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Should you buy a boat? Pros and Cons

Moving from “Boating” to “Owning”? Let’s Weigh the Pros and Cons

First-time boat owners can be any age, but the sooner individuals get into boating, the larger its lifetime value will be, says National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Senior Vice President Carl Blackwell.

Blackwell was among the many individuals and organizations championing the benefits of moving boaters from “boating” to “owning.” He says first-time buyers will determine the size of the boating industry in the future, and it’s essential to find ways to keep them.

Today’s boat enthusiasts do not need more persuading, or so it seems. According to a report by Statistical Surveys published on Trade Only Today, recreational boat ownership has been on the rise since the end of the Great Recession. The organization looked into boat sales in 27 states, including Florida, and found that the number of boats sold industry-wide rose by about 5% in 2016.

If you are looking to buy your first boat, we list down here the following pros and cons to consider.

Let’s start with the pros.

Boating is no longer a leisure activity reserved for the affluent. The NMMA notes, for instance, that about 72% of boat owners in the country have household incomes of $100,000 and below. It also appears that financing is not anymore an impediment to boat purchases. Citigroup analyst Gregory Badishkanian says that lenders are likely to require a 15-25% down payment, which isn’t a major issue for dealers.

For frugal boaters, there are now more options in the market for used-but-still-relatively-new units. In fact, Americans bought about 955,300 used boats in 2013. Pre-owned boats are far less expensive, as boat depreciation is at its highest within the first season of use. Professionals advice, however, to have the unit checked by a professional before sealing the deal, to determine its value.

Of course, the most obvious pro to boating that is still worth mentioning is the many types of boats available on the market depending on the activities you enjoy doing. The NMMA listed fishing as the top activity boaters enjoy, while tubing and water skiing came next. Other boaters who grew up near a lake and enjoyed boating as a child, meanwhile, reported a desire to recreate their childhood memories and passing these on to their kids.

Now, let’s talk about the cons.

For those who live far from docks and home port marinas, boat storage can be a setback. Some people store their boat on trucks and trailers, but storage and transfer of bigger boats may require permits and help from professionals.

If you are a busy individual, moreover, there is a huge possibility that your boat may remain unused. Even if you’re merely 45 minutes away from a lake, you might not be able to use your boat as often as someone who lives 10 minutes away from a few different lakes. If you live in one of the homes in VeronaWalk in Naples, Florida, for instance, you might be able to enjoy boating more compared with others who live in the middle of the city.

A boat might not be a purchase most people would consider in a whim, but it is a rewarding investment, considering the joy and fun memories it can bring. You do, however, want a sensible investment for your hard-earned cash. Choose a boat that you can afford to buy as well as maintain.