Boat shows are happening all over the country right now in preparation for warmer weather. If you are thinking of buying your first boat this year or trading in your current boat for a new model, a boat show is a great place to tour the latest models, explore the newest nautical gear, and perhaps even strike a deal on the watercraft of your dreams.
Learn our tips for successful boat shopping before you head out.
Know What You Want
Between the many different types of watercraft and the various manufacturers that build them, the options for your next boat are seemingly endless. It helps to do some research before you visit the boat show so you know what you are in the market for. You’ll need to know you’re your budget is, how many passengers you need to carry, where you will store it, and your primary purpose for using the boat.
Some of the most frequently purchased boats here in Wisconsin include:
These are among the most versatile of the boats you might see at the boat show. Sometimes these boats carry people in the bow of the ship, which is why they are often referred to as ‘bowriders.’ You might want a runabout if you need to carry several passengers and want the option to fish, ski, and tube from your boat.
Pontoons are platform boats that float on two or three large aluminum cylinders. These boats provide plenty of room for entertaining and can be equipped for angling and certain types of water sports.
Bass boats are used primarily for fishing. They usually have an outboard motor that can be lifted out of the water for fishing in shallow waters.
Ski boats and wake boats are designed for sport, with the ability to accelerate to high speeds very quickly and the power to pull multiple skiers or wake-boarders at one time.
If you decide on a boat type, consider what size you’ll need, too. Bigger boats tend to cost more upfront and in long-term maintenance. They can consume more fuel, are more difficult to pilot, and may require a special storage solution if your home is not equipped to store it. However, a large boat may be exactly what you need if you have a large family or plan to entertain friends on your watercraft.
New vs. Used
Lastly, decide whether you want to invest in a brand new boat or buy a used one instead. New may have a higher price tag, but they also tend to come with warranties and greater reliability to help keep your ownership costs down. Alternatively, used boats come with a higher risk of mechanical problems, but the savings could offset the cost of repairing them in the price.
Don’t Forget About Boat Insurance
In the excitement of buying a boat, it’s easy to forget about the practical side of ownership. If you plan to purchase a watercraft this year, don’t forget to purchase insurance to protect your vessel right away. Without the right coverage, you could face major losses if your boat is damaged on the water or in transit, or if you are sued for injuring someone with your boat or damaging their personal property.
Homeowners insurance usually provides very little coverage for watercraft–usually only for certain types of events and for very small or low-powered boats. Here at Pentagon Insurance Agency, we can help you find a policy that covers you, your passengers, and your boat against the unexpected.
For more information about boat insurance or to request your free quote, contact our office today.
Thom Grubbs is an insurance agent and partner at Pentagon Insurance Agency in Elk River, MN. Outside of work, Thom likes to bowl, fish, spend time with his family, and volunteer at his church. Get in touch with Thom and let him make life a little easier by talking over your situation.