With summer just around the corner, we are officially approaching lake season. Whether you’re able to devote a week of vacation time at your favorite body of water, or just like to visit on the weekends, it’s the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind from the daily grind.
Have you been toying with the idea of purchasing your own watercraft? While it’s a great investment that will make your time at the lake more enjoyable, there are things to consider and to look for when buying a watercraft.
Here at WeGoLook, we provide on-demand marine inspections to give boat purchases piece-of-mind when making this important life decision.
Here are our top 10 tips you need to consider.
1. Type of Watercraft
This is, undoubtedly, the most important step when purchasing a watercraft. While many people assume that a watercraft is just a boat, there’s no such as “just a boat.”
If you a larger family with smaller children or if you’re single and enjoy time on the water alone, your watercraft choice is likely to be quite different.
Choose a watercraft that will be used and enjoyed often. It’s disappointing to make a big purchase and only use it a few times a season.
Don’t be impulsive, take your time in deciding.
2. Are There Any Restrictions at Your Favorite Body of Water?
Before you buy a boat or a personal watercraft (PWC), make sure there are no restrictions against watercrafts at your favorite lake or another body of water. For instance, kayaks and canoes are becoming increasingly popular watercraft purchases; more than 17 million Americans, age six and older, enjoy kayaking and canoeing.
If you buy a kayak and then find out it’s not safe to use among the other watercrafts on your favorite lake, you’re less likely to enjoy your purchase.
The same goes for a motorboat; some lakes have horsepower restrictions.
3. Shop Within Your Budget
You don’t have to have to be wealthy to own a boat, but you do need to be able to make payments if you take out a loan.
Boats are like cars; while the luxury vehicle looks fun to drive and attractive on the roads, the economy car may be more practical.
4. Additional Costs: Don’t Sink Your Budget
One thing that prospective watercraft owners forget to consider is additional expenses.
Depending on the type of watercraft you buy, where you live, and where you’re boating, you may spend up to $10,000 a year on additional expenses like gasoline, insurance, registration, and even storage.
Don’t let that stat scare you away, just be sure to do all your financial research before buying.
5. Storage Options
Have your eye on a 22-ft. fishing boat but don’t know where you would store it when you’re not on the water? Look at your storage options before buying as proper storage is essential to the life and performance of your watercraft.
You don't want to have this problem:
6. Consider Used
When shopping for a boat, don’t forget to consider used watercraft.
While a used fishing boat may not be as shiny as a brand-new model, the price is usually appealing. Don’t forget to do a thorough inspection before purchasing. Check for cracks, test the electronics, look for mildew, and everything in between.
The problem here is that many people buy boats online, through platforms like Craigslist or eBay. This typically means that the boat is docked or stored far away from you.
Or, they simply are unsure of what to look for when buying a used boat.
Increasingly, people are electing to utilize services like the professional agents at WeGoLook to travel to the location of the watercraft to conduct and in-depth inspection of its condition and functionality.
This type of small investment goes a long way when making a significant life decision like buying a watercraft. Check out our services and give yourself piece-of-mind when purchasing a watercraft.
7. Do You Know How to do Maintenance or Repairs?
If you’re looking at a boat that needs a few minor repairs, do you know how to fix them yourself or will need to hire help?
Consider such costs in the price of the boat; the boat may still be a good price.
8. Take it on a Test Run
When possible, see if you can take the boat on a test run. You wouldn’t buy a car without seeing how it handles, would you? Same goes for a watercraft.
Again, if you're unavailable or too far away from the location of the watercraft, elect to have a professional conduct the verification in your place. Even if you do a test yourself, it never hurts to get a second opinion.
9. How Will You Get the Watercraft to the Lake?
If you have a truck or SUV, you shouldn’t have any problem transporting your watercraft to and from the lake.
If you own a smaller vehicle, you’ll either have to consider purchasing a bigger one or hire someone to transport your boat for you.
10. Does the Watercraft Make You Happy?
Whether you buy a PWC or fishing boat, it’s important that your watercraft makes you happy. Does it cause more stress taking it out on the water than offer relaxation? Don’t purchase anything that seems like more work than fun.
Now, it's time to jump into your new watercraft and start enjoying the summer weather.