A boat purchase is a substantial expenditure that should be done after a lot of thinking. Any boat owner will be able to tell you a lot about their first acquisition that went awry and how lovely hindsight is. Listen to other people's advice and consider carefully what you want from your boat before you leap in. Ultimately, your goal should be to enjoy your boat and the novel lifestyle it might bring you. When you get it right the first time, the journey is more enjoyable, and you won't look back.

To help you be prepared and make the best choice, we've produced a list of the most typical errors made by first-time boat buyers.

1. Not taking into account the type of boat you will be using

Before looking for a boat, say, a 23 ft boat, sit down and think about how you will use it. Are you planning to cruise on the weekends with it? If so, a cabin and a galley are required. If it is used for day sailing and entertaining family and friends on lakes or coastal waters, pick a model with many decks and a seating area.

2. Choosing the wrong surveyor

Although brokers must disclose all information about a used boat, they frequently do not have all the information, so it is critical to conduct your pre-purchase survey before committing to buy. Ensure the surveyor you select has experience with the type of vessel you wish to purchase.

3. Long-term funding

Boat financing is a great way to stretch the expense of a high-value asset across a number of years. It's alluring to run the figures and extend the low monthly payments for a maritime mortgage over a long period of time. However, boats depreciate, unlike houses, so putting down a 10% deposit and then getting a long-term mortgage is rarely a smart move.

4. Purchasing a new boat as your first boat

If you’re new to boating, it makes more sense to buy a used boat as your first boat rather than a new one. As there is a steep learning curve when sailing. Things are rarely ideal the first time. Significantly, the price will be lower and the depreciation will be less if you sell a used boat in a few years.

5. Buying a boat that's too big

Bigger isn't always better, especially for new boat owners, and buying a boat that's too big for your experience is a common mistake. Be realistic about your abilities. Remember, the larger the boat, the higher the monthly and annual costs. Select something you are completely confident handling.

6. Incorrect budgeting

The initial cost of a boat is only the beginning of its ongoing costs, so you must budget carefully. Include annual expenses such as the marina and berthing fees, maintenance, and insurance. When financing becomes difficult, the enjoyment of a boat is soon gone, and by taking shortcuts and neglecting maintenance plans, your asset will quickly lose value.


To avoid making these mistakes, plan how to use your boat beforehand. Spending most of your time on a small lake requires different equipment than a fishing rig for ocean waters. Consider potential needs in the coming years as well. You can still have fun when selecting a boat if you plan.

Prepare for a summer of water fun with a new boat! But don't let the hype and excitement blind you to the importance of taking careful boat-buying steps. If you avoid these buying blunders, you might have as much fun buying a boat as you do cruising in one.