When looking for boats for sale you have spend some time in advance deciding what type of boat you want to buy before you commit yourself. Any boat yard will offer you a range of boats ranging from small ski boats to large flybridges for serious fishing, so you have to decide what you want to use your boat for prior to even entering boat sales with all these wonderful used boats for sale.
The biggest problem most people have with boats is their eyes. I am not suggesting that you will enter a boat sale looking for a cheap tinny and end up buying a Sealine SC35, but you could still purchase a boat that you love but don’t really need. You must therefore make your mind up to stick to the type of boat and price range you have set for yourself. Once you have decided that there are other things to think about.
How many people will be in the boat at one time? If six, then a two-man tinny will not be enough. Do you need speed for skiing, or quietness for fishing? How about storage: do you need a trailer? If so what size? How about the material – aluminium, wood, fiberglass . . .
The questions are endless and you can’t answer them all immediately, so settle for some basic ‘musts’ and then go hunting for boats for sale. You can check out what is available, and make your choice with your basic needs in mind, so if that Malibu ski boat looks mouthwatering forget it – you have come to purchase a fishing boat, but if it can pull skis into the bargain then fine.
When buying a boat from used boat sales there are certain things that you have to be aware of, starting with the condition of the boat. Without going into that too deeply, if your intended purchase warrants it, make sure you get a proper marine survey carried out by a qualified boat surveyor. You won’t need that for a cheap boat, but not all used boats are inexpensive, and even if it means delaying your offer, make sure you get an expert to give it the once-over, or do it yourself if you are capable. It might also be worthwhile having the engine given the once-over.
Next, make sure you check the ownership papers and make sure that the seller actually owns the boat, or it might not be yours for too long! Also make sure that it does all it is advertised to do. It won’t be the first time that somebody has bought a fishing boat with no space for live bait and no rod storage. Check everything advertised and makes sure it is there, including the GPS and Fishfinder if they are advertised.
Once you are happy with all of that then you should be in a position to buy it. But how? Are you going to write a cheque or do you have a suitcase of cash? Most buyers looking for boats for sale require boat finance, but having managed to get your bid accepted before all those others with their eye on ‘your’ boat you will now have to pay for it. The seller might not be enamoured if you tell him you now have to disappear and get your finance sorted out, and you will make contact in a few days. No chance! The deal is off and your greatest rival gets his or her hands on your boat!
What you should do is to get your boat finance approved in advance. Most finance companies will do this, so that you can enter a boat sale knowing that you have your finance already arranged. That will also serve to keep you within budget and prevent you going in to buy a Horizon Sunrunner and coming out with Elegance having mortgaged the house and the wife! Keep your eyes only on what you need, and have your finance already organized.
However, before arranging your boat loan, you should work out what you can afford to repay each month and then calculate how much you can offer for your boat. There are many sites online offering boat loan calculators to help you do that, and you can use one to enter a few alternative interest rates and repayments periods in order to achieve that.
Obviously the higher deposit you can pay, the less you will have to borrow, or alternatively, the more expensive boat you can afford to purchase. However when you are looking for used boats for sale it cannot be overstressed that you should stick to your needs because if you overspecify you could end up paying a lot more than you can genuinely afford for features that you will rarely use.
Rather than being an object of pleasure your dream boat could be an anchor round your neck and your wallet, and you might end up resenting it. So decide what you want, make up your mind to stick to that and not have your eyes turned by a beautiful body (the boat!), get your finance agreed in advance and go hunting for boats for sale. Oh! – And don’t forget to insure it!
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