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Buying a Boat Checklist

YachtSouth, Cruise with us at  yachtsouth.com image Ten Tips While Shopping for a Boat…
1. TAKE YOUR TIME… There are a lot of choices. Allow enough time to explore many different types of boats, and several different brands within each category… This is a big investment that will change your life.
2. DO SOME SOUL SEARCHING. You want to find the right boat for you and your family… Begin by narrowing down your choices. Ask yourself the following questions: What do I want to do with the boat? Where do I want to go boating? Who is going with me, and how many people should the boat carry? Will we be just cruising to get away? Trailering? Overnighting? Entertaining? Fishing? Waterskiing? Will we go to salt water? How much am I willing to spend on boating…not just buying a boat but also the service and maintenance? The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your choices.
2. NEW OR USED? Do I want to only consider new or is pre-owned a better option for me? Narrow your choices to a short list of the type of boat that best suits your needs. Make short lists of features that you require, features that you would like, and features that you want to stay away from. Much like cars or homes, some people prefer buying a boat that no one else has owned. Others feel they can forego the depreciation hit if they look at a pre-owned boat. Yet still, some people want the satisfaction and assurance of a warranty with a new boat. It's up to you...but knowing whether you want new or used when you start your search will lower the confusion level. YachtSouth can help you buy a NEW or PRE-OWNED boat. Either way, you'll have someone working on YOUR side looking out for YOUR best interest in the purchase.
3. GO SHOPPING! Once you have narrowed your category choices down, then the real fun begins. It's time to go shopping. You want to find the right boat and the right representative. Ask similar questions to each person to compare apples to apples. You may not know the exact boat that you want yet, but you know what kind of experience and service that you want to have, so don't be afraid to ask the hard questions.
4. TAKE NOTES. As you look at boats, document everything: Take pictures of the dashboard, the galley, the head. Take notes to remind you later of your likes and dislikes. Involve your family with the decision and listen to their likes and dislikes about each boat. No two boats are exactly the same - but there exists a perfect boat for you and yours.
5. TAKE YOUR TIME There is no correct amount of time that it should take to shop for a boat. For some, one afternoon is all that they need. It takes others several years. The right time for you to buy a boat is when you are ready. Boat shows often display "show specials" to entice you to purchase at the show. Some people feel this can be a play for the impulse buyer so buying when you’re ready is important to be comfortable with your purchase.
6. TAKE A SEA TRIAL. The way a boat handles, and the way it feels on the water is critical to your happiness with that boat. Try to test the boat in the types of conditions where you will be using it. For example…if you plan to make the ‘Great Loop’ compared to just cruising your immediate boating area, your needs are very different in a boat. Keep in mind, you'll need to put down a 10% deposit to show the dealer or owner that you're serious and not just going for boat rides. Give yourself room in the purchase agreement that if the boat isn't what you want, you'll get your deposit back.

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7. GET A SURVEY. Much like an appraisal for a home, having a boat surveyed by a professional can help you know the true value of the boat you’re considering. It’s also a good benefit for you to know the soundness of the boat and engines. As part of the survey, the surveyor will evaluate the bottom of the boat via haul out…a good way to assess bottom paint or structure under the water. Even having a mechanical survey can be a good idea if a full survey is not something you want to do. The SAMS (Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors) website lists surveyors in your area who can give you estimates on pricing for this service…or ask YachtSouth for a current list by state. Many insurance companies and financial institutions require a survey for valuation purposes. Even if your company initially says they do not need a survey, we've had cases 4 months into the purchase that came back and said they DID need a survey. What happens? The agent didn't talk to the underwriter...when it got to his/her desk 4 months later, the survey was not there...and they require it. Just check.
Cost of a survey in the Tennessee Valley area is around $12 to $15 per foot of the boat…with a $7 to $14 charge per foot for the haul out to inspect the bottom. So…a 27 ft. boat would cost around $621.00 total…consider it a small ‘insurance policy’ or little more 'peace of mind' to have a current evaluation by a disinterested 3rd party.

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8. CONSIDER THE COST OF OWNERSHIP. For most, the cost of owning a boat is nothing compared to the benefits derived from owning and using your own boat. Nonetheless, be sure you understand that the cost of owning a boat includes more than just the fiberglass. Things like…
--Financing...what's the interest rate, getting pre-approved for the budget you want to maintain is a VERY good idea. That way, when you find the boat you want, you're approved and ready to act. --Sales Tax...Contact the county in which you plan to register the boat for the applicable sales tax rate…in Alabama, boats are taxed like automobiles… not at retail sales tax rate. --Storage…on land? Dry storage? In-water slip? Check with marinas to make sure it's fees you can live with, a contract you're ok with, and to even know if there's availability --Fuel…rates on the water are usually higher than on the road, call a marina and ask them the price of gasoline or diesel --Insurance...usually $10 per ‘000 paid for a boat… but contact the companies for quotes. Starting with your current company is a good place to start, but marine insurers can often quote better rates because they understand boats better. Ask your representative for names of marine insurers. Keep in mind, this is just a quote...you'll need a binder in order to take possession of the boat. --winterization…if temperatures in your area go below freezing for 3 or more days in a row often, you may want to winterize. Other options include marine bilge heaters that can cost $400 to $700 depending on the size. --repairs and maintenance…can cost anywhere from $50-150/foot annually, depending on how handy you are, how often you use your boat and where you live. Getting a list of the vendors that you would call on for these services can be important to your boat budget. YachtSouth has a list of 'who does what' in the Tennessee Valley...
9. Learning to use your boat. Boating is not difficult, but driving a boat, like anything else, requires skill, patience and obtaining your own comfort level. If you haven’t already, sign up for a virtually free boaters education course from the US Coast Guard or Power Squadron, where you can learn the rules of the road. For on-the-water training, some representatives offer training on how to use your boats. Others leave it up to you to learn. Most likely the only parts that will require practice will be docking, launching and retrieving your boat. The best tip here is just to take it slow and practice…during the week and fall/winter months are great…when boat traffic is light.
When you buy from YachtSouth as part of our sales process…if you want us to…is to help you with driving, parking, locking through…general help with operating the boat.
10. Visualize yourself on the boat you’re considering. That exercise will tell you all you need to know about whether this boat is right for you.
At YachtSouth, we believe water is essential to life. We believe being on the water will make your life happier and less stressed. There’s no better way to ‘get away’ than on a boat. We look forward to earning your trust in the search for your boat.

YachtSouth, Cruise with us at  yachtsouth.com image
9. LEARNING TO OPERATE THE BOAT. Boating is not difficult, but driving a boat, like anything else, requires skill, patience and obtaining your own comfort level. If you haven’t already, sign up for a virtually free boaters education course from the US Coast Guard or Power Squadron, where you can learn the rules of the road. For on-the-water training, some representatives offer training on how to use your boats. Others leave it up to you to learn. Most likely the only parts that will require practice will be docking, launching and retrieving your boat. The best tip here is just to take it slow and practice…during the week and fall/winter months are great…when boat traffic is light.
When you buy from YachtSouth as part of our sales process…if you want us to…is to help you with driving, parking, locking through…general help with operating the boat.
10. Visualize yourself on the boat you’re considering. That exercise will tell you all you need to know about whether this boat is right for you.
At YachtSouth, we believe water is essential to life. We believe being on the water will make your life happier and less stressed. There’s no better way to ‘get away’ than on a boat. We look forward to earning your trust in the search for your boat.

YachtSouth, Cruise with us at  yachtsouth.com image
10. VISUALIZE YOURSELF on the boat you’re considering. That exercise will tell you all you need to know about whether this boat is right for you.
At YachtSouth, we believe water is essential to life. We believe being on the water will make your life happier and less stressed. There’s no better way to ‘get away’ than on a boat. We look forward to earning your trust in the search for your boat.

YachtSouth, Cruise with us at yachtsouth.com

328 N. Pine St
Florence, AL 35630, United States

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