Every Summer hundreds of thousands of people flock to the beach for fun in the sun and water. While enjoying the outdoors and playing in the surf can be fun, it pales in comparison to the fun you can have on your own boat. From fishing for the big one to waterskiing to cruising to far-off destinations, boat ownership opens up a world of possibilities. Yes, it’s true that boats cost quite a bit of money and certainly don’t appreciate in value. What boating does offer is a way to re-connect with your family and friends away from electronics and create memories that will last a life time. If you have never owned a boat before, consider these steps to helping you through the process.
Find Your Local, Free Boating Classes
Spending a little time on Google can yield a variety of free classes offered by the Coast Guard or Boating Squadron. Not only will they go over the navigational rules, signs, and laws, but they will offer additional resources for you to refer back to later. Understanding the boating safety guidelines can make a world of difference not only in your confidence, but making sure you are prepared just in case something happens while on the water.
Attend A Boat Show
No matter what state you’re in or the season, there is always a local boat show in the near future. Boat Shows bring together a collection of different types of boats from center-consoles to pontoon boats to cruising boats, to motor yachts. Boat shows can be an excellent opportunity to really figure out what type of boat or yacht you want. How do you plan on using it? Will you be in the ocean or a lake? Will you be just using it during the day or will you plan overnight trips? Is going fast more important or is fuel efficiency a priority. Boat shows offer a place to learn about the different types of boats on the market and how they are used.
While the regional boat shows will often have 50-100 boats available, the major Florida shows display every type of boat and yacht on the planet. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show runs at the beginning of November each year and has over 1,000 boats on display and all different price ranges. You can hop on board an 18-foot fishing boat or tour a 200-foot mega yacht with its own helicopter pad. It is considered the largest boat show in the world. After Fort Lauderdale, the next largest U.S.-based shows are either the Miami Boat show or the Palm Beach Boat Show.
Try Renting Or Chartering A Boat
If a small boat like a center-console is on your radar, try going to your local boat rental company. Renting a boat is a great way for anyone to learn to drive it, enjoy the day on the water, and not incur any major costs associated with boat ownership. You don’t even have to wash it at the end of the day. If a larger Sportfishing Yacht or Motor Yacht is on your short list, contact your local yacht charter director. Chartering a yacht is often done by the week, but there are opportunities for day charters. Yacht Charters generally consist of a captain and crew, but it can be an excellent opportunity to experience the life of a yacht owner.
Employ A Yacht Broker To Help With The Process
If you are looking to purchase your first boat, finding a reputable, professional yacht broker can make a world of difference. Whether you are looking to buy a pre-owned boat or yacht on the brokerage market or buy a new one from the manufacturer, hiring a broker to work on your behalf can save you time, money, and heartache. Professional Yacht Brokers know the market, the quality and reputation of each brand, and can steer you away from potentially problematic situations. And the best part is their services are completely free for the buyer. Yacht brokers are generally paid by the seller or new boat manufacturer a commission when the deal is complete.
It’s Time To Accessorize
Once the process of taking ownership of your new boat or yacht is over, it’s time to start having some fun. Spending a few minutes online can help you find reasonably priced boating safety equipment like whistles, flares, life jackets, and more. Investing in some navigational electronics or a fish-finder can really enhance your boating experience.