When is Best Time to Buy a Boat? Tips For Finding a Deal
Chris Riley Updated on January 19, 2021. In Boatsby
Buying a boat is an exciting experience, because you get access to an awesome new hobby that opens up an entire new part of the world for you to explore. But, like with any purchase decision, there are ways to do it right! In this article, we’re looking at the best time to buy a boat. And there is a lot more to consider than just the price tag.
Is There a “Best” Time to Buy a Boat?
Before we get started with this article, we need to clarify the original question. What do we even mean by the best time to buy a boat? Simply put, the best time to buy a boat really just means your ideal time to buy a boat. And that will be influenced by a multitude of factors, aside from just the price of the boat!
Because the fact is that there are a lot more factors to consider in buying a boat than just price. You also have to consider which boats are available, what the boat market looks like, how many used vs. new boats are available, whether there are any trade shows scheduled, what financing options are offered, and much more.
It’s a lot to consider, but we want to simplify it for you. So we’ll start by looking at the main differentiating factors associated with boat buying at different times of year:
It goes without saying that Spring and Summer are very popular times for boat buying. This is because you can buy your new boat and hit the water right away! After all, who doesn’t want to use their new toys immediately?
So in terms of sheer convenience and entertainment value, Spring and Summer might be the best time to buy a new boat.
But do keep in mind that great minds think alike, and boat dealerships tend to be quite packed in the early Spring. So much so that you might find yourself on a wait list. Additionally, boat dealerships know that it’s a seller’s market, so don’t expect any great deals in Early Spring or Summer.
How about buying a boat right after boating season. And hey, if you don’t mind the slight nip in the air, then Fall is still a great time for boating!
Either way, buying a product in its “off-season” often leads to the biggest deals, and boats are no exception. Dealerships know that the Fall is their slow season, so they provide discounts and financial incentives to get you in the door. If you’re looking for bang for your buck, then consider buying a boat in the Fall. Check out dealerships in your area to see which offer the best deals.
Winter is when most people start to get the boating season on their mind. Boat manufacturers know this, which is why most popular manufacturers release their new line-ups in the winter. So if you’re looking for the hottest new models on the market, Winter is a great time to look.
In fact, most boating trade shows are held in the Winter, which are basically large conventions where you can compare all the newest models. You can sometimes even score some great deals at these boat shows.
And even though winter isn’t usually considered a great time for boating, that Spring thaw is just around the corner!
Tips for Boat Buying
Now that we’ve examined the differences in boat buying as it relates to the Seasons, let’s look at some more general advice for buying a boat.
As we examined above, boat buying is all about timing. Take a look through each time of year, and decide which benefits most align with what you want out of a boat. Whether you want the best deal, or the hottest new boat technology, each season offers distinct advantages. Generally speaking, the further from the start of “boat season” you buy, the better the deal!
Check out regional boat shows
As we touched on above, boat shows can be a great opportunity to buy a new boat. Boat shows are filled with different vendors that are forced to compete with each other, which often results in a lower price for you. They’re also a great opportunity to compare all the newest boats and boat technology in one place, which gives you a better chance to figure out what you want.
Shop local but take your time
There’s no need to go too far out of your way to buy a new boat. There are likely several dealers in your area. Consider buying local so you can actually go and test the boat out yourself (ice-permitting). This also gives you the opportunity to visit several dealerships to compare prices and put your haggling skills to the test!
Should you finance your boat?
Finally, you might be wondering whether you should finance your boat. This is a decision that rests primarily on your personal budgetary and financial concerns. It also depends on the terms you can secure for financing. We recommend you shop around, and try to look for a fair financing plan. Of course, financing is generally going to be more expensive in total, but has the benefit of spreading your payments over a longer area of time.
Thanks for checking out our guide to boat buying! As you can see, the “best” time to buy a boat is a very loaded question! It depends wholly on what you are looking for, and where your priorities are at. That being said, we believe we have given you all the resources you need to make your decision!
Consider all the factors we mentioned above, and we are confident that you can buy the best boat at the ideal time!