Guide to buying a boat and finding the perfect boat for sale


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Home Budget Boat type Research Competition Legal Paperwork

Make an offer

Surveyors Demos Competition Payment

Try a boat

If you’re new to the world of buying a boat it can be a daunting prospect. This introductory guide will give you a checklist of important steps to consider when you’re searching the thousands of boats for sale, whether online or around the brokers’ yards.

The first the first thing to do before you set out is to set a budget for your boat. Even if this changes at a later date it’s a good way to narrow the market. You can see some costs to consider here.

Once you’ve got a bidget in mind, it will help to decide what you’re using the boat for. The market can be broken down into a variety of types but you’ll need to ask yourself how and where you’ll be using the boat.

If this is your first foray into buying a boat then you’ll need to get to know the market. The internet is a rich resource for the first time researcher and of course there are a number of magazines to pick up from the shops.

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to get out there. Pictures may tell a thousand words but there’s no substitute for getting out on the water.

If you’ve found your perfect boat, it’s time to hit the paperwork. Whatever you do don’t jump in with an offer before you’ve sat down with the vendor or broker and discussed ownership, service history and other such bring matters – it will help you sell your used boat in future.

If you’ve made it this far then it’s time to make an offer and put down a deposit. As with buying a house there is no restriction on what tht offer is – offer what youthink is a fair price based on your research. Check out our boat buyers guide to get an idea.

Once an offer has been accepted, it’s time to get the surveyors in. Boats are complex machines and you will need a professional to see whether the boat you’ve chosen is in good condition.

It’s very rare to get a demonstration before a deal is made so this comes furhter down the line than you might expect. There’s a lot to be aware of during a sea trial so check here to make sure your’re prepared

If everything so far has gone well then it’s time to pay. Payment methods depend on whether you’re buying privately, from a broker or buying new so read our advice here.

Finally, you need to be aware of the after-sales costs – admin, mooring and legal costs can all add up so make sure you’re aware of the pertinent costs.