‘Tis the season for boat shows. Whether you are a novice looking to get your feet wet or a veteran boater actively on the hunt for your next watercraft, visiting a boat show or two can help you learn more about the unique features available on the latest models. In this post, we’ll offer up our tips for choosing a boat, purchasing your boat, and protecting your boat for years to come.
Choosing a Boat
If you are new to boating, the sheer number of options on the market can be an overwhelming prospect. When you are spending tens of thousands of dollars on a watercraft, you want to feel confident you are making the right decision. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How often will I use my boat?
- What is the primary purpose I will use my boat?
- How many people will I need seating for?
- Where will I store my boat?
- How confident do I feel in my ability to pilot a boat?
- What is my budget, both now and for ongoing maintenance costs?
The answers to these questions can help you begin your research and narrow down your options to vessels that may better suit your needs.
With more than 100 different types of boats on the market, there is a watercraft for everyone. If you are an angler, a bass boat can be an effective freshwater fishing platform with its quiet motor and live wells. If you need to carry several passengers, consider a deck boat or a pontoon. If water sports are your thing, consider a ski boat or a personal watercraft.
Boats come in many different sizes, regardless of the type of watercraft you choose. For example, personal watercraft can seat between one and three people, deck boats may carry as many as 12, and pontoons can carry as many as 13 or more. Of course, the bigger capacity of a large boat comes with disadvantages. Not only do they require greater skill for maneuverability, but they are also more expensive to fuel and more difficult to transport. Also, a large boat may not fit in a standard garage, which may require you to find an alternative storage solution.
Used vs. New
As with car purchases, you can save money when you buy a used boat versus a new one. However, the savings on the price of the boat could easily be lost to maintenance and repairs, ultimately making it more expensive than if you had bought a boat brand new. When comparing your options, consider that new boats often come with warranties and dealer benefits that significantly reduce your out-of-pocket maintenance costs. If cost is still an issue, talk to boat show dealers about any remaining stock from last year that may be discounted for a quick sale. You’ll save money on the purchase price while still getting the benefits of buying brand new.
After you’ve purchased your boat, we here at Ellis Insurance will be here to help you get a boat insurance policy that matches your needs and risks. Unlike homeowners policies, which only cover small and low-power vessels against certain limited types of losses, a boat insurance policy can provide:
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Property damage liability coverage
- Physical damages coverage
- Special equipment coverage
- Medical payments coverage
- Personal property coverage
- And more
For more information about Wisconsin boat insurance and how the team here at Ellis Insurance can help you save, contact our office to request your free quote today.