Some of our customers have spent most of their lives in and around boats to the extent that it’s a big part of who they are. Others have always been interested in boating, and they finally decide it’s time for them to make the dream a reality. No matter your age, there’s never a bad time to start enjoying the freedom and joy you can find on the open water.
The biggest reason people put off buying a boat is that they fear the unknown, and boating might seem like an intimidating hobby at first. While it might take years to become an especially skilled captain, it isn’t very hard to get into boating once you cover a few of the basics. Once you learn how to buy a boat and master the basics of boating safety, you’re off on a journey you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
How to Buy a Boat
Buying a boat is intimidating, and not necessarily just because of the cost. First-time boat owners often have the following questions:
- Once I get a boat, where do I keep it?
- How do I take care of my boat?
- Should I buy a new boat or find a used boat for sale?
- Which style or type of boat should I buy?
Here at Nautical Ventures, we’re happy to get involved at any step of your journey with boat ownership. Not only do we sell boats, but we also assist with boating service, storage, and dockage. This makes our team uniquely qualified to answer all of your questions about the maritime pastime, and many of the basics are covered below.
Where Do I Keep My Boat?
If you don’t have access to a dock, your best bet may be to find a marina. Many such places also offer service, which will come in handy when you need to get your boat repaired, winterized, or stored. Talk to a staff member about different options that will be convenient for you, or ask some of your more experienced friends for advice.
Which Type of Boat Should I Buy?
If it’s your first time shopping for a boat, you may be surprised by just how many different types there are. It can even be a little bit overwhelming if you’re not prepared for it and don’t have a solid idea of what you want from your boating experience. An experienced boating professional should be able to help you hone in on a few key requirements that will make it much easier to select the best boat for your needs.
To start, you should think about whether you want a boat for fishing, cruising, watersports, or some combination of those three things. Once you’ve identified the primary purpose or purposes you need your vessel to serve, the process gets a lot easier:
- Fishing Boats – These vessels typically have open cockpits, so the captain has the freedom to move around while reeling in a big catch. Some fishing boats are designed for shallow water fishing, while others are built for deeper waters.
- Watersports Boats – If you’re all about skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, or even racing, these are the boats for you. Look for something fast, powerful, stable, and sporty. You can even match your boat to a specific sport if you’re looking for fine-tuned performance.
- Cruising Boats – These vessels are built for comfort above all else, making them ideal for entertaining guests and enjoying lazy days on the water. Decide whether you’re more interested in day cruises or if you’ll ever want to spend the night on your boat.
Should I Buy a New Boat or Used Boat?
First-time boat buyers are often told to buy a used boat because it’s less expensive, so you can minimize your spending if you don’t end up loving boat ownership as much as you imagined. On the other hand, buying a used boat will increase your exposure to maintenance and repairs, while a new boat shouldn’t have any problems yet. There are pros and cons to both sides. Ultimately, this is a personal decision, and it will depend on your situation.
Involve Your Spouse When You Buy a Boat
There’s a stereotype that the boating industry is only for men, but that simply isn’t the case. Just consider some of the legendary women of speed boat racing. We’ve seen more and more women getting interested in boating throughout the years as outdated norms go the way of the dodo. It’s no longer normal for a person to decide by themself, then get their spouse’s permission before writing the check. If you’re married or in a serious relationship, get buy-in early in the process and make sure everyone who’s financially involved is excited about the purchase.
What Size Boat Should I Buy?
It’s so common to hear a boater say, “I wish mine was just a couple of feet bigger.” People often buy smaller boats to save some money, but bigger boats usually are safer, more comfortable, and more fun. We usually advise people to buy boats that are just slightly larger than they’d initially planned. This might make the boat a bit more expensive, but you’ll avoid wasting money by trading it in for a larger model after just one season. You’ll be thankful for this advice the first time you take a group of friends out to show off your new toy.
Learn About Boating Safety
Captaining a boat is not like driving a car, so don’t assume that you’ll automatically know how to do it. Some first-time boat owners overestimate their skills and think driving a boat will be a lot easier than it actually is. Don’t be intimidated, because it’s not hard to learn about boat safety; all you have to do is put in the time and effort. You can even find all kinds of boating courses that will increase your skills and confidence to prepare you for positive experiences.
Along the way, learn how to handle things like wind, waves, weather, and traffic from other boats. Know what different colored buoys mean and how to safely navigate shallow areas close to the coast. Your boat is a significant purchase, so you won’t want to damage it the first time you take it out. Even more importantly, you should know how to keep yourself, your passengers, and others safe. If you have any questions about where you can learn more about boating safety, we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Boats for Sale in South Florida
Here at Nautical Ventures, we’re proud of our reputation as one of the best boat vendors in the state of Florida. We have numerous Florida locations in Broward, Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Tampa Bay, making it more convenient for you to buy a boat. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is enthusiastic about boating and the Florida Coast, so we’ll be happy to help you find the best boat for your situation and lifestyle. Stop by today, and we’ll help make sure all of your boating basics are covered!