Industry Experts Share Insider Tips for Boat Buying
Discover Boating Offers Advice for Selecting the Right Boat, Financing for Every BudgetThe $30.4 billion dollar boating industry saw nearly 75 million American adults take to the water in 2010, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the industry's trade group.
Prospective boaters interested in why life is better with a boat can start at DiscoverBoating.com to learn how to find the right boat for their needs.
"There are a few key elements to purchasing a boat, including the who, what, when and where," said Carl Blackwell, vice president of the North American non-profit organization, Discover Boating.
"First-time boat buyers may run into common misconceptions, so it's important to do the research first to gather as many facts as possible to make the right decision for their needs – Discover Boating helps them do just that." With boats for every lifestyle and budget on the market, first-time buyers should do their homework before shopping.
DiscoverBoating.com offers the following advice for those looking to take to the water:
Determine what, where and who. When deciding on a boat, ask yourself what you want to do with it— fishing, waterskiing or cruising? Where will you be boating—lake, river or ocean? Who will be joining you?
Research has shown most people get involved in boating to spend quality time with family and friends, and nearly 90 percent of Americans live within an hour's drive of a navigable body of water. Do your homework. The best place to shop for boats is at a boat show. Prior to attending a boat show, stroll around a marina and go boating with friends to find out more about the types of boats, brands and models that meet your needs and desires. DiscoverBoating.com is an unbiased resource offering tips and information on all boat categories, as well as financing, insurance and a calendar of boat shows. Find the ideal boat/dealer combination.
Select the dealer that goes the extra mile, offering the best deal and ensuring first-rate service after the sale. Depending on the season, ask for a "test-drive" to experience first-hand how the boat performs in the water. Like car shopping, test-driving several boat types and sizes will help you make a selection.
Build a budget. According to the NMMA, 79 percent of boat owners have a household income under $100,000. There are brands and price points to fit every budget, so determine how much you want to spend before actively looking, and the dealer can recommend models in your price range.
Hone your skills. Complete a boater education course with family members before the boat is launched. Everyone will have more fun with confidence in their abilities as "smart boaters."
Boating safety and seamanship courses are offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadron.
Classes are typically free, aside from the cost of materials, and can help reduce boat insurance prices.
Find the Seal of Approval.
Prospective buyers should look closely at more than a price tag when shopping for a new boat. Find the NMMA Certified label, which ensures the boat meets strict industry product quality standards.
[Courtesy of DiscoverBoating.com]
Discover Boating is a national awareness campaign developed by the North American recreational boating industry and managed by the industry's trade group, the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Discover Boating programs focus on improving the boating experience and building interest in recreational boating by providing a resource for Americans to explore the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle.