Right now there are over 1.6 million people who love boating on rivers, lakes and oceans around Australia. They must be onto something!
So what’s stopping you from getting in on the boating lifestyle?
Darren Finkelstein, bestselling author of Honey, let’s buy a BOAT! presents his practical guide on what to consider when buying a boat, exclusively for our readers.
Darren writes; “Buying a boat and the thought of boat ownership can be daunting to some. Most have heard the old line of “the two happiest days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it!” But, this view seems to come from a lack of boating knowledge, and this is the biggest challenge most wannabe boaties face”.
Here are the top factors to consider when buying a boat: Darren writes;
The 2 F’s: Family & Finances
Starting the boat buying exercise off on the right foot really should begin with solid discussion with your family, partner and naturally, the kids. It’s all hands on deck as you talk about your motivation for getting on the water. It’s also key to talk money and finances with your partner, making sure you can afford boat ownership. Seeking finance approval or having the cash ready before you start looking is important too, as you want to be ready to jump on a terrific deal.
What Floats Your Boat?
The choice of what type of boat you might like to own is wide open to your preference, budget and area of interest. Is a quiet overnight cruise, taking time to enjoy the journey of exploration of interest to you and your partner? Some may prefer to teach the kids to waterski or tube. This can be both rewarding and a unique way to connect with your children. Perhaps, you want to go fishing and try to catch the one that got away. Revenge is so sweet.
Whether you choose a day boat, overnighter, humble tinny or a ski boat, research is vital. Visit boat shows and marinas, and use Google — it has never been easier. Consider buying a quality used boat or perhaps buying brand new better suits your needs.
The Dealer (It’s a Big Deal)
Finding an “Accredited Boat Dealer” where long-term relationships can be made for sales, service and ongoing support is believed by many to be the secret to success. Your dealer should be local and it’s critical for them to arrange boat-handling lessons for you and your entire crew. Getting everyone involved shares the load and gives each person a chance to participate. Naturally, expect to be overwhelmed with marine jargon; makes, models, engine types, options and accessories are sure to confuse, but your dealer will clear the fog.
Storage is important for trailer boats; will the boat and trailer fit in your garage? It’s important to measure your garage before you start your search. If it’s a bigger boat you’re after then talk to your local marina about storage options, as storage must be convenient. Then, you’ll soon discover that your boat can be a great place to go and relax without ever having to turn on the engines. Grab a good book, turn off your phone and enjoy the serenity. Ahh the serenity! Spend the weekend and holidays at the marina and your boat will become a weekend apartment, complete with a swimming pool that never needs cleaning and water views that are constantly changing.
Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat
If you’re planning on towing the boat to various boating locations, make sure your tow vehicle is suitable by checking the towing capability in your vehicle owners’ manual. Safe towing practices are critical to both your safety and that of other road users. The local boat ramp later on at night is a good time to practice. It’s always easier when no one is watching.
The best part comes after you’ve considered all your options and bitten the bullet. Most days at marinas around Australia, boat owners, their partners and families come down to simply do nothing but relax onboard their boats. Whether it’s reading a good book, the newspaper or even taking the laptop, stock your boat with your favourite snacks and beer, a comfy cushion and you’re ready for your afternoon sojourn to the land of floating dreams.
The essence of why we go boating, is to connect and in some cases reconnect with those that are important in our lives, because it’s all too easy to get caught up in the day to day struggle of our work, forgetting to share quality times with family and friends. Boating will make you more active, have you laughing out loud with those that are important and, above all, you’ll have a blast.
Get into boat ownership as after-all, “Life Is Better With A Boat”.
The Top 7 Buyer’s Mistakes
- Not discussing with the family and getting buy-in
- Not buying appropriate for your local conditions and your ability to safely skipper
- Importing a cheap boat from the USA that’s neither compliant nor seaworthy
- Not getting a ‘pre-purchase inspection’ by a qualified person if you’re buying used
- Only buy from a Boating Industry Association accredited dealer
- Don’t overpay. Boats depreciate just like cars. So buy well!
- Make sure you can afford to maintain the boat. Salt, sun and sea gulls are pretty harsh.
Find your local Accredited Boat Dealer and ask questions, if you feel comfortable then look to build a lasting relationship with them: they will be your experts and your go-to people! Most Boat Dealers will welcome the opportunity to share boating information with you. Enroll in one of their programs that cater for newbie boat owners, in which you can learn, experience and practice new skills such as driving a boat, mooring and maintenance. Enrol with the family; share the experience with your partner and your kids. Remember that many hands make light work. The more crew aboard, the easier things can be.
A good Boat Dealer will also happily spend time explaining to you and your crew, about your waterways, sharing their experience and local knowledge. Get a good understanding of where to go boating, things to do and what conditions are required to make for a great day out.
In a perfect world, they too should be able to service, repair and maintain your boat for you. Remember you don’t need to do it all yourself, the more expert resources available to you, the easier the experience and the more times you will use the boat.
Marine QLD is your Queensland boating industry association – make contact with them and they can recommend you a local boat dealer member that can assist, otherwise head to Google for assistance.
Never before has there been a better time to get on the water, sharing quality time with family and friends. It’s all about lifestyle, because you know that life is too short.
Boating is all about connecting people. It’s moving the kids off the computer and into the outdoors, clearing the way for parents to not focus on work for just long enough to teach the kids to waterski. Boating is also about empowering and including the ladies, so they too can enjoy quality time on the water with their families. Not forgetting that boating is also about getting the blokes together, to catch the big one that last time got away. And to talk to their mates about stuff… We know how good that is for men’s health. Consider a boat as a ‘man-space’, the new age ‘man cave’ that the entire family can also enjoy, so everyone wins! Remember; Life Is Better With A Boat.[hr]
Known as ‘The Boat Guy’, Darren Finkelstein is considered a boating industry expert and he enjoys an active presence in the media. You will often hear him on radio, view his video blogs, read his articles or watch him on the international stage at boat shows, corporate and lifestyle events. His energy for boating and zest for life is contagious, attracting many to discover the joys of boat ownership.
‘Honey, let’s buy a BOAT!’ is Darren’s common sense guide to boating. Darren has incorporated over 30+ years of boating experience into this 360-page book. The book is filled with expert tips, essential information and all things boat-related for the Australian market.”
It’s everything you wanted to know about buying (and selling) a power boat but didn’t know who to ask – $29.95 +p&h.
To order you copy of ‘Honey, let’s buy a BOAT!’ visit www.letsbuyaboat.com.au.