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Buying a New or Used Boat: Which is Best?

Should I buy a new boat or a used boat? It’s the ultimate question when it comes to your boat buying journey, and not one that’s easy to answer. There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to new or used, and what’s right for you will depend on many things, from your financial position to your mechanical ability and your taste. In fact, both are always worth considering, even if you had your heart set on one or the other. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of buying new versus used boats to help you make that all important decision. 


Benefits of Buying a New Boat


  • You can get exactly what you want: When buying a new boat you get to choose exactly what you want, from the style and model down to the soft furnishings and the colour of the hull. With a myriad of options available to you for semi-custom tailoring, you can ensure you get the exact boat you’ve dreamed of. You can rig it to suit you, add fishing gear, technology, accessories and more so that the boat suits your primary needs and you don’t need to compromise on anything. 

  • There are no question marks over its condition: With a new boat you never need to worry about its history or condition, how it’s been cared for or whether there are any hidden problems as you’ll be the first owner. That niggling concern of ‘why is this used boat for sale?’ never has to enter your head and you can shop with peace of mind. 

  • You get a warranty: A boat warranty offers incredible peace of mind that if anything mechanical goes wrong the manufacturer is responsible for putting it right. As boat building improves each year, manufacturers are more and more confident in their boats and willing to offer longer and more comprehensive warranties. Servicing for a set number of years may also be included as part of your purchase agreements which will reduce your maintenance costs. 

  • You will have lower maintenance costs: When everything is brand new and covered by a warranty your maintenance costs, especially in the first few years, will be considerably lower than they would be with a used boat. A regular upkeep schedule is the key to ensuring everything stays in tip top condition, but with a new engine, hull and technology there should be very few problems that you will have to pay to rectify. 

  • It will likely be more efficient: Newer boats with the latest technology are likely to be more efficient and environmentally friendly meaning you can be reassured that you are doing your best to preserve the ocean environment you love so much. You’ll also likely be able to save on fuel costs with the help of more efficient technology. 

  • It will have more up-to-date technology: Manufacturers are always updating the technology and gadgets in their boats, especially in the most popular designs and models, so you will be getting a boat kitted out with the very latest gizmos and technology on the market. You’ll be able to customize the technology to suit your needs and budget too. 

  • You will have more financing options: Buying a new boat through a dealer or manufacturer means you’ll likely have more financing options available to you. You’ll enjoy a one-stop-shop experience, with a dedicated broker helping you to arrange financing, customize your boat and be your key contact making the entire boat-buying journey more stream-lined than when you have to arrange it all yourself. It is in their interests to make your purchasing experience a positive one and, as with new cars, they’ll be able to offer the good rates and financing options of a large company.  


Benefits Buying a Used Boat


  • You’ll save money: For the most part, used boats cost less than new boats, and it’s their biggest selling point (the exception here might be a classic or vintage boat). By investing less into the initial purchase price you will either be able to buy a better model boat than you would if buying new, or have more money left to invest into the on-going running costs. Ultimately, a used boat will get you out onto the water for less money, and makes boating more accessible to more people. 

  • You can get a better model for less money: If you have a particular model in mind but it’s out of your budget, looking into the used market might mean you can buy the one you want without having to compromise. Boat model cycles are quite long, much longer than cars for example, and so you could be cruising around in a used boat that cost you far less than a brand new identical one. There is an enormous market for pre-owned boats and excellent platforms to help you find your perfect model. 

  • There isn’t such big depreciation as with a new boat: New boats depreciate by at least 10% in the first year and an estimated six to eight percent every year after that, so when buying a used boat the bulk of the depreciation has already taken place. Buying a used boat that is just a few years old means you’re getting a current model with a much lower price tag as someone else has already taken the depreciation hit. 

  • You get time-tested technologies and extra accessories: There won’t be any new bugs or technology issues to work through with a used boat as you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Time-tested technologies, with plenty of reviews, mean you can read up on other’s experiences and know exactly what you’re buying. It’s also likely that the previous owner will have fitted the boat out with all those extra accessories you’re going to need, from safety equipment to soft furnishings, water toys and additional technology like radios. 

  • You won’t have to wait so long for your boat: The waiting list for new boats since the COVID-19 pandemic is at its longest ever, with manufacturers unable to keep up with demand. While stock is also low in the used boat market, you never know when the perfect boat might just pop up on an online boat selling marketplace such as Rightboat.com or in your local yacht club. Make sure you sign up to receive notifications of new boats that are relevant to you to be first in line to have a look. 

  • You’ll get a detailed marine survey: While big new boats will also need a marine survey for insurance and financing purposes, for the most part marine surveys are usually conducted on used boats. This allows you to get an experienced surveyor of your choosing to go over the boat with a fine toothed comb and answer any questions you might have. It also allows you to come back to the seller and haggle on the price. Another point worth mentioning is the peace of mind that comes with not being the first one to put a slight ding or scratch on a boat!


Whether you choose a new or used boat Rightboat.com has you covered. Search through the hundreds of boats listed on our global marketplace, connect with private sellers and professional brokers and get started on your boat buying journey!


Written By: Rightboat Team

The Rightboat team

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