How to Buy a Fishing Boat on a Budget

When the economy is weak and unemployment is high, great boat deals are for the taking. For most people, owning a boat is a luxury, not a necessity, and as such, these will be the first to go when times get tough. A price-conscious shopper will be able to make out very well if he knows what he wants and how much he is willing to spend on a boat. Many people are having a difficult time selling their boat as well, because of the economy, and this is creating a buyer's market. Given such conditions, almost anyone can buy a fishing boat on a budget and walk away with a great deal.


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    Sleep on it for at least 24 hours. A boat is a major purchase; it should not be made in haste. This is where most people get in trouble. The best deals are made when you can confidently and without regret, walk away from the bargaining table. If you are looking at a dealership, they will come in for the kill when they detect an impetuous shopper who hasn't done his homework.
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    Research the boat make and model before you buy. This is vital if you are shopping at a dealership. Use the power of the Internet to find the best price, and use that as your benchmark.
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    Create a budget and do not deviate from it. $5 is $5 regardless if you are buying a $4000 boat or a $40,000 yacht. Be prepared and have no regrets if you walk away from the deal when the bottom line was $4005 and you stuck to your guns at $4000.
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    Check out auction houses online or in person. In a buyer's market, many sellers give up trying to unload their boat by owner and turn it over to an auction house. Though they will make less on the deal, you can get a great bargain.
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    Read the local classifieds as well as the Internet classifieds. In most cases, you can get a better price buying from a private seller than from a dealership. Dealerships are usually in the thousands of dollars higher than an individual trying to sell his boat out of his garage. Chances are, he tried the same dealership and they offered him an insultingly low price.
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    Pay attention to financing deals. If you have to finance your purchase, it may be better to actually buy from the dealership than from auction or private sellers. The financing from your bank might be as high as 6 percent, but you might find a dealership that is offering 0 percent financing to move some stock. This could be a better deal in the long run than a smaller principal with a higher interest rate.


  • If shopping at auction, make sure you know the terms of the sale. This pertains not only to how much you have to put down immediately, but also to when you have to remove the boat from their premises.


  • Some unscrupulous sellers and auctioneers will buy salvaged boats and those boats that literally washed up on shore and attempt to resell them as new or gently used. If needed, you can have a boat appraiser and inspector check out the boat before you make the purchase. The cost of this may save you heartache later.

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Categories: Budgeting