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Most Common First-time Boat-Buying Mistakes

Other than a home or vehicle, buying a boat is a major purchase and one that requires a considerable amount of patience. It’s important to give this some serious thought and do plenty of research in order to make a well-informed decision. It’s also critical to avoid making the following 6 most common boat-buying mistakes:

1) Buying a boat that’s bigger than what you need – unless you’re planning on using it on a regular basis, the “bigger is better” mentality isn’t always advisable when buying your first boat. Larger boats require deeper water, more horsepower, more systems, and cost quite a bit more.

2) Buying brand new the first time – if this is your first boat purchase, it makes no sense to spend a ton of money on something brand new and then discover that boating isn’t for you. Boat-buying often comes with a steep learning curve and it’s nearly impossible to do it right the first time.

3) Financing for too long of a term – a good way to purchase any high value asset is to finance it and spread your cost out over several years. While it can be tempting to look lower monthly payments spread out over a longer period of time, keep in mind that financing a boat is very different from financing a home. Unlike your home, a boat is going to depreciate in value over time.

4) Not budgeting properly – the initial purchase price is just the start of your expenses. Thus, it’s imperative that you budget properly and allow for annual expenses such as berthing fees, insurance, maintenance, and of course the cost of keeping it in a marina. All your enjoyment will go down the drain, if finances become an issue, especially if you can’t afford to keep up with the required maintenance.

5) Not discussing the purchase with your partner or spouse – always consult with the partner or spouse throughout the buying process. Everyone knows that they have that special veto power when it comes to large family purchases. Consider letting them choose the boat (with a bit of guidance naturally) for the best outcome and no strain on the relationship.

6) Spending more to have a cabin when it isn’t necessary – unless you’re planning on spending a lot of nights on board and it’s equipped with air conditioning (especially here in Florida), buying a boat with a cabin doesn’t make a lot of sense. Thus, you will need to see what your custom requirements are before you put down the money on the boat.

For more advice and information about buying your first boat, contact Power House Marina at 305-892-2628 or e-mail us at

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