When considering to buy a new or used boat in Minnesota. Here are some great tips, common pitfalls, and things to think about in the boat purchase process.
We are going to take a quick look at a question we get all the time from our friends and family that are considering buying a new or used boat in Minnesota. “What boat should I buy?” “Why pick that boat over another?” Most important of all: “How do I make sure I am not getting screwed on the boat that I am buying?”
Deciding that you are interested in buying your first boat is really the hardest decision in this whole process. In Minnesota it may come with a few logistics and questions that you may want to sort out before you buy your new boat, to make sure your covered and have a plan. Here is a quick overview of good questions to ask your self and our personal opinion. (Full disclosure, we do offer used boats for sale and broker boats for our customers but in this article I will do my best to not be biased and just flat out tell you that you should call RSI Marine and Motorsports for all of your boating needs in Minnesota…So now that we got that out of the way…)
Ask yourself this first. What kind of boat should I buy?
This seems like the quickest way to determine what kind of boat will fit your needs based on what you intend to do. Obvious ones like selecting a sail boat or bass fishing boat will lead you to the right boat style every time. In that case you can skip down to the next section.
However if you are unsure if a pontoon boat or a power boat will best fit your families needs or your lifestyle, you can ask yourself a few basic questions. Do you like water sports, by that I mean do you want to go water skiing or do you see yourself entertaining friends with light water ski activities or wake boarding? Maybe you have teenage kids that are going to want to go tubing (by the way, there is no shame in tubing for adults too!).
If you are not interested in that, and you are only looking for a nice way to relax on the water. Maybe a pontoon boat will meet your needs and provide you with a great mobile space to entertain friends, relax with the family and get on the water in Minnesota.
Now back to powerboats. You have a ton of choices here, selecting an on-board or out-board motor or hull size are factors you may not be thinking about when your looking through Craigslist for boats for sale. There is nothing worse than under buying a new toy. Getting out on the lakes only to find that this new boat doesnt have that thing you really wanted. So make a quick list. Think about mobility, do you want to bring this up to the cabin or are you going to dock it at home in the summertime?
Do you have a vehicle that can move this boat? Warning! Gratuitous Marketing plug here: Just so you know, RSI Marine and Motorsports offers boat transportation services, when buying a new boat, or moving a boat from 5 feet to 50 feet we can transport it! View our boat transportation services: Boat Transport.
Should I buy a new or used boat? More importantly why should I pick one or the other?
Personally I am not a fan of buying a new boat, but its maybe on the high end of my budget. Buying a new boat comes with some great advantages like warranties, being able to select trim and motor packages that will fit all of your wish list items. Selecting boat interiors, motor size, factory amenities and more are all great advantages to buying a brand new boat.
Buying a used boat in Minnesota is like buying a used car. However on a boat you may not be able to find the imperfections, issues, or possible major expense repairs that are not disclosed when purchasing the boat online. We hate seeing this with new customers that just bought a used boat online to find that it has never had proper maintenance or that the previous owner had a cousin that once spent time on a boat so they bring it to him. (you know who you are…)
So really look it over, research what the boat had for options when it was originally purchased. You can call us too, we have been buying used boats for the past 10 years and we know a thing or two for common problems a boat may have. Our team can answer any questions you may have before you buy at no cost to you. Call it our “Used boat resource hotline for people that do not want to get screwed buying a used boat“. It’s a working title but until we sort that out, feel free to call us at: 952-233-2084
We offer no cost pre-boat purchase inspections. To look your potential new or used boat over and as a unbiased party we can help you make a more informed decision when you buy your next used boat. Even if you are selling your boat, we would be happy to look it over for you, we even buy boats or broker them in some circumstances.
Now that you know what your looking for, lets find a good place to buy it. Minnesota has some great boat dealers and marinas that offer new and used boats. You can always use Craigslist Used Boat Search or boat trader is another common place for people in Minnesota to list their boats for sale: Boat Trader Minnesota. They seem to list a ton of local boat shops boats that are for sale and some private sellers. Another way is local listings or community listings. If you are unable to find what your looking for, or just do not want the hassle of shopping around. We can source boats that meet your wish list for sale here locally. Chances are we have a customer or friend on the lake that is selling the perfect boat for you. We do not charge for that at all, for us its all about connecting you with the right watercraft for you!
We also sell used boats, broker boats for our customers and have a community boat to post your used boat for sale. You can even email it to us and we will list it for you here on our website. We are committed to making boating better for everyone no matter the boat size, type, brand or condition. We can help take the pains out of the process.
Shopping online for a boat? Don’t get cat-fished on a used boat online.
For online dating theres a term called catfished, when you meet the person and they are nothing like they were online. Pictures can be deceiving, make sure you plan to see the boat in person before buying it. You can also see by the photos when you compare them to what they looked like brand new. Google the boats brand and model, then look at the images to compare the boat against what it should look like or what it used to look like.
Now that you feel its the same boat in good condition, ask questions about where they serviced the boat, request a water trial or a survey of the boat especially if you are buying a boat over 30 feet long. Your insurance company may need that anyway to get your boat insured. Check the aftermarket stuff, how old is it? Will it need to be replaced or will it work and is it what you would have chose.
Inspecting the Boat:
How should you inspect a boat before you buy it? Inside and out, there is really nothing worse than buying a lemon boat from someone trying to unload it. Its important to remember everyone is selling a used boat for a reason. If it were their dream boat and in perfect condition they may not be selling it, or maybe they are just looking to upgrade or downgrade. Make sure to ask those kind of questions. Look at the boat visually for damage to the hull, make sure you see the boat out of the water as well as in the water. Since its kind of important to ensure that the boat floats and when its in the water you really are only inspecting half of the boat.
Here are some important questions to ask when you are buying a boat in Minnesota new or used!
What’s included?: This is a random question that gets overlooked way too often! Your excited about the boat and the seller of the boat is thinking about the next boat he is going to buy, which means he or she may be thinking about what they want to keep from this boat for the new one. But wait. The more that they keep, things like life vests, accessories, covers, trailers, and so on; the more that you have to buy post awesome new boat purchase!
Do I like the upgrades on this used boat or do I have bigger visions for making this boat my own?: Like anything else you have a ton of choices, some of these upgrades can be costly and finding a used boat that already has some of the modifications that you like will likely save you a ton of money. The same goes when you are buying a boat with upgrades, it may cost a ton if you are trying to swap those out. For example, the exhaust. Nothings worse than getting that boat to the cabin, putting it into the water and hoping on your quiet lake up north to fire up the boat and find out that it sounds more like a piped rocket ship and every time you start it, half the lake can be heard yelling at you. Or the opposite; everyone is ready to get on your new high performance boat and you find out it sounds more like a prius on the lake or river…
Where was the boat serviced and do you have the records?
Where was the boat stored in the winter? This will help you better understand how well the boat was taken care of and what condition the boats seals, rubber, and other things may be in.
How many people have previously owned this boat?
(We will continue to add some more pre purchase used boat questions here as we think of them. Don’t forget, you can always call our professionals to ask any questions or have your boat inspected before you buy.)
Now that you bought a new boat, congrats by the way and welcome to the waters!