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Should I Buy A New Or Used Boat

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  • 24-10-2022
Should I Buy A New Or Used Boat

Should I buy a new or used boat? If you considering a purchase of a boat, you may be considering the benefits of buying a new or used vessel. Find out what you need to know.

New Vs. Used Boats

Buying your first boat is a thrilling experience. All would-be boat owners dream of the day their brand-new boat slips into the water. 

Popping the hatch and breathing that fresh styrene smell before heading out onto the open water. However, there's more to buying a boat than simply picking a sparkly, untouched vessel from a catalogue, with used boats offering their fair share of benefits to prospective boat owners.

While the VIP experience of buying a new boat can be enticing, pre-owned boats are far more affordable for those on a strict budget. And don't worry about quality; so long as you are diligent and know what to look for, you can find a perfectly seaworthy vessel amongst used boat listings. 

But if you're undecided on whether to buy a new or used boat, read on, and we'll take you through the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Who Needs Pre-purchase Survey for Boats?

Benefits of Buying a New Boat

 The biggest benefit of purchasing a new boat is that there's no history to worry about. You don't have to check whether it's been maintained properly or how its previous owner may have misused it.

 Compared to the limited listings on the used boat market, you have a wider range of choices buying a brand-new boat.

 You can access the latest technological innovations from leading boat manufacturers, compared to outdated systems found in older used boats.

 In the unlikely event something goes wrong with your new boat; you'll have the reassurance of the manufacturer's warranty to cover you. However, boat warranties are served by the dealer you purchased the boat from, so it's a good idea to buy from a local dealer for easier access.

 You can rig your new boat any way you wish, using the latest gear and products to create the boat of your dreams. 

Why Buy a New Boat?

Boat manufacturers can implement new designs, features and updates to their vessels far more quickly than other vehicle manufacturers. 

For example, in the automobile industry, new designs, upgrades and model cycles typically take around five years to research, test and implement into the new models.

Boat manufacturers can achieve the same level of innovation in a single year. Therefore, if the current range of boats doesn't appeal to you this year, they may have all the styling, features and accessories you are looking for next year. 

While electronic gadgets are constantly being upgraded, with consumers endlessly chasing the latest innovations, you'll at least be able to stay ahead of the curve when buying a brand-new boat. 

Even if the current onboard gizmos have only recently been bested, most manufacturers provide the option of upgrading tech when you purchase your new boat. 

Professional boat dealerships can make financing your new vessel the easiest thing you've ever done. 

Dealers typically arrange boat financing through marine lenders, meaning you'll only have to make one transaction for monthly payments on both the boat and the loan, making everything infinitely simpler. 

You are your dealership's top priority, meaning they want to make the process as enjoyable for you as you do. 

The lack of history for a new boat is another great selling point. Since there are no maintenance issues, dodgy repairs or worn-out components to worry about, you can take your new boat out in complete confidence everything will work as intended. 

Buying a boat fresh from the assembly line means there will be no hidden issues to worry about, allowing you to thoroughly enjoy your boating experience. 

Benefits of Buying a Pre-Owned Boat

 Buying a used boat is the far more cost-effective option. You can secure more boat for less cash, with reduced yearly ownership costs and easy trade-in value if you want to size up or try a completely different style.

 In strange contrast to the peace of mind offered by new boats, regarding used boat purchases, you won't have to worry about adding another ding or scratch to it. This makes used boats the better option for first-time owners.

 Any teething problems the boat may have had will have been remedied by the previous owner, meaning used boats are typically easier to get to grips with.

Of course, we always recommend a thorough marine survey before you purchase to ensure there isn't anything catastrophically wrong with it.

 You can carry out more research on older boats. If there's a model with a famously temperamental engine or faulty components, as the second owner, you can check reviews from previous owners unavailable for brand-new vessels. 

 Should I buy a New or Used Boat

Why Buy a Used Boat?

The main advantage of buying a used boat is the lower prices and upfront costs. You can get the most for your money before using what you've saved to improve your used boat. Whether this means upgrading the engine or other components of your vessel. 

When you buy a boat or any other vehicle brand-new, you're immediately paying depreciation as soon as it leaves the dealership. 

With second-hand boats, this depreciation is already paid and most likely levelling off, meaning you're getting the most for your money. 

Compared to new boats, you have far more buying power with pre-owned boat purchases. 

Whether you want to pay straight cash, on finance or trade in your old boat, you have far more options buying used boats. 

If you've found the right boat that's just what you're looking for, but it's still in the showroom and far too expensive, trade up for the same model, only second-hand with reasonable mileage. 

This way, when your perfect boat is a little cheaper down the line, you can trade up again and secure it.  

Know the Boat's History

No matter how you buy your boat, whether, through a private seller or dealership, you want to learn everything you can about your chosen boat's history. 

Most important are the winterisation and scheduled maintenance records, including lower unit services and oil changes. It would be best if you learned about all the repairs or improvements made throughout the boat's life from the seller. Once you have these records, there are a few things to look for.

The first is that all the upgrades or repairs were done over a long time. This shows that the boat was fixed or improved when damage or upgrades were necessary. 

Conversely, if you notice that most of the repairs were done close together fairly recently, it suggests the seller didn't look after the boat and simply got it in a fit shape to sell.

After this, you should thoroughly inspect the boat yourself. Look at the fibreglass hull and its gel coating, how clean the boat is overall and if there is any damage. You can also inspect the upholstery of the interior. 

The bilge and engine compartment are other specific areas you should check since regularly maintained boats will be far cleaner than those that aren't.

When checking the hull, look for any hairline cracks or holes, which can signify underlying structural issues in the fibreglass. 

As for the motor, you want to look for signs of leaks, corroded electrical components, cracked drive belts or fuel hoses. Black soot in the engine compartment is another sign of possible issues with the motor. Again, you're looking for a clean and tidy boat.

If you don't know what you're looking for regarding a well-looked-after boat, you can always hire professional marine surveyors to help you. They know exactly what to look for and where to look for it, guaranteeing peace of mind when purchasing. 

If there are any issues with your chosen boat, you can always take it to a professional boat shop to have it repaired. You should factor these into your budget for what your chosen boats cost. 

If you are looking for pre purchase yacht or marine surveys in Surrey and the surrounding areas contact our professional boat surveyor today. 

We work throughout Surrey and the surrounding areas including Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire and Greater London. 

We can also travel throughout the UK if required.

Boat Pre-Purchase Survey Kent