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Why Should I Buy A Boat Now?

November 2, 2015

by Matt Leduc

A first-rate boat, priced right, with a motivated seller, always sells first. With procrastination, comes a reduced inventory, and your selection may be limited to boats that can be over-priced, don’t show as well, or have more underlying concerns. Also, many buyers do not want to purchase new boats due to the huge depreciation drop once taking ownership. In many markets, new boat sales have been very soft since the recession in 2008. As a result, these new boats have not been placed into the aging fleet, as they have been in the past. It is very rare to find a high quality, used boat that is 2-7 years old, largely because it was never built. If you are looking for a pre-owned boat that is less than 10 years old, it is wise to find the help you need and begin the process early. So, how do you get the best boat for you and your family?

Build your relationship with your yacht broker now. Do not wait until the spring. Begin your homework, review various boats online, and get out there to see them early. Inventory level is prime in the late fall and early winter. It may be challenging to handle the cold and the shorter days, but it will pay off in the end with the ideal boat.
Winter boat shows are a great place to meet brokers who know the local inventory. Interview them and select the broker you like best. A talented broker will not only be familiar with their own inventory, but will also have knowledge of the entire market segment of available boats. Challenge your broker to offer you several boats to consider, and scrutinize them, informing the broker of your wants, needs and requirements. If, in the end, the broker finds two or three boats that meet the mark, they have assisted you through the first step.

Don’t look at one boat at a time with every broker in the state. Make use of your own broker, and schedule a day to look at 4-6 boats. The details of each will be fresh in your mind as you go from one boat to the next. This is the most efficient use of time and resources to progress towards finding the perfect boat. But, once you find her, it is not yet over. Now, you bring in the human element of the sales process. Through your broker, make an official offer, with dates, contingencies and a deposit. Without these details, in black and white, there can never be a deal. Experienced brokers have assisted in the sale of hundreds, if not thousands, of boats through their careers. Without a doubt, good brokers make deals happen. During the fall months, time is on your side. There is a huge advantage for the buyer that can be leveraged in fall and early winter. If, due to fall or winter weather constraints, a deal cannot be finalized, you may continue to look, or wait it out and come back to her. However, the closer you get to spring, buyers come out in droves and you are now competing with other buyers who are looking at the same inventory of boats. There is nothing worse than going through the entire selection process, finding the boat you love, and discovering that she is Sale Pending!

You have agreed on a deal. The boat is out of the water and hidden behind other boats waiting to go in the water in the spring. How do you find out if she is in good condition and her systems work? Major investigation can still be made while she is out of the water by an accredited marine surveyor. All major structural components, 12V and 110V systems can be tested and turned on at this time. A detailed Decommissioned Systems Escrow Document will protect you and the seller for systems that could not be fully tested. Ask your broker for details on this document and how it has worked for years, protecting buyers and sellers in the Northeast and in cold climates.

Congratulations, the purchase of your much sought after boat is now a reality. All of the holiday presents can now be purchased for her! It makes the winter go by faster, your spring is more enjoyable, and a summer season on the water is guaranteed. It doesn’t get any better than that!