A summer guide to buying a boat
A new year is always a great time to do that thing you've always wanted to do. Bungy jump, learn to play the guitar or, perhaps, buy that boat you've been eyeing up.
But maybe the thing that's always held you back is that you just don't know how. It's not like just buying a sandwich for lunch; a boat is a big-ticket item that will last a long time, so you need to know what you're looking for and how to go about buying it.
What do you want your boat to do?
The first step is determining what you'll want to use the boat for. Depending on the activity, you may be better splashing on certain features over others.
Want to do overnight trips? A boat with a cabin for you to sleep in will be a must.
Planning on fishing in open waters? A larger boat with a top that can shelter you from the elements will be handy.
Is towing skiers or wakeboarders on the agenda? A boat with an A-frame for wakeboarding and a hull shape that produces a satisfactory wake may be best.
A bowrider is generally a good choice for people that mightn't be sure what the primary activity they wish to partake in is. Something like the Quintrex 570 Cruiseabout would fit this bill - it has towing points and a ski-pole mount insert for watersports, enough room to fish comfortably, and the general performance capabilities to cruise as a runabout. The downside, of course, is that a jack of all trades is a master of none - you can find boats better suited to each activity, but when you want a bit of everything, a bowrider is a good choice.
Create a shortlist of your favourite boats
Hunts Marine's website has a large variety of both new and used boats.
Once you've thought about what you want to do with the boat (and therefore what features to look for) you'll need to put together a shortlist.This is the stage where you should consider whether you want to buy new or used. If you're open to both, you'll have access to a much greater variety of boat types and prices.
Hunts Marine has a large variety of both new and used boats. Our new boats are from trusted brands like Quintrex, Cruise Craft and Glastron, and come with manufacturer warranties. Our used boats all undergo comprehensive testing before being put on sale - a compression test of all cylinders, an inspection of gearbox oil to test for possible water entry and a check of steering systems. This means we can be confident offering a full warranty on all our used boats.
Once you've created a short-list of all the possible options, you'll want to start whittling it down based on the most important factors - does it have the right features, is the price right, will it hold its resale value? These are all things you'll want to consider.
Conduct a walk-around and sea trial
The final step is conducting a walk-around inspection of all the boats you're serious about purchasing and, if that goes well, conducting a sea-trial.
A walk-around is more important for used boats, but it is a worthwhile step for new boats too. You want to get a feel for the boat and see how it functions in a real world environment, as opposed to just pictures.
A sea-trial is, however, a must. There are all sorts of things you can find from this that you wouldn't be able to determine otherwise - whether the boat has enough power, how quick it is to plane, whether the electronics work in the field, what the visibility is like from the driver's seat, and how the boat takes corners.
Do you see buying a boat in your near future? Contact the team at Hunts Marine for more information on how we can help find the boat for you.