by Elissa Connely

With Summer literally on our doorstep, perhaps you have been thinking about buying a new boat or even about to take the plunge into the boating world?

Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to spend their weekends cruising the endless waterways our magnificent country has to offer? Imagine. You are standing at the helm, one hand expertly steering your vessel, the sun kissing your well sun screened face, hair whipping in the wind, with your family and friends seated snuggly, swapping smiles and throwing their heads back with glee. A little over the top perhaps, but the joys of owning a boat are very real. Buying a boat however, can be a stressful process. It’s a big investment, that requires careful thought, research and time. To lend you a helping hand, we have compiled a list of considerations to make, before you dive in.

Whittley CR2800 RunningDo your research

Read, read and read more. Go and talk to boat owners at your local marina. Consider what you will be primarily using the boat for and how many people you would like to fit on board comfortably. What do you want to be able to do with the boat? Do you want to go offshore? Fishing? Do you want to be able to sleep on the boat? Have a clear idea of your ‘must have’ criteria, before you start the hunt.

Find a dealer

The dealer is as important as the boat. Armed with your thorough research and ‘must have’ criteria, start looking around different dealerships. Ask each dealer all of your important questions. You want a dealer who is responsive, knowledgeable and who suggests boats that are in line with your list of ‘must-haves’. Know exactly what does and doesn’t come with each boat. Take notes of the different boats that you look at and the positives and negatives that you can see about each, at every dealer you visit. Take notes about the general feeling you had about each dealership. This way, at the end of your research tour, you can look back at your notes and make an informed decision. Lastly, make sure that the dealer is a Boating Industry Association (BIA) member.

Quintrex 420 Hornet 4Budget

Keep in mind that purchasing the boat is only the first step. You are going to have to dip your hand into your pocket many times. What does your warranty cover exactly? Find out if your warranty covers servicing and for how long. When considering engine type, power and hull type, also consider fuel consumption and cost. Additional safety gear may need to be purchased. Consider how you will be storing the boat. Will you be paying for storage or a mooring? Do you need to purchase a trailer? You will also want to insure your new love, so count this into your costs as well.

Try before you buy

Go for a test run. Just like a car, you want to get a feel for the vessel and make sure it handles well. If you can avoid testing the boat on a perfectly calm day, that will be to your advantage as you want to see how the boat really handles.


Purchasing a boat can be one of the best decisions you ever make for you and your family and friends. Weekends and holidays spent cruising, swimming, snorkelling, fishing and relaxing. To ensure that your purchase remains a positive experience, do your homework, consider the above and don’t rush. There is an overabundance of boats on the market, so keep your cool, know what you want and stick to your budget.

Get out there and enjoy the water this Summer!