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New Or Used Boat? 3 Things To Consider

by Amanda Phillips

Are you looking to purchase a boat? Whether you like bay boats, center consoles, or high-speed power boats, you'll need to decide whether you want to buy new or used.

Buying a new boat may certainly be more exciting. You'll get to pick out a boat that has the exact features and benefits that you want. You may even get to pick out some of the finishing options. However, used boats can offer great value. You may be able to find a used boat that meets your needs at far less cost.

Here are three things to consider if you're struggling to choose between a new or used boat:

Value. This is obviously the biggest difference between buying new and used. Boats usually see their biggest cycle of depreciation during their season of use. A used boat that only has one or two seasons of use could cost substantially less than a new boat with little mileage or wear-and-tear.

However, as the boat gets older, you'll see less price depreciation in each subsequent season. So, a boat that is 10 years old may have had substantial use without a commensurate reduction in price. There's no doubt that you'll pay less for a used boat, but only you can determine whether the reduction in price is fair for the level of use and depreciation.

After-sale service. When you buy a new boat, you almost always get some kind of service plan included for a limited amount of time after the purchase. In fact, that's one of the reasons why new boats cost so much more than used boats. Some service plans cover regular maintenance, while others may even cover part replacement and unexpected repairs.

Used boats are usually sold "as-is." There may be an optional warranty available, but it likely won't be included in the price of the boat. Again, you'll need to decide whether you're comfortable with that level of service.

Financing. If you have good credit and have enough for a down payment, you'll probably be able to get financing for the boat's purchase. However, the terms of the financing may be different for new and used boats. It's not uncommon for lenders to make loans on new boats for more than 10 years. However, on a used boat, the lender may place a cap on the length of the loan. If the boat is more than a decade old and in need of repairs, you may even have trouble finding a lender.

Talk to you boat dealer about whether you're better off buying new or used. They can show you quality vessels to compare, examine warranty options, and possibly even connect you with a lender.

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