The common thought about fuel is that you should use 1/3 for traveling to your destination, 1/3 for traveling from your destination and 1/3 should be saved to use in case of an emergency. Some of the fuel will be used up in ways other than keeping the boat going. A good percentage (perhaps a third or so) will evaporate in the heat.

When boats are designed the tendency is to make the tank as small as possible in order to leave space for other features. Knowledgeable architects will factor in the boat design, normal usage and estimate the distance a boat enthusiast will be able to go before needing to stop for fuel.

The amount of fuel you should keep on board will depend on the type of boat you have and how you use your boat. Keep in mind that gas weighs a little more than six pounds per gallon and diesel fuel weighs a little more than seven pounds. Both gasoline and diesel engines use approximately 0.6 pounds of fuel per horsepower per hour.

Research Storage Before Buying a Boat

Before you buy a boat, it is a good idea to research boat storage possibilities in your area. You want to know that you will have somewhere to store your boat before you make that investment. You can spend some time investigating online and get the scoop on area storage facilities by talking to local boat owners.

Boat storage options include:

Boat Marina

Paying for a boat marina slip is a great way to store your boat on the body of water you want to use on a regular basis. Most marinas charge by boat length or slip length. Compare the rates for more than one facility. Some marinas offer amenities like bathroom facilities, winter storage and even connections for the internet and electricity. Marinas also offer opportunities for socializing with nearby boat owners.

Rack Storage
Racks are also known as small stacks and this type of storage works well for small boats. In many cases, boat owners need to contact the storage facility before they want to use their boat so they can remove your boat from a covered shed where it is kept with other boats. When you finish, they return your boat.

Opting to store your boat on a trailer on your own property, means that you can avoid storage fees. This also lets you take your boat with you when you travel or take spur-of-the-moment trips.