Considering a Boat Purchase?
In the Winter seemingly, Selection is high. Prices are low.
Here’s some sage advice if you want to buy a boat.
Consider a discontinued model as it may not be all that different than a just-built current model. It costs a lot to redesign boats and build new molds, so the “upgrades” offered on newer boats may only amount to different color schemes, upholstery, or slight changes in the power train. Check with the builder and engine manufacturer to make sure their warranties are in effect. You’ll need a hull ID number and engine serial number. Have the boat surveyed. Leftover models are sometimes cannibalized for parts. Be sure to sea-trial the boat and test operating systems.
Boat dealers use loans to purchase new product from manufacturers (called floor planning). Ideally, each new boat sold helps the dealer keep up with his loan obligation. The system works well until sales of new boats taper off or dry up, as they have this year. Consider the following when buying a new leftover model: Expect significant markdowns on leftover models and be prepared to negotiate to have extras, such as electronic gear or trailers, added in to sweeten the deal. Dealers who have long given up on making a profit on a sale may be happy to improve their cash flow with a bargain price.
Can’t afford a new one, but saw a bargain online?
Rehabilitating a boat that’s been totaled in an accident or hurricane may seem like a good way to get something newer and bigger or to make some money in a flip. But bear in mind: All used boats and their engines should be surveyed before purchase. This goes double for boats sold as salvage. Structural damage can add thousands to repair costs. Few states require dealers to reveal that boats have been totaled in an accident or are salvaged vessels. Used boats are sold in “as is” condition, which means that you’ll have no recourse against the seller if something goes wrong.