Tips For First-Time Boat Buyers

Well it's that time of year again. With Boat Shows starting and the dealers showcasing their manufacturers brand of boats for the 2014 season, I thought I would post an article on some tips to save some money before purchasing their first or new boat.Every year, new anglers are looking at purchasing their first boat. If you are an Ambassador or just a follower to the WFN site, I thought I would take a moment to share somethings that you might want to take into consideration when you see that boat of your dreams.Seeing that this is a purchase that will be with you for a while, the first and foremost is the type of boat that will fit your needs. Does your family enjoy being on the water? Do you intend on using it for both pleasure and fishing the occasional tournament or just for just tournament fishing?For the sake of this report I will touch base on some of overlooked costs when purchasing a boat. For starters, many first-time buyers consider buying a pre-rigged boat because of the price. Here is something that you might want to look at first. Many of these boats come with underrated outboards on them for the price they are offered at. If you think that you might want to upgrade the outboard to get the best performance and fuel consumption for the boat, now is the time to ask and save some money in the long run. Once you use it and if you find out you're not happy with it, the outboard is now a used outboard. While talking to the sales rep ask if the outboard that you are looking at comes with extended warranty just in case you might want it.Another overlooked piece of equipment is the fish finder. Many pre-rigged boats come with the lower end units that a manufacture has to offer. Once again to keep the cost of package down. Some dealers might carry other models of fish finders and if they do, ask them if they might take the one that comes with the boat towards the purchase of another model that they carry. Make sure you ask them about this, if they don't there is another cost if you don't already own one.Does the boat you are looking at come with a bow mount electric motor? If it does, is it one that you would happy with? Will it have enough power to pull the boat in any weather condition? If for example you are looking at a 17-foot boat and it comes with a 12-volt electric motor, chances are you will be upgrading to a 24 or 36 volt motor after the first time you are out on a windy day. Is the shaft of the electric motor long enough for the boat it is on. If not, again after the first windy day out in it and your electric motor prop comes out of the water and you are blown away or off your spot, chance are you'll be wishing you had a longer shaft and stronger motor. Now is the time to do it. Take the time to ask the dealer before you purchase the boat and you use it, if they would take the electric bow mount off the boat that you are looking at and put it towards the price of another model that they may carry.You may also want to ask the dealer if the boat come with transom tie downs, a transom saver for the outboard, and/or boat cover. Are the trailer wheel bearings packed bearings, self greasing or are there grease nipples to grease the bearings yourself? Ask if the boat comes with batteries or just a starting battery or none. Does it come with a spare tire for the trailer? Another overlooked cost to ask about is what the licence and boat registration fees are.When looking remember to also look at the placement for your rod holders will be, type of fish finder mount you will use, boat cleats, tiller or console model, storage space, rod locker, carpet or non-skid vinyl, electric or pull start and the live well to name a few other things to consider.I hope these suggestions help you out while (if) you're looking at a pre-rigged boat. Although by making these upgrades will now bring the price up on the boat you are looking at, they will save you more money by making them now. Knowing what comes with the boat and what doesn't will save you some frustration from those unexpected costs that may have slipped your mind when buying a boat and keep you on budget.Your first boat should be an enjoyable purchase for you. By asking these simple, yet forgotten questions, dealers will be more than happy to set you up properly for the kind of boating situation you're looking for. There is nothing worse than finding out that you are unhappy with your purchase and you have to start trying to sell something that is now consider used. The time to trade up for what you want is now so you can get the best price possible for them before you purchase and use it.Believe me when I say it is in the dealer's best interest to make sure that you are satisfied with your purchase, as a happy customer is a repeat customer.
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