To anyone else, it’s just a boat show; but to you, it’s a giant exposition full of manufacturers and dealers ready to sell you the boat of your dreams. In the season of boat shows, we here at Heinen Insurance want you to be well-educated about watercraft shopping and how to make the decisions that work best for you. Continue reading to learn our tips for making the most of your visit.
Narrow Down Your Choices
With so many boat options on the market, how are you supposed to choose the one that’s right for you? After all, it is a big decision worth thousands of hard-earned dollars. It pays to get it right. Ultimately, choosing a boat does not have to be as difficult as it might seem. Simply start by selecting the type of boat you might need, and then decide on the size. Finally, factor in your budget and whether you want a new or used model to come to a decision.
If you’re buying a boat for recreational purposes, chances are you will narrow down your options to some of the most popular boats sold in the U.S. Depending on whether you plan to fish, ski, entertain, or simply cruise, you may find yourself looking at a:
- Bass boat
- Ski boat
- Deck boat
- Personal watercraft (PWC)
There are several other boats to choose from, too, but these top the list among most American boaters.
The size of your boat can make a big difference in the ease of which it is to pilot and transport your watercraft, as well as the amount of fuel you consume and whether you will need to rent specialty storage space. If you plan to entertain a lot, you’ll probably want a larger boat with plenty of seating. Otherwise, you could save money and frustration by purchasing just enough boat to fit your actual needs and preferences.
New vs. Used
Once you’ve determined which type and size boat might be right for you, you’ll need to decide if you want to purchase a new watercraft or a used one. New boats tend to be more reliable, and any mechanical failures that occur in the early months and years of ownership are typically covered under the manufacturer warranty. A used boat, on the other hand, may cost much less than a new boat, but you could spend the difference in repairs and upkeep depending on the age and wear on the boat.
Choose Your Dealer Carefully
There will no doubt be many dealers competing for your attention at the boat show. Before you enter into any type of purchase agreement, take some time to find out where the dealer is located, read some past customer reviews, and find out if the company offers any servicing after the sale.
Don’t Forget about Insurance
In all the excitement of buying a boat, insurance may not be the first thing on your mind – but it should be. Far too many boaters are uninsured or underinsured, leaving them vulnerable to major financial losses in the event of an unexpected accident or loss. Homeowners insurance may offer some very limited protection, but it is generally reserved for very small or low-power watercraft and certain types of loss events.
Here at Heinen Insurance, we can help you get a policy designed specifically for your boat and the risks you face as an owner and operator. We shop and compare rates from multiple boat insurance companies to find competitive premiums on the coverage you need. Look for a policy that has coverage for:
- Property damage liability
- Bodily injury liability
- Passenger injuries
- Your boat
- Special equipment
- Personal property
- Towing and assistance
- And more
For more information or to request your free quote, contact our office today.