How to Buy a Boat in the Current Marketplace

With ongoing supply chain challenges and the surge of interest in boating combining to increase boat demand to record levels, buying a boat right now can feel impossible. But we are here to tell you that it’s not. There are thousands of boats for sale in our online marketplace alone. New and used, from dealers and private sellers, too. If you are educated, prepared and ready to commit, you’ll put yourself to the front of the line. Here are a few tips to get you ready to make that dream come true and buy a boat as soon as possible.

Knowing exactly what make or type of boat you want to buy before you start looking helps keep your search focused. IMAGE – someone browsing the site or looking at boats at the yard/dock.

Do Your Homework Beforehand

Research the type and brand of boat you’re interested in first.

In this marketplace, boats are being sold quickly. Many, in fact, the same day they’re put up for sale. If you want to buy a boat soon, get down to research. Our site has plenty of articles that talk about boat types in our Buy a Boat resources section. You can also browse by boat type. Similarly, if you have a specific boat brand or make in mind, browse by boat make and begin tracking some listings. This way you can get a good idea of the price they’re going for, how competitive the marketplace is for that kind of boat, and how many are actually out there for sale. You can register for a free account at Boats For Sale to set up and save searches curated by a variety of filters. The narrower your focus, the easier it will be to monitor boats you’re interested in. When timing is everything, you need to connect with a seller the second a boat comes available. 

Have Your Financing Ready 

Know your budget, and know what you’re qualified to buy.

When you’re buying a boat at Boats For Sale or somewhere else, you should already know what your budget is. You can use our boat loan calculator two ways: start with the monthly payment you’d like to make, or start with the price of a boat you’d like to own. Then, be sure you qualify to buy it. Just like with a home mortgage, you can also get preapproved for boat financing. And we offer boat financing right here at Boats For Sale. Whether you connect with a private boat seller or dealership with a preapproval for a loan, you’ll already be most of the way to sealing the deal. 

Costs of Owning a Boat
Having your financing ready beforehand puts you to the front of the line in a seller’s mind. IMAGE: Someone sitting across from a banker.

Know Your Number

Come prepared with your highest and best offer — after educating yourself on the going prices.

Just like in the real estate market right now, boat buying is a seller’s market. The good thing is, because participation is driving part of this demand, we expect boats to retain their higher values well into the future. That being said, if you’re looking to get on the water ASAP, a lowball offer isn’t going to do it. Use our boats for sale listings, and other resources like the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) Guide for Boats or local marketplaces, to gauge the rates for boats in your budget and preference set. And come to meet the seller with your highest and best offer. They will have offers besides yours come in, so the sooner you give them a fair and competitive number, the better chance you have to be handed the keys. 

Be informed and ready to move when it’s time to buy your boat.

Sure, the boat market is really hot right now. But there are plenty of boats being listed in our marketplace every day. By narrowing your search to easily identify when new boats come on the market in your budget, having your cash or financing ready to go and giving your best offer as soon as you’re sure you’d like to buy a boat, you’ve put yourself in the best position to achieve Instant Boatification.™