A Complete Guide to the Sailboat Buying Process

If you’re in the market for a new boat, now is a great time to invest. With summer right around the corner, there’s going to be plenty of time to take advantage of beautiful weather on the waterway of your choice. Much like the car-buying process, a boat purchase can be stressful, which is why we’ve created this simple how-to guide. In addition, protect your new investment with a comprehensive Boat Insurance policy.

Take your time.

It’s easy to fall in love with a lot of boats upon first inspection. However, be sure to take your time, evaluate costs of ownership, and determine whether the boat is priced right before buying. You can visit sites such as YachtWorld to get a good estimate on what you should be paying for each type of sailboat.

Get a survey.

Get a survey of your desired sailboat before signing on the dotted line. According to Thought Co., consider the following:

  • Use an accredited marine surveyor who is a member of SAMS, ACMS, or NAMS and who specializes in sailboats.
  • If necessary, get a separate survey of the engine of a larger sailboat. A missed engine problem could cost you many thousands later on.
  • On an older boat, the hull can only be surveyed out of the water. Don’t try to scrimp here – have the boat pulled out even if it costs you.
  • Remember: unless you’ve had lots of training, you’ll likely miss problems, possibly very expensive ones, if you forego a survey.
  • Negotiate price after the survey findings come back.

Take it for a sea trial.

You don’t know how the boat moves and handles without taking it for a spin. Just like you would test drive a car, take your sail boat for a sea trial. Test out how easy it is to raise the sails, control the helm, and give all systems on board a try.

Listen to your instincts.

Once you’ve taken the boat out for a spin, done your research, and slept on it, determine how you feel about buying it. If it doesn’t feel perfect for you, don’t go through with it. Instead, listen to your gut- it won’t steer you in the wrong direction. If you’re not sure, start researching some different models.

Consider time of year.

With a larger boat, as the end of the season approaches, the owner will save the cost of winterizing and storage if you buy now – so you should ask for a lower price because you’ll be paying these costs yourself. At the beginning of the season, the owner is likely more optimistic about finding a buyer and may be less open to negotiating, explains the article.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts, and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.

3 comments on “A Complete Guide to the Sailboat Buying Process

  • My wife and I are wanting to get a new boat to take on the lake next year, but we aren’t sure where to start. I like that you suggest taking the boat for a trial run just like you would test our a car. This would no doubt help me find out if the boat is big enough and easy to operate. Thanks for the tips!

  • Jeremy Thompson says:

    I was looking into purchasing a new boat as my son and I are really getting into fishing nowadays. That is why learning that you can test ride a boat the same way you can test drive a car is something that will be very helpful. It should give us the feel whether the boat shall be right for us or not. Having the best boat for us will be essential as it’s our very first boat after all. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>