Three Top Tips for Buying a Boat on a Budget

By Allison Krauser, Marketing & Social Media Specialist at Supra Boats 
So you’ve decided you want to own a boat, congratulations! While this is an exciting time, it can also be a little daunting. However, with some planning and straightforward advice, you can be a captain in no time. With budgets in mind, here are our three best tips for buying a boat. Let’s dive in.  

1. Do your research

When considering the prospect of buying a new boat, you need to decide its true purpose. We recommend immersing yourself in as much boat and sailing content as possible. In this instance, knowledge is power. To make a sensible decision, you should read as many articles as possible on the pros and cons of specific boats and watch plenty of videos for advice and insiders top tips. The more you know, the better.  

Once you’ve researched and narrowed down your search, you can look into chartering a boat or discover local demo days. During this part of your research, you can get an authentic feel for what you like and don’t. This is also the time to reach out and speak to boat owners, whom you can find through official boat clubs and resources like Being able to pick a boat owner’s brain can give you essential insider knowledge. 

2. Stick to your budget 

With a brand new 20-foot boat costing anywhere between $40,000-$70,000, the second-hand boat market is a fantastic place to look for your first boat. Although you may not find exactly what you were looking for, you could come across a hidden gem. 

Also, when browsing the new and latest model boats, it’s easy to be tempted by an advanced boat with all the (expensive) bells and whistles that, as a first-time boat owner, you really don’t need. 

One important point to remember in your budget is don’t forget about mooring costs. The mooring price will depend on your boat’s size and where you want to dock it. This cost can vary dramatically—research where you want to moor and factor that into your budget. 

3. Consider chartering your boat 

If you don’t plan on using your new boat all year round, then chartering it could be a brilliant and financially savvy idea. Thanks to the pandemic, the popularity of staycations has gone through the roof, with many people still enjoying the thought of being socially distanced and escaping the masses on land. 

If this idea floats your boat, find yourself an agency and they will do all the hard work for you, like finding you clients and a skipper. The agency typically takes a 10-20% cut, so why not make your boat earn its keep?   

With so many options on the market, you mustn’t rush into a decision; nobody wants to be left with an expensive mistake. By making some wise choices and maybe with a bit of bartering, you’ll soon be cruising the waterways in your very own vessel. 

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