When buying a boat there are some key steps you should follow to make sure you get the perfect boat for your needs. Here you'll find Motor Boats Monthly's top tips to buying a boat.

Buying a boat advice: which type of boat to choose?

Choosing a boat type

The market can be broken down into several different types of craft. Open day boats, cruisers, flybridge and fishing boats and trawlers. But before you get to design types you need to ask yourself how and where you will be using the boat.

River and coastal boats are designed for different tasks, if you know you are going to spend a couple of years on the river you will enjoy the experience a whole lot more if the boat you are on is designed for that job. Boats, especially second hand models, do not necessarily lose money all that quickly so you can afford to buy the right craft and change your boat along with your cruising style.

Ask yourself

  • Where will I use the boat and for how long?
  • How many people will be on board?
  • Will we (all) overnight on the boat?
  • How agile are the crew, is deck access a priority?
  • Do I want to be sheltered or out in the elements

Any boat is, in theory, a dayboat, that is a boat you can send the day on. But what we really mean here is a smaller open craft, possibly with a small cuddy cabin, that is designed for harbour and inshore use. These can be of any speed and be powered by inboard or outboard engines. Smaller, lighter boats are perfect for trailing and are therefore easier and cheaper to maintain with home storage an option.

The most popular form of cruiser, a boat that offers a degree of interior accommodation, these fast, stylish craft can start from smaller, trailable sizes and run up to large, multi-million pound vessels. Almost always inboard powered, vessels over 30ft can offer hardtop option for the cockpit. For families, craft over 24ft can usually sleep four.

The idea of placing a flying bridge atop of a wheelhouse has been around almost as long as the motorboat itself but in the last 20 years this versatile design has really taken off. The winning mix sees a sheltered, comfortable accommodation on the deck level, usually including a lower helm position and a separate upper deck for a more exposed and exciting experience.

Aft cabin
As the name suggests, these boats work in a cabin in the stern of the boat in place of a cockpit. This delivers more and very private accommodation away from the forward interior sections. A usual bi-product of this design is a raised aft deck where seating and an outside steering position can be sited.


The classic motorboat design delivering a sheltered steering position and saloon on the deck level. Practical in nature, modern design now builds in more light and access in the form of cockpit and side deck doors and overhead hatches and sunroofs.

Boat shows like the Southampton Boat Show are a great place to get a taste of dozens of different boats in one place.

If you want to research the different types of boat you can search the YBW Boats for Sale website, where you’ll find plenty of opportunities to look around models or even buy a boat.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Buying a boat advice: which type of boat to choose?
  3. 3. Buying a boat advice: market research
  4. 4. Buying a boat advice: get on the water
  5. 5. Buying a boat advice: paperwork and history
  6. 6. Buying a boat advice: Offer and deposit
  7. 7. Buying a boat advice: Survey
  8. 8. Buying a boat advice: Demonstration and sea trial
  9. 9. Buying a boat advice: Payment
  10. 10. Buying a boat advice: Have fun!
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