With boat season rapidly approaching, buying a boat and hitting the open water is more tempting than ever. As wonderful as the idea of going nautical sounds, (especially in Connecticut) purchasing a boat comes with a laundry list of factors to strongly consider. Much like investing in an automobile or a home, first-time boat buyers will want to do their homework before making any hefty investments. For those with little-to-no experience in this process, we have compiled a checklist of items that can help take the angst and guess-work out of choosing the right watercraft for your needs.
What to Keep in Mind When Buying a Boat For the First Time:
Where You Live
Let’s be honest, if you live miles and miles away from the nearest lake or port, chances are you won’t get the most bang for your buck. If you’re nowhere near water, you will need to consider transporting the boat. Calculate the costs of traveling far distances while towing a boat. Plan out exactly where, when and how often you will be boating to make sure you get the proper permits for that area ahead of time.
Just like a car, your boat can turn into an expensive toy quickly. Using the 30-70 rule will help you create a budget. 30 percent of your money will go to the boat itself, while 70 percent will go towards things like:
- – Gas
- – Transportation
- – Boat Accessories
- – Storage
- – Training Courses
- – License Requirements
- – Repairs
- – Insurance
New or Used
While a new boat can feel like the best purchase, you should consider where you live, and how you’re going to use the boat. If you’re a first-time buyer with no experience with boats, getting a used boat is probably the wiser choice. Your budget should factor into whether you buy new or used also. Aside from being a lottery winner and splurging on the latest boat model, start small and work your way up until you have a few years of experience under your belt.
Use of Boat
What will be the main purpose of your boat? For fishing enthusiasts, you’ll want to be realistic as to how often you will be going out and the type of fishing you will be doing. Those who tend to only fish a handful of times a year may be advised to invest is something much smaller such as a rowboat. But if the plan is to indulge in other activities like water skiing or tubing, then investing in something larger will probably be getting your money’s worth.
Licenses and Training
A lot of Connecticut boating courses can be completed in a single day’s time and are usually on the weekends. The cost of classes can vary, so check for classes in your area to register for your preferred date and time. Local fishing licenses are also mandatory wherever and whenever you cast your line. Not complying with the proper state licensing can land you in a world of financial and possibly legal distress, so make the necessary efforts before making any boat purchase.
Attend Boat Shows
Attend a boat show is one of the best ways that first-time buyers can get an idea of the type of boat they want. Not only can you browse through countless makes and models, but there are a ton of knowledgeable people with years of experience that can help you with any questions you have. Be sure to pick their brain and learn as much as you can. Browse through boat shows in Connecticut this year to find the one nearest you to make the process of buying a boat a lot less stressful.
Find the Right Insurance
Once you have selected that perfect watercraft for your particular needs, contact our office to choose the best possible insurance policy. It’s not only a state requirement to be insured on the water, but also a means of protecting yourself and your assets.
If you’re tired of being a land lubber and are thinking of buying a boat for the first time this season, Waitte’s Insurance Agency wants to help determine the most practical insurance premium to fit your budget. You can even receive a FREE Rate Quote by filling out a simple form.