If you are thinking about buying a boat, you need to know all the costs and responsibilities that come with it. There may also be legal obligations associated with boat ownership that you weren’t aware of. A lot of people rush the boat buying process too and buy a bad unit thinking that they’re getting the deal of the century. This is why you must take your time and learn as much as you can about boats and boat ownership before you embark on this journey. Let’s take a look at a few things you should consider before buying a boat.
The first thing to know is that you’ll probably need a boater’s certification before you can sail your boat legally. We say ‘probably’ because some states will allow anyone who owns a boat to sail it. But, in most cases, you’ll have to complete a formation and an exam before you can operate a boat.
The good news is that you can get your formation online very fast. If you live in New York, you can take a NY state boater safety course from ilearntoboat.com and complete your course and exam on the same day. If you live in another state, look at what the requirements are and the steps to take to sail legally on the waterways.
The next question is whether you’re going to buy a new or a used boat. Buying a new boat is usually the best option if you have the money for it. This is because new boats come with a warranty which will give you some peace of mind. Used boats are not like old vehicles, and even if they’re relatively new, they will usually not come with a warranty.
Buying a used boat can be a great way to save money, however. If you can find a seller or used boat dealer you can trust, then it could be the best or only option for you.
You’ll also need to get insurance for your boat before you start sailing. Insurance will cover your boat against damage but also for liability. Note that boat insurance is not exactly like car insurance and there are types of coverage that are specific to boats. You might see things like oil spill insurance, for instance. You might think that this is a minor thing, but your boat could suffer an oil or fuel spill in a marina and cause damage to both the marina and other boats. Some policies will cover damage to your boat and your trailer in case you get in an accident while towing it. So, learn about boat insurance in detail and get the right amount of coverage.
These are only some of the things to know before you invest in a boat. If you need more information, speak with people who’ve been there and done who’ll be able to give you some pointers on what it’s really like to own a boat.