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How to Find the Exact Boat You Want

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After years of saving up money to buy the boat of your dreams, you are ready to set sail and start shopping. You see yourself on a beautiful boat, cruising the waterways with your friends and family. With so many types of boats on the market, you are unsure where to even start your boat search. Boatline has provided pointers to help refine your search so you can find the best boat for your lifestyle.

Determine Your Price and Boat Condition

First, it’s important to set a price range for your boat. This will help refine your search and weed out the boats outside of your budget. 

Next, do you want a new or used boat? Both have their advantages. For example, new boats tend to have more options in the market than used boats. Likewise, new boats for sale are untouched and in perfect working condition. If there is a problem, your new boat will be under warranty, which is also advantageous. On the other hand, used boats tend to be more affordable, which will allow you to search for a bigger, higher-performance boat for less money than its retail counterpart. Keep these pros and cons of new and used boats in mind as you continue to refine your search. 

Decide How You’ll Use the Boat

Figuring out the primary activities you plan to use your boat for will help you narrow your search. All boats are designed for specific purposes. Some boats are versatile and can be a great option if you are interested in multiple activities on your vessel. It is helpful to answer these specific questions to gauge what type of boat is best for you:

  • Are you planning on doing water sports? If you enjoy catching waves on a water ski or wakeboard, you should consider a boat that has the necessary towing capability.
  • Will you frequently overnight boat? If this is a yes, you need to consider boats that contain bedrooms and a galley, as these amenities are essential for extended boating excursions.
  • Which primary waterways do you plan to use the boat? Certain boats are not suitable for shallow waterways, so make sure you research the bodies of water you plan to take your boat on before making the big purchase.
  • Do you love angling? If you are an avid fisherman, perhaps you should pursue a boat that will be most beneficial for fishing.

Once you have established these boating lifestyles, consider other specifications you desire for your boat.

  • Capacity: Are you planning on bringing your friends and family on your boating excursions? If you want to socialize and have a great time on your boat, you need to consider the passenger limit in your boat search. On the other hand, if you desire to simply spend some time on the water alone, boat capacity may not be a huge concern.
  • Performance: Do you need a higher-performing, faster watercraft? If so, understand that the more gadgets you have typically means spending more money.
  • Brand: Is there a specific brand you desire? Read various reviews to get an idea of what you are getting yourself into.
  • Proximity: Are you willing to travel a far distance to buy the boat, or are you searching for something more local? Keep in mind that where you live may limit your options.

Start Shopping

Once you have determined the specifications and models you are interested in, it’s time to travel to boat shows, visit dealerships, and browse online marketplaces to find your dream boat. If possible, get in contact with owners who have the same boat model you are interested in. By picking their brain, you will be able to get a better picture of the boat’s performance and what to expect as an owner. 

Lastly, it is helpful to test-drive the boat you are considering purchasing. Go to dealerships and request to drive the for-sale boat before making the purchase. This experience will give you a great understanding of whether the boat is a good fit for you. You will either finish the test-drive feeling like it is the perfect boat for you or, if it falls short of your expectations, continue searching for the right boat.

Bonus: Utilize Boatline to Narrow Search Results

Boatline’s nationwide online marketplace has tens of thousands of watercraft listings to search through. While this may seem overwhelming, Boatline’s clean, easy-to-use interface makes browsing through listings smooth sailing.

Boatline features search categories for different boating lifestyles to match a shopper’s needs. Browse our inventory of boats based on how you like to spend time on the water, such as day and overnight cruising, saltwater and freshwater fishing, watersports, and sailing. You can also filter results by the following:

  • Distance from your location
  • Price range
  • Vessel length
  • Make
  • Model
  • Year
  • Class
  • New and used

Finding the right boat for your preferences can be challenging, as there are many factors to consider. By being methodical and filtering your options step-by-step, this will make the hunt for your next boat much simpler. If you are ready to find a new or used boat, search the nationwide marketplace on Boatline.com.

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Alex Hoyes
Alex Hoyes

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