Join us and come check out the latest 2018 boat models at the Mobile Boat Show on March 2-4!
Looking to buy a boat? No matter where you are from sea to shining sea, make sure you do your due diligence. It can be the difference between sinking or swimming. So, bring all hands on deck, and get ready to do a little deep sea data diving. Today we’re going to go over what you need to do before you are ready to shop, and once you’re ready, where you should do it. Let’s dive right in. (Last pun, I promise 🙂 )
The first thing to think about when looking to buy a boat is identifying your intended use. Freshwater or Salt? How many passengers? Answer: It’s always more than you think. Start by talking to your friends about their boats. Ask them what they like and don’t like, what they wish they would have done differently. Internet forums are also another good place to read this type of anecdotal evidence.
But if you want to cut through all of that work, you can also attend a boat show. We asked Melissa Miller of Gulf Coast Shows why she believes a boat show is the absolute best place to make your next boat purchase. “There is no other medium in which a buyer can climb aboard and compare multiple boats side by side. Bring a notepad and make a list of your pros and cons right from the back deck! The convenience of having all the dealers in one place saves you a tremendous amount of time.”
You know what type of boat you want. The next step is selecting a dealer. Don’t let the “deal” be your only influencer. Make sure your dealer is attentive and is someone you think is willing to go above and beyond. Service after the sale is something many don’t consider when they are looking to buy a boat, but you’ll want an experienced team to help you when something goes wrong. Sometimes the “cheapest” isn’t the “least expensive.”
Miller says, “At our boat shows, we have dealers from all over the region in attendance. You could never drive and see all of them. Narrow down your search before you go and get face to face with everyone you are considering purchasing from.”
Once you know who will be joining you and where you’ll be taking them, the next thing you need to determine when looking to buy a boat is your budget. If you’re reading this article, you’ve obviously got enough expendable income to make sense of a boat purchase. That doesn’t mean, however, every type of boat you are looking for is in your price range. The good news is there is a boat for just about any budget.
Once you’ve determined what you can afford, it’s time to get the best deal. We asked Melissa, “why do boat shows offer the best opportunity for a buyer to get a great deal?” Melissa said, “Boat shows offer the best pricing of the season due to:
- Show Specials and Incentives
- Show only promotional pricing
- Prior Year model carry over deals
- Aggressive trade-in values
- Dealers in competition to sell as much product as possible.”
The Final Thought
We asked Melissa if everything else is the same, why should someone attend the boat show? “Boating is a recreational activity that is great for the whole family. Why should shopping be any different? At the Mobile Boat Show, there are so many family fun events to see and do. Whether it’s fishing in the trout pond, watching the dogs jump at the Fetch-N-Fish tank, viewing the Underwater Forest documentary, watching the live bass tournament weigh-in, touching live marine animals in the Marine Resource “touch tanks” or participating in Kids Fishing 101, there will be something for you and your family to enjoy.