By Aaron Goodchild
With the plethora of boats on the market, it can be overwhelming for boat buyers to choose between all the makes and models of boats on offer. How do you simplify the process of choosing a boat and find the best boat for your needs?
‘What boat should I buy?’ is the most common question I get from boat buyers, whether in the market for a new or used boat. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question, I would be a lot richer!
I say there is no perfect boat, however it is possible to buy the perfect boat for your needs. I always ask a potential buyer, ‘what do you want to do with the boat?’. That’s the most important thing to consider, because this will ensure you actually use the boat and it won’t sit in your shed for months on end.
You need to look at what you will use the boat for at least 80% of the time, not the 20% when you plan an annual fishing trip to the cape.
So with this in mind, consider your purpose of owning a boat. Is it going to be used for fishing (inshore or offshore), cruising (day or overnight) or water sports (wakeboarding, skiing) or a combination of these activities?
Ask yourself what do you want to get out of owning a boat? There is a boat for every purpose and different styles of boats have the hull, interior layout and features designed around these activities. The other important factor to consider is where you plan to use the boat. Are you a freshwater or saltwater fishermen or are you a water sports family who love to spend weekends at Somerset?
For example, a no-fuss tinnie is lightweight and can be used as a car topper or with your caravan. Aluminium tinnies from 3-4 metres are versatile because they can be used in freshwater and inshore and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. But for cruising with the family, you may need a larger fibreglass model from 4-6 metres that offers stability, plenty of seats for the kids and a ski pole. For an offshore fisherman, a larger trailer boat from 5-7 metres, with a cabin or centre console is perfect for handling rough conditions and gives you access around the boat when you’re fishing.
At Brisbane Yamaha we specialise in trailer boats and we have hundreds of models to choose from. Once you’re clear on how you plan to use the boat, you need to decide whether a fibreglass boat or aluminium boat is best suited to this purpose. Also, we always ask potential boat buyers if this is their first boat purchase and their level of experience, as this is important in deciding the size of boat and where it will be used.
Then you will need to think about your budget, how you’re going to pay for the boat and if you’re in the market for a new boat or a pre-loved gem that still has plenty of years left in it. The other consideration is where the boat will be stored, as this will determine the size of the boat and if it is a practical choice for you. The length, width and height of your storage space is a key factor in the size of boat best suited to you.
Below are the key factors to consider when buying a boat:
Purpose – What will you use the boat for (cruising, fishing, water sports etc)?
Budget – How much are you willing to spend, and do you want to finance the boat?
Location – Where will you primarily use the boat (fresh or salt water)?
Storage – Where will you store the boat when not in use?
Experience – What is your boating experience?
Think about these factors, then visit a dealership and look at all the different types of boats. This will save time and money in the long run. It will also help you visualise how you’ll use the boat most of the time. Most importantly, buy the boat that you will use for the majority of the time, not that special once a year trip. That way your boat won’t spend its life in the shed!
The team at Brisbane Yamaha have years of experience in all areas of boating, including the best outboard to purchase. That’s why we say, ‘we know boats’! We try to make the boat buying process as simple as possible so you find the perfect boat for your needs.