BOATS FOR SALE

Everything you need to know when buying a boat

Boating is already complicated enough.  We want to make the other stuff easier.

This guide is dedicated to making your boat buying experience easier and less confusing. We know you are here because you were thinking of taking the plunge, or another plunge into boat owning life. Before you even begin looking at boats for sale in person, you’ll want to answer a few questions to guide your search. And the questions only multiply after that. We’re here to help. This Boats for Sale guide will hopefully help your search feel a little less overwhelming.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to let us know in the comments box here.

New Boats for Sale

If you’re committed to purchasing a new boat, you’ll want to consider several items before you jump right in. This list includes things like:

  1. Should you be looking only at new boats?
    • Make sure you have a list of “must haves” before you begin your search.
    • You may find that your priorities do not necessitate a new boat. You might be able to satisfy your entire list with a slightly older (and cheaper) used boat.
    • What is your draw to a new boat? Perceived seaworthiness? Warrantees on anything that breaks? Avoiding concerns about how the previous owner used the vessel?
    • Whatever your reasons wind up being, at least consider looking at the used boat market. A new boat will dramatically depreciate in value over the first few years (it can be as high as 10% per year), so a boat even a few years old can save you substantial amounts of money.
  2. Where can you purchase new boats?
  3. Things you should consider before purchasing
  4. Things you may not know about those vessels.

As you begin looking at new boats for sale, you should remember that where you purchase your boat matters. Most of us look at price tags, and little else, assuming that we are getting a better deal with a lower price. While that can be the case, a more discerning buyer should look at a few other variables. Some locations offer dealer warrantees, reduced winterization, dockage, storage, or maintenance fees. You’ll want to include your potential costs for such services when you’re looking at the price, because those deals can save you a lot of money in the long run. So for starters, where CAN you buy new boats?

Marinas

Marinas used to be the primary point of sale for many boat purchases. Over the last couple decades, however, dealerships have carved out significant market space. Some marinas have adapted by attaching dealerships to their locations. Generally such marinas are a little further from population centers, where they can afford the land to accommodate a sales floor. Many marinas have chosen an alternate route, however. More and more, you’ll find marinas that have signed deals with dealerships or manufacturers to sell and display new boat models. Essentially, the dealerships are outsourcing their marketing to marinas, which tend to know which boat models are popular on their particular body of water.

Buying a new boat at a marina has several advantages, as marinas are in a position to sweeten the pot with incentives that dealerships can’t match. Some Marinas will offer reduced prices on dockage or storage for the first year if you purchase from them. Others might provide discounts on maintenance or other services. At the very least, you can expect that a marina with a relationship to a particular manufacturer will have easy access to spare parts when (not if) your boat needs them. In addition, there’s always the hope that a marina will look after a boat that they sold you with just a little extra care and concern (though that’s a tough one to guarantee). We’re big fans of buying boats directly from marinas, particularly if they offer you extra goodies. Nevertheless, if you can find a marina with an attached dealership, that can be the best of all worlds.

Dealerships

Dealerships get a bad reputation for the level of pressure that they exert to make sales. Plenty of dealers deserve this reputation. Many establishments pay their sales-people on commission, incentivizing sellers to get unqualified customers to pay for boats they can’t really afford. It would be unfair to characterize all dealerships like this, however. Dealers with a longer-term view are looking to build a connection with loyal buyers who will return when they want to buy their second or third boat. Sure, there’s an economic reason for their actions, but it’s nice as a customer when the dealer treats you like a human being instead of as a walking wallet. The best way to tell the difference is to do a preliminary scout. Walk in and speak with someone, but tell them from the beginning that you have no intention of buying today and just want to get an idea of your options. A lesser dealer will quickly lose interest, figuring that they can spend their time better elsewhere. Someone more scrupulous will respect your wishes and stop pressuring you to buy now, but will still answer all of your questions and talk through your options.

One of the advantages dealerships have is their ability to pull from their network of locations. Not all dealerships have a network (some are just one-location shops), but many dealers have a network that covers whole regions of the U.S. By relying on their network, dealers have access to a larger selection of boats. If you want a vessel in a different color, size, or upgraded trim options, a dealership with a network gives you a lot more boats to choose from.

Dealers are also often thrilled to purchase your used boat if you’re looking to upgrade.  I would be lying if I told you that you’re likely to get the best price out of a dealership. They will offer you a price for your boat, expecting to turn around and sell it for more. you can almost certainly get a better price, selling your boat through a broker or on your own. Nevertheless, it will simplify the process considerably, which may well be worth it to you. Dealers have an incentive to take your boat quickly, without the hassle and to make the process easy so you can better enjoy your time on the water. If you’re short on time and don’t need to wring every possible cent out of your boat, selling to a dealer might be your best option. You certainly don’t want to be paying to store two boats.

Boat Shows

it may come as some surprise, but boat shows actually sell quite a few boats from the floor of the salesroom. I always figured boat shows were a good opportunity for brands to show off their new features, ultimately selling more boats in the future. I never appreciated, however, just how many folks bought at boat shows until the latest Chicago Boat Show. Virtually every power boat had a sign saying: “sold but you can buy one just like it.” Now, it’s difficult for us to unreservedly recommend buying a boat at a boat show. It’s easy to get caught up in the event and buy something on impulse without thinking it through. NEVER buy a boat on impulse. That is one decision that can only lead to regret. The other major drawback is that you don’t have the opportunity to “try before you buy.”  Plenty of boaters don’t mind foregoing a sea-trial for potential savings, but it is worth considering.

Having said all that, if you walk in, knowing what you’re about, and prepared to buy, you may have a lot to gain from buying at a boat show. Boat show models are often discounted, and the salespeople often have the ability to reduce them even more to make the sale. Furthermore, you can frequently buy the floor model at a further discount because several-thousand people have climbed all over it. We should note, in the interest of honesty, that the manufacturers may need the floor model for a few more weeks. Once they finish up their last show, they’ll ship it back to you, usually cost-free. Conveniently, Boat show season tends to run January to March, with few outliers. Most of us northern types are still holed up then, and have no use for a boat until at least May. Furthermore, boat shows provide a perfect opportunity to compare models. You can look at dozens of similar vessels in the space of an afternoon, and more confidently choose the right boat for you and your family.

Manufacturer

Purchasing a boat from the manufacturer is by far the least common type of boat purchase. Though the internet has made this easier, people very rarely buy small boats in particular from the manufacturers. It is, however, much more frequent in the larger boat and yacht market, where buyers tend to be more picky and (crucially) where a lot more money is changing hands. Customers do derive benefits by purchasing a boat directly from the manufacturer. The most obvious advantage is customization. When someone buys a yacht from the manufacturer, they often get to choose trim and interior furnishings, electronics, nav systems, even the deck finish. Now, they pay a great deal for the pleasure, but some folks like what they like. If you can afford it, customize away. You can sometimes get a deal on boats directly from the manufacturer, but this is far more rare. If the manufacturer chooses to sell directly to you, rather than through a dealership or marina, they are doing so because they expect to make more money, not less. You’ll have an easier time picking up your bass boat at a local dealership than you will trying to find a manufacturer to sell it to you. In addition, if you do buy from the manufacturer, you can expect a substantial delay. After all, customization takes time.

  1. Should you be looking only at new boats?
    • Make sure you have a list of “must haves” before you begin your search.
    • You may find that your priorities do not necessitate a new boat. You might be able to satisfy your entire list with a slightly older (and cheaper) used boat.
    • What is your draw to a new boat? Perceived seaworthiness? Warrantees on anything that breaks? Avoiding concerns about how the previous owner used the vessel?
    • Whatever your reasons wind up being, at least consider looking at the used boat market. A new boat will dramatically depreciate in value over the first few years (it can be as high as 10% per year), so a boat even a few years old can save you substantial amounts of money.
  2. Where can you purchase new boats?
  3. Things you should consider before purchasing
  4. Things you may not know about those vessels.

As you begin looking at new boats for sale, you should remember that where you purchase your boat matters. Most of us look at price tags, and little else, assuming that we are getting a better deal with a lower price. While that can be the case, a more discerning buyer should look at a few other variables. Some locations offer dealer warrantees, reduced winterization, dockage, storage, or maintenance fees. You’ll want to include your potential costs for such services when you’re looking at the price, because those deals can save you a lot of money in the long run. So for starters, where CAN you buy new boats?

Marinas

Marinas used to be the primary point of sale for many boat purchases. Over the last couple decades, however, dealerships have carved out significant market space. Some marinas have adapted by attaching dealerships to their locations. Generally such marinas are a little further from population centers, where they can afford the land to accommodate a sales floor. Many marinas have chosen an alternate route, however. More and more, you’ll find marinas that have signed deals with dealerships or manufacturers to sell and display new boat models. Essentially, the dealerships are outsourcing their marketing to marinas, which tend to know which boat models are popular on their particular body of water.

Buying a new boat at a marina has several advantages, as marinas are in a position to sweeten the pot with incentives that dealerships can’t match. Some Marinas will offer reduced prices on dockage or storage for the first year if you purchase from them. Others might provide discounts on maintenance or other services. At the very least, you can expect that a marina with a relationship to a particular manufacturer will have easy access to spare parts when (not if) your boat needs them. In addition, there’s always the hope that a marina will look after a boat that they sold you with just a little extra care and concern (though that’s a tough one to guarantee). We’re big fans of buying boats directly from marinas, particularly if they offer you extra goodies. Nevertheless, if you can find a marina with an attached dealership, that can be the best of all worlds.

Dealerships

Dealerships get a bad reputation for the level of pressure that they exert to make sales. Plenty of dealers deserve this reputation. Many establishments pay their sales-people on commission, incentivizing sellers to get unqualified customers to pay for boats they can’t really afford. It would be unfair to characterize all dealerships like this, however. Dealers with a longer-term view are looking to build a connection with loyal buyers who will return when they want to buy their second or third boat. Sure, there’s an economic reason for their actions, but it’s nice as a customer when the dealer treats you like a human being instead of as a walking wallet. The best way to tell the difference is to do a preliminary scout. Walk in and speak with someone, but tell them from the beginning that you have no intention of buying today and just want to get an idea of your options. A lesser dealer will quickly lose interest, figuring that they can spend their time better elsewhere. Someone more scrupulous will respect your wishes and stop pressuring you to buy now, but will still answer all of your questions and talk through your options.

One of the advantages dealerships have is their ability to pull from their network of locations. Not all dealerships have a network (some are just one-location shops), but many dealers have a network that covers whole regions of the U.S. By relying on their network, dealers have access to a larger selection of boats. If you want a vessel in a different color, size, or upgraded trim options, a dealership with a network gives you a lot more boats to choose from.

Dealers are also often thrilled to purchase your used boat if you’re looking to upgrade.  I would be lying if I told you that you’re likely to get the best price out of a dealership. They will offer you a price for your boat, expecting to turn around and sell it for more. you can almost certainly get a better price, selling your boat through a broker or on your own. Nevertheless, it will simplify the process considerably, which may well be worth it to you. Dealers have an incentive to take your boat quickly, without the hassle and to make the process easy so you can better enjoy your time on the water. If you’re short on time and don’t need to wring every possible cent out of your boat, selling to a dealer might be your best option. You certainly don’t want to be paying to store two boats.

Boat Shows

it may come as some surprise, but boat shows actually sell quite a few boats from the floor of the salesroom. I always figured boat shows were a good opportunity for brands to show off their new features, ultimately selling more boats in the future. I never appreciated, however, just how many folks bought at boat shows until the latest Chicago Boat Show. Virtually every power boat had a sign saying: “sold but you can buy one just like it.” Now, it’s difficult for us to unreservedly recommend buying a boat at a boat show. It’s easy to get caught up in the event and buy something on impulse without thinking it through. NEVER buy a boat on impulse. That is one decision that can only lead to regret. The other major drawback is that you don’t have the opportunity to “try before you buy.”  Plenty of boaters don’t mind foregoing a sea-trial for potential savings, but it is worth considering.

Having said all that, if you walk in, knowing what you’re about, and prepared to buy, you may have a lot to gain from buying at a boat show. Boat show models are often discounted, and the salespeople often have the ability to reduce them even more to make the sale. Furthermore, you can frequently buy the floor model at a further discount because several-thousand people have climbed all over it. We should note, in the interest of honesty, that the manufacturers may need the floor model for a few more weeks. Once they finish up their last show, they’ll ship it back to you, usually cost-free. Conveniently, Boat show season tends to run January to March, with few outliers. Most of us northern types are still holed up then, and have no use for a boat until at least May. Furthermore, boat shows provide a perfect opportunity to compare models. You can look at dozens of similar vessels in the space of an afternoon, and more confidently choose the right boat for you and your family.

Manufacturer

Purchasing a boat from the manufacturer is by far the least common type of boat purchase. Though the internet has made this easier, people very rarely buy small boats in particular from the manufacturers. It is, however, much more frequent in the larger boat and yacht market, where buyers tend to be more picky and (crucially) where a lot more money is changing hands. Customers do derive benefits by purchasing a boat directly from the manufacturer. The most obvious advantage is customization. When someone buys a yacht from the manufacturer, they often get to choose trim and interior furnishings, electronics, nav systems, even the deck finish. Now, they pay a great deal for the pleasure, but some folks like what they like. If you can afford it, customize away. You can sometimes get a deal on boats directly from the manufacturer, but this is far more rare. If the manufacturer chooses to sell directly to you, rather than through a dealership or marina, they are doing so because they expect to make more money, not less. You’ll have an easier time picking up your bass boat at a local dealership than you will trying to find a manufacturer to sell it to you. In addition, if you do buy from the manufacturer, you can expect a substantial delay. After all, customization takes time.

Used Boats for Sale

Most boat buyers wind up looking at used boats for sale at some point in their search. We all have different reasons for doing it. Plenty of old sailors won’t trust a new boat until it’s been around for a decade or so. Boats that have had a sterling reputation for 20 years certainly are attractive. Many other buyers turn towards used boats for sale because of their price. We mentioned this above, but new boats, like new cars, depreciate as soon as they leave the dealer’s lot. If you buy a used boat, even just a few years old, you can save yourself thousands of dollars. Still, others buy used boats because they have a particular model in mind, and the company in question no longer makes it.

With all that in mind, the discerning buyer should undertake significant research before putting down money on a used boat. The advantage of used boats is that you can usually find extensive literature on them. You’ll be able to find magazine reviews, which tend to be overly positive, and user reviews, which tend to be a little more honest. You can find out about their strengths and weaknesses, and make adjustments accordingly.

Understand that the differences between two identically model boats from the same year is likely very little as opposed to used boats for the difference is between two similar boats on paper could be enormous.

Where to find Used Boats For Sale

So with all that in mind, where can you find used boats?  The most obvious place to begin your search, which you seem to have already done if you’re reading this, is to go online. Most of the purveyors below advertise and sell their vessels online. You can find price ranges and see what amenities owners have added. It’s not a bad idea to start online, and then visit a local marina or dealership to see what’s available in your area.

Marinas

If you live within driving distance of a local marina, that might be your best bet as you start visiting boats.  As boat owners decide to sell their boats, they often choose to sell through their marina or one nearby. It saves them a lot of hassle, as marinas can keep the boat in storage and facilitate the sale when buyers come looking. One major advantage to buying a boat in a marina is that you can sometimes get the slip that the boat is stored in. That isn’t a big deal if the marina has plenty of room, but some marinas have waiting lists for slips that are years-long. Obviously, each situation is different, but if that’s an attractive option, you should definitely inquire about it. If you are truly looking at a local marina, another advantage is your proximity. You can actually walk the decks of the boat, take it out for a spin (with permission) and just generally get a better idea of the boat than you would online.

Of course, the main drawback is that finding the right boat at a local marina can be something of a crap shoot. if you don’t live in Miami or some other boating capital, your local options will be limited, so you may not be able to find something even close to what you want. Additionally, the owner of the Marina has an incentive to sell the boat quickly. The marina’s interests will be aligned with the seller’s not with yours. You should, therefore, expect them to talk the boat up, and to gloss over less attractive details. Granted, you can expect this behavior from any sales rep, just don’t expect the marina to function as an impartial arbiter. Make sure you bring a whole list of questions with you and be ready to walk away if they refuse to answer the important ones.

Direct from Owner

Buying a boat directly from its owner is probably the cheapest way to buy a used boat. That said, you also risk a number of downsides that both dealerships and Marinas help curtail. The first concern if you’re buying used from an unknown third party is whether or not they actually own the boat. The stolen boat market is extensive. People accidentally buy stolen boats every year, so it’s important that you protect yourself. Make sure you run a background check on the boat to confirm ownership (you’ll need the HIN) and ask to see the title. If the seller refuses to show you the title, or it doesn’t match up with the records, don’t waste your time with the boat. It isn’t worth the trouble.

You may struggle with buying from owners too because owners get very attached to the price they paid for their boat. No one likes to suffer depreciation, either on the hull or on their gear. They may have spent $12k on that nav system three years ago, but that doesn’t mean you should be paying that much for it. If they bought their ski boat new for $70k in 2014, you sure as hell shouldn’t pay $60k for it. Brokers can help keep sellers honest and more realistic about the return they can expect on their boat and upgrades. Finally, buying directly from the owner can put you in a difficult position with any issues down the road. Once you buy a boat, your recourse is always limited but if a dealership or marina uses outright dishonesty to sell you a lemon, you have more option than if you bought it from Chris in Lansing.

Online-Only Options

With the power of the internet, anyone who owns anything is a potential salesperson. Several sites exist out there to help people sell their boats. Most of the boats you see on a given website (except perhaps Craigslist) are sold through brokers. Nevertheless, these sites have fundamentally altered boat buying, and are worth checking out. The options they offer can be overwhelming, but they can also give you a good idea of the market, both as a buyer and a seller.

  1. First up is Craigslist which probably sounds silly, given our fundamental mistrust of buying from owners. Nevertheless, we have purchased boats through Craigslist before and were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of boats that we found on this site. As you’re saving money by avoiding dealerships, we highly recommend you hire a surveyor or at least a broker to help you through the process. Please note that for smaller purchases, such as Jon boats or small sailboats or dinghies, a broker might be overkill. If the boat is small, cheap, and you have a good eye for the market value, you may be able to do it alone.
  2. If you want to go the online route, but worry about dealing solely with individuals, we highly recommend boattrader.com for smaller boats and yachtworld.com for larger boats. Most of these vessels are sold through brokers, which generally helps you avoid buying a stolen vessel. Any reputable broker will perform their own background checks.

Side Note:

If you’re considering buying a boat from an auction, take great care. Auctions can be infectious (they are, in fact, designed to be), and you may get caught up in a vessel that sounds like a great deal but winds up needing major repairs.  We recommend that potential boat buyers leave auctions to experts, mechanics, or others with inside information about the specific boats being sold. We certainly wouldn’t risk it.

Dealerships

if you start looking at used boats for sale at a dealership, you may find that they’re more expensive than just about anywhere else. Don’t let that turn you off entirely, however, as it can also be the safest option. Dealers typically take their reputations seriously. As a result, they usually clean boats thoroughly, test the systems extensively and repair any outright damage to the best of their abilities. The dealership doesn’t want to be connected to a used boat that sinks a few days after you buy it, or that has pervasive electrical malfunctions. Dealers tend to charge a premium for this guarantee, though deals are occasionally available. Dealers are also excellent marketers (no surprise there), so they usually advertise their vessels clearly and comprehensively. Sure they’ll talk the vessel up like any good salesperson, but the vast majority of dealerships have their limits of dishonesty. You likely won’t have to worry whether they’ve posted pictures of a boat from 10 years ago, or called a 31-foot boat a 35-foot boat (yes, I’ve seen both happen). It’s sales, you’ll never get complete, unalloyed honesty, but dealerships will get you about as close as you can get.

Boat Type Category Breakdown

 Pontoon Boats for Sale

Two (or three) metal tubes, one carpeted platform. What’s not to love about pontoon boats? Get out and fish, swim, or just enjoy the sun and the water. Check out our free Pontoon Boat Buyer’s Guide to help you find the right pontoon boat for you.

Jon Boats for Sale

As pretty as a shipping container, but not quite as comfortable, jon boats are nevertheless popular for being cheap, durable, and flat-bottomed, allowing access to water that other boats can’t reach. Many of us got our first boating experience in a jon boat, and it’s a nice asset to be able to leave out in all weather, then heave into the water at the first sign of spring. For more information, check out our guide to Jon Boats.

Fishing Boats for Sale

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Any boat can be a fishing boat. Having said that, boats that you intend to use for fishing will have particular traits and you’ll want to pay attention to certain features. Check out our Fishing Boats for Sale to help you in your fishing boat search.

Yachts For Sale

Yachts can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They can be sail or motor-driven, ridiculously expensive or only very expensive. Choosing a yacht means putting a lot of time and money into a quickly-depreciating asset, so you want to make sure you choose the right quickly-depreciating asset. Check out Agent Water’s Yachts for Sale page to start your search off on the right foot.

Bass Boats for Sale

Bass boats catch bass, but other panfish more broadly and are mainly operated near shore in freshwater lakes, rivers and the occasional bay. We’ve spent a bunch of time writing more about it on its own page, check out our bass boat review page here.

Flats Boats for Sale

Like a Bass Boat, but slightly more weatherly, Flats boats will allow you to traverse slightly deeper water en route to your favorite fishing grounds. For assistance picking out the right Flats Boat, check out our free Flats Boat guide.

Ski Boats For Sale

I know, I know. Anything can be a ski boat if you ski behind it. Some boats are better designed for watersports than others, though. Check out Agent Water’s free Ski Boats for Sale page to learn more about these finicky vessels. What should you be looking for? And what should you avoid?

PWC’s For Sale

A reasonably priced(ish) way to get out on the water, PWC’s (or Jet Skis, as many of us know them) are some of the most popular boats on the market. Check out Agent Water’s free PWC Buyer’s Guide to discover prices and features on the top brands.

Jet Boats For Sale 

Features of New Jet boats for Sale

Jet boats are a great deal of fun and with their increasing reliability are boats that can be used effectively and safely in the greater number of circumstances than ever before.  Jet boats are principally defined, and unique from their competitors, by the propulsion system that sucks in the water on one side and quite simply shoots it out on the other. Well, there is far more than you can go into in the specifics of how a Jet Boat Works, people looking for jet boats for sale probably are not all that interested in this.  Jet boats are used in virtually all types of waters but tend to have more trouble in environments with regular shallow spots, where beaching is necessary and regular, or there is a lot of sea trash. If you were looking for a jet boat for sale, it’s likely that you have been on or used one before as they are a little unique but they offer a lot of advantages especially in the form of safety. This is because, unlike a boat with a propeller,  getting chopped up by your own boat is far more difficult. La-di-da. ultimately buying a jet boat is a great decision for voters who are new to the sport, who have young kids, and are boating and Waters where support, if you were to have something going to the pumps, is easily accessible. Check out our page focused on Buying Jet Boats for more detailed information.

Brands

  • Yamaha
  • Sea-doo
  • Scarab
  • Sea Doo
  • Chaparral
  • Kawasaki
  • Glastron
  • Thunder Jet
  • Havoc Boats
  • G3
  • Alweld
  • Lowe
  • Sugar Sand
  • Honda
  • Seaark


Features of New Jet Boats

Since jet boats are uniquely defined by the ocean system, talking about features of new ones to look at will be focused on that system. we recommend that Users ask questions about the capabilities of the vessel in protecting its jet system. Over the last few years, several technological innovations have come forward that help reduce the amount of sand that sucked in help prevent plastic bags from going entirely in and working to Shield the inner part of the engine from rocks or other types of debris. Beyond this, it is important to look back at how you evaluate other styles of boats and look at some of the key features to consider when looking at them.

Things to look for in Used Jet Boats

The Jets!   all this may seem obvious the section capabilities and the resulting power and control are the greatest thing to focus on these boats.  As mentioned above, the type of boat varies greatly but would make these boats unique is their power system. Yes, it is important to take a look at the whole quality, whether there’s damage on the interior, or whether the radio works, but it is far more important when looking at jet boats for sale to focus largely on the condition of the jet propulsion system. There are several ways to do this, but we strongly recommend in this case talking with an expert, frequently a surveyor although on occasion the right type of boat broker may work. We frequently recommend purchasing used jet boats from dealerships as they have an incentive at a greater knowledge set to ensure that they work and that you are not going to be stranded out on the water with your family or friends. remember, jet engines can quickly be damaged in environments that are shallow or where there is a lot of sea trash that can be sucked in. They have improved substantially over time, and new or used jet boats likely have more advanced systems to protect their engine, however, older ones will not. We strongly recommend looking newer models even if the size is slightly smaller or the engine slightly less powerful when considering purchasing a jet boat.

Sailboats for Sale

What/ where

Having purchased  many small and a few medium to large sailboats ourselves, we have a great deal of expertise in this particular submarket.    Purchasing a sailboat should not be viewed as an financial investment, rather as an expensive toy. We’ve already gotten a lot of feedback when referring to sailboats is expensive toys, because they are not always expensive. Some sailboats can come at just a few thousand dollars and with a bit of  elbow grease, they can be fully functioning enjoyable crafts for the whole family. It said many buyers do not have experience in teaching, grinding, fiberglassing, or Advanced engine repair so forgive us if you fall into that category as not all boats are expensive, but many end up that way. When considering sailboats for sale it is important to divide the market up into two distinct categories. The first is for sale boats that are typically under 15 to 20 feet and do not have an engine. These day sailor’s can be a great deal of fun, are generally quite expensive, and are a great way to learn how to sail, spend time on the water, and enjoy the outdoors.    sailboats that tend to be larger than 15 to 20 ft and have an engine are the second category and they’re fundamentally different.

Brands

There are  hundreds, if not thousands of sailboat brands and because they vary so substantially between the market for small boats and the market for much larger ones  we are not going to dive into specific ones here. That said, we are happy to discuss the benefits of a whole range of boats and brands with any of those who are interested. Please reach out to us directly if you have any questions and we were happy to help you  as you review sailboats for sale.

Features of New Sailboats

New small sailboats tend to be extremely expensive,  at least relative to virtually identical sailboats only a few years older.  this is because any small dinghy sailboat world, Racers want the newest technology, the lightest formulation, and boats without any scratches whatsoever.  for this reason we only recommend new dinghy or small sailboats to those who are interested in racing, who likely already knew this to begin with.

New larger sailboats on the other hand are are you fat or larger more expensive, but who is depreciation relative to used boats is markedly less ( at least as a percentage).  these boats can range in costs from $100,000 to several hundred thousand dollars depending on the Builder, the length, and what unique features you are looking to have on board.  For this reason, many buyers of new vessels are people in the process of making big Life Changes. this often occurs in conjunction with the retirement, the sale of a business, a divorce, or following a health emergency that helped the future owner reconsider their priorities.   Looking for larger new sailboats for sale Is it interesting challenge and where you should look for them varies based on your preferences. If you are looking for greater customization, it is likely that working directly with the manufacturer will make more sense as they will be able to incorporate more of your preferences into the boat as they build it. That said,  well this ensures that a greater number of features that you find important are designed into the boat, it also ensures that you will not get the boat for at least a year if not more. Any customizations will be expensive, and it is almost certain that there will be some form of cost overruns or delays and schedules. for those interested in buying a new sailboat immediately, or quickly We recommend working with the dealer if you’ve already picked out a brand or with a broader broker who has your interest at heart rather than the sellers.

Things to look for in Used Sailboats

Small used sailboats are some of the easiest  Boats to buy. This is because you largely get what you see. With small sailboats the greatest risk you face is damage to the whole or in some extreme cases damage to the rigging. Simple small sailboats should be checked for cracks  and damage at the bow, where the masked connects to the boat, and on the bottom where they are all too frequently dropped on concrete. Beyond this inspection, and a quick overview of the rigging and sail to ensure there are no tears and no parts missing, one can be relatively confident quite quickly in the quality of the vessel they’re buying. Just to reiterate, if you are looking to race, or have your child race,  a small sailboat used ones will be good as an introductory tool, but will struggle to remain competitive with fleets that are increasingly upgrading to newer and lighter hulls.

For larger used sailboats  For sale, we View and inspection as well as a broker but at least an inspection as essential to any acquisition.   this is because the extra of an expert, even for a few hundred dollars, is some of the best money you will ever invest in your boat. These experts regularly catch little things that you missed and as long as you were the one who hired them, have  your interest in mind. when looking at used sailboats it’s important not to become obsessed with its length, as longer and larger sailboats can be substantially more expensive the store, maintain, and Difficult to find a slip for. for first time buyers, we recommend that when looking for sailboats for sale they consider how they intend to use the boat;  Nearshore, offshore, Justin the slip, or for some local cruises. first time buyers of used sailboats should also be concerned with the age of the boat, as maintenance is far harder to guarantee with multiple owners( which is likely) and the reality that this will lead to issues for you down the road. finally it’s important to note that for used sailboats, especially larger ones, owners are often attached emotionally and have a hard time recognizing that there investments into upgrades a few years ago are not worth nearly what they paid any longer.   all upgrades on sailboats, and boats more broadly, depreciate rapidly.

For a full page dedicated to Sailboats for Sale, click here.

Houseboats For Sale

Buying a houseboat is a major decision, as well as a significant investment. We have dedicated an entire page to buying a houseboat, but if you’re more interested in the quick and dirty version, here are a few things to consider when you’re looking at houseboats for sale.

  1. The first major thing we recommend that people consider when looking at a houseboat is the ongoing costs; maintenance, upgrades, dockage, storage, fuel, insurance, etc. Really, these costs are relevant to any boat but become more important as the boats get larger and more expensive.
  2. Once you have a good idea of your long-term houseboat budget, you want to consider the condition of the boat’s unalterable features. These are items like the hull and engine that are either actually impossible to change, or functionally impossible to change because of their cost.
  3. Beyond these two elements, really pay attention to the wiring, interior layout, and through-hull fittings. The first two will be vital to your lifestyle, while the third can literally mean the difference between floating and sinking. Make sure those through-hulls are in good shape and keep plugs nearby in case they fail.

If you’re interested in more information about how to buy a houseboat, what to look for in a houseboat, and where you can find them, we have a whole houseboat for sale page!

Boat Trailers for Sale

We get a lot of questions surrounding boat trailers that are for sale or people who have boat trailers looking to sell them and understand what they’re worth. First of all, this isn’t a very straightforward industry, and I know you’re probably not happy reading this. That’s said we always find it easier and better, in the long run, to be honest, and explain to you exactly why it is that trailer valuation, either on the purchase or sale side, is not exactly straightforward.

The most important element  when looking to buy a new trailer is how well it fits your boat. You can have a great, great, great trailer but if it’s for the wrong boat, it’s not of any value to you. Trailers that do not fit your boat properly can, and generally do at some point, damage your boat and make the whole thing more difficult to sell.

Buying a new boat trailer the relatively straightforward process and working with the selling company generally involves discussing your boat and they placed the model in their database to see which one of their trailers it fits best. That said it is important to consider your Towing vehicle and what the trailer has as its standard hitch size. while it may sound simple, you would be stunned at how many times people make this mistake, ourselves included just this last winter. Well, we love the idea of buying boat trailers new from manufacturers, we understand that for most of us it is just not a reality.

Buying a used boat trailer either happens when you are purchasing your boat as it comes with it or after purchasing a boat and frequently at the last minute. There are two extremely important components of the boat trailers design that you must take into account when looking to make a purchase. The first is the amount of weight that the trailer is designed to carry. While the trailer may look very strong, If it is not designed to carry the amount of weight that your boat is, and remember that fuel and everything you’ve left in it counts as wait, there is a real possibility that something disastrous will happen when you are Towing it on a highway or even on a local Road. After confirming the trailer is capable of holding as much as you’re both ways, plus a couple hundred pounds four gear and safety stick, it is important to remember that’s your boat must rest comfortably on the components of the trailer that they were intended. Depending on the trailers build, this may be simple rollers, flat panel, long panel, or some combination thereof. Well, there is certainly a need to adjust these panels, do not listen to anyone trying to sell you a used boat trailer if they mention that a panel is not needed or is unnecessary. This is most commonly the case with trailers that are either too long or too short for your boat and as a result do not properly balance the boat above.

Homemade boat trailers for sale tend to be for smaller boats, such as Jon boats, canoes, and kayaks what are occasionally built for larger boats. While we believe that these can be great purchases for smaller boats, we do advise caution for readers when looking at a homemade trailer for a larger boat. We understand that some welders do a great job, but unfortunately, it is unlikely that was a quick look over the trailer you will be able to tell how much time more experience and what equipment was used in welding the frame of the trailer. This reason we recommend that boat owners do not use homemade trailers for vessels other than Jon boats, canoes, or kayak. Additionally, if you are looking to purchase a homemade boat trailer, it is important to make sure that it is legally registered with the state. Many of these trailers were built but we’re never registered as homemade trailers and this process can be challenging, time-consuming, and occasionally expensive.

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