Boat buying guide

Last updated on August 23rd, 2023
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Buying a boat is an important decision because it’s such a big purchase. Consequently, you don’t want to do it on a whim, or without being thoroughly informed on how the process should go. Like with any major (and expensive!) purchase, there are some tips you can follow, to make sure that you are getting the best deal. So, you should take into consideration all the crucial aspects.

Inform yourself

If you don’t know anything about boats, now it’s time to find out. Obviously, you can’t buy something this expensive without doing your research and learning all there is to know about them, including manufacture, safety, materials, certifications, mechanics, fuel, etc. You can take your information from the internet, books, boat experts, boat manufacturers, boat brokers, and other sources. You want to make sure that you become a connoisseur (or close to one) because you’re going to drive this thing out to sea. Don’t put yourself in the position of ending up like the Titanic.

Know your requirements

After you’ve gathered all the relevant information, you need to sit down and make a list of requirements. What does your ideal boat need to have? What do you want it to have? Are there any features that you are not interested in? What are your priorities? Know these things before you go out to shop for boats because it’s going to make it a lot easier for you and the person selling the boat to you.

Ask all the right questions

Let’s say you’ve settled on something you think you like – now is the time to ask questions, and a lot of them:

  • Will this boat be suitable for your needs?

You need to know what you’re planning to do on this boat. Fishing? Sailing? Travelling? Waterskiing? You need to take the type of boat and the size into consideration.

  • Is the price within your budget?

It may very well be the perfect boat; but can you afford it? Is it worth it? Is the seller okay with haggling? Don’t be fooled into paying more than you can afford or more than it’s worth.

  • What about safety?

Safety comes first, always. How safe is this boat? What is it made of? How old is it? Has it been taken out often? Has it been repaired? This is all crucial information that you need to be aware of, before handing in your money.

  • What about insurance and warranty?

Don’t forget about this! Remember to ask whether or not the manufacturer is still in business – a lot of them aren’t. What happens if the boat needs to be repaired or you need to change a part? Will you be able to find someone to work on it? How much is it going to cost you? Make sure you’re not investing in a money pit.

Take it out for a spin

Always insist on taking the boat out for a trial run, before you buy it. The seller is going to try to convince you that it’s not possible, but don’t fall for that. If they are not willing to let you drive it, walk away. You need to be able to test the waters and see how it performs, just like a car.

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This guide provides general information and does not consider your individual needs, finances or objectives. We do not make any recommendation or suggestion about which product is best for you based on your specific situation and we do not compare all companies in the market, or all products offered by all companies. It’s always important to consider whether professional financial, legal or taxation advice is appropriate for you before choosing or purchasing a financial product.

The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

Approval for leisure loans is always subject to our lender’s terms, conditions and qualification criteria. Lenders will undertake a credit check in line with responsible lending obligations to help determine whether you’re in a position to take on the loan you’re applying for.

The interest rate, comparison rate, fees and monthly repayments will depend on factors specific to your profile, such as your financial situation, as well as others, such as the loan’s size and your chosen repayment term. Costs such as broker fees, redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, aren’t included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate.

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