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When Buying A Boat, Always Negotiate

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On: Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 7:33AM | By: Merry Beth Ryan


This is a great time to buy a boat. There are some fantastic deals out there, if you do your homework. Whether you are buying a power, or sail, little or big, new or used, virtually all boat prices are negotiable. Prices are more negotiable at certain times, and with certain types of customers. There are certain sellers who will be more negotiable than others, as well. Some good times to bargain and save money are as follows: Buy at a boat show. Vendors at boat shows are generally eager to sell their boats there at the show versus having to transport them back. If you are patient, as well as lucky, you may even end up purchasing a show model special. Once you have done your homework on the boat that is right for you, and once you have arranged your finances, visit a large boat show, and find a boat or two that fits the bill.

Take note of the written sale price of the boat and all its options, including engines. Be very thorough and use your computer to research the boat further. As the end of the boat shows nears check on your favorite boat again. If your boat of choice is still there, introduce yourself to the salesperson and let them know you are going to be purchasing a boat, but not necessarily their boat, there, today. Make an offer on their boat there at the show. Be brave. Do not feel intimidated; you never know; your offer may just be good enough to make you the proud new owner of the boat of your dreams. A second good time to boat bargain shop is at the end of boating season. Almost all boat dealers “floor plan” their boats, just as car dealers do. This means that they pay interest on them as long as they sit on the boat dealer’s lot. Dealers do not look forward to making interest payments during their off-season. They would much rather cut their prices some to assure a boat sale. Another place to bargain would be at a boat dealer who has gone out of business.

Many boat builders come and go. Many such companies make great boats, but they do not have the capital or the marketing expertise to survive in the forever changing boat business. Be really careful when checking these type boats out. There may be a real bargain right at your fingertips. Avoid buying a boat from an out-of-business builder without researching the construction and all the specifications of the boat. It would be wise to have a boat mechanic or surveyor look at the boat with you present. If you can find a boat using this method, you will be saving a great deal of money while still receiving a great boat. Boats do not have a “fixed asking” price. Do not be shy about asking for discounts. If you don’t ask you will never know the answer. It is a well know fact that some boat dealers add a certain percentage to their asking price. Many boat sellers will negotiate on the boat itself. Be very careful because boat dealers will agree to cut the price of the hull itself, but then try to charge you list price for engines, radios, and electronics. Negotiate the cost of each item on a boat individually as you choose the options you want. Make sure the boat price includes safety and usage items. The selling price of new boats normally does not include equipment such as anchors, life vests, dock lines, etc. If you are looking at used boats you can come close to determining the value of the boat. Unlike new boats, used boats have published values normally based on what a lending institution will allow you to borrow, based on what they feel the boat is worth.

If you purchase a boat from a stranger make sure you research the finance history and past ownership of that particular boat first. Buying a used boat has similar odds to those at a craps table in Vegas. It is a gamble, but if you take your time to research the boat’s history, it can be successful. Do not become a victim to a con-artist’s scam. Many cons make a living hauling stolen boats from state to state selling them. Do your homework; insist on tracing the past ownership of the boat. Talk to previous owners when at all possible. Also check the boat’s serial number against databases of stolen boats. You will not be sorry you took the time to take these precautionary steps. Before you commit to buying any boat, make sure you have taken the time to think things through. Choose a dealer who provides great service after the sale. Never forget the story of a man who built a boat in his garage and could not get it through the door. Do not let this happen to you. Make sure the hull is rated for the engine you choose. If you are planning on towing the boat make sure your vehicle is rated to tow a boat beforehand.

Consider whether you will be keeping the boat at your home or having to pay to keep it in dry storage at a local marina. Make sure there are no zoning laws that will prohibit you from keeping a boat at your home. Owning a boat brings great pleasure to your life by allowing you to take advantage of all the beautiful water Florida offers us. Just be patient when purchasing a boat, and be sure you have researched the boat you want to buy before signing on the dotted line. You too will soon experience how water works wonders!




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