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When is the Best Time to Buy a Boat?

In past guides we’ve explored in depth the process of how to buy a boat, from sea trials to marine mortgages and insurance. But the question of when to buy a boat is a very different matter. Truth be told, there is no bad time to buy a boat if it feels like the right time for you and you’re ready to take on the responsibility, but the seasons certainly play their role in the boat buying and selling industry and you’ll discover pros and cons of buying in each one. Here we take a look at the best time to buy a boat. 


Factors to Consider


The current boat buying market is at its most unprecedented, with a huge demand for both new and used boats driving up prices and creating a backlog for new boat deliveries and a lack of stock in the used boat market. In the past, different seasons could have offered opportunities to find discounts or lower prices, but with the current demand that is unlikely. Will boat prices go down in 2022 and 2023? The current trend is pointing towards the answer being no, and manufacturers currently have full order books for many models. So is it a bad time to buy a boat? The answer is no, because there are still opportunities to be had, most specifically in the used boat market. Buyers will need to have everything in place, know what type of boat to buy, and be ready to pounce when the perfect boat pops up for sale. 


When we’re talking about the best time to buy a boat we need to consider several factors before then looking at the best time of the year;


  • Where you live and the boating season in that area.

  • When new boat models are introduced to the market.

  • When you find the ideal boat.

  • Whether you want a new boat or a used model.

  • When the highest demand will be. 

  • When you can get surveys and repairs completed. 


Buying a Boat in Spring and Summer


The sun is shining, the sea is calling and your heart is 100% invested in buying a boat. Spring and summer are what boating is all about, and it’s understandable to get that urge to make the jump into boat ownership then. But in most parts of the world, the summer months of July and August are generally considered the worst months to buy a boat. When demand is high, prices sky rocket and even in this current high-demand climate, there are still peaks. The chance of finding an available boat for sale diminishes too, especially with new boats, as any stock that might have been left after the winter and spring flies out of the doors. The used boat market too is in its highest demand, and prices will be at their highest.


Another factor to consider when considering buying a boat in the summer is that any professionals you might need may have less availability. Any repair work could be harder to arrange as mechanics, engineers, shipyards, marine surveyors or sailmakers are busier or on holiday. Spring is more favourable as the peak of demand hasn’t quite hit, but you risk not having enough time to get shipshape before the summer arrives. If you’re buying a turn-key used boat and you’re lucky enough to find the perfect boat then there is nothing stopping you from buying just in time for summer. 


Buying a Boat in Autumn and Winter


Autumn usually marks the end of the summer boating season, and with it comes the copious amounts of boat shows which run through into the winter season. Where in the past demand would have dropped at this time, and new boat discounts could be found, these days that’s unlikely. What you will find however, is manufacturers revealing their very latest models at boat shows. So not only do you have the chance to get on the list for the very latest boats to hit the market, but the knock on effect will mean that other boat owners will upgrade and therefore the used market will see a rise in the number of boats available. This is a good time to get searching, with plenty of time over the winter and spring to get everything ready, take your time, complete a refit and get to know your boat. 


When to Buy a New Boat


For those in the market for the very latest models of boats then the autumn and winter months are the best time. As we’ve seen, the boat shows are where the new launches are revealed to great anticipation from the boating industry. Whether you’re looking for a skiff or Jon boat, a weekend motor cruiser or a large superyacht, then head on down to some of the regional or international boat shows and spend a few days talking to the boat dealers, getting all the spec and comparing the models up close. You’ll be in for a long wait for some models, especially if you’re looking to customise from the base model, but you’ll have a delivery date and know when to expect your dream boat. 


When to Buy a Second Hand Boat


Buying a used boat gives you somewhat more flexibility, although the same seasonal demands are still very relevant. It’s important to keep a regular look out in the used boat market, as you never know when the perfect boat will pop up. Use online marketplaces such as Rightboat.com to enter your specific search parameters and enter your contact details to be alerted to new boats which get listed. Buying a used boat in autumn or winter gives you that extra time to get everything ready for the boating high season. 


Buy When it Feels Right


With all the best planning in the world, you never know when the perfect boat will pop up and ultimately, if it feels right then go for it! Boating is a leisure activity, and even the buying process should be an enjoyable one. Of course it’s a major investment and you want to get it right, but if you’ve done your homework, know what you want, can afford the asking price and subsequent upkeep and your heart is telling you to go for it, then the right time to buy a boat is right now. 

Rightboat.com is one of the largest online boat buying marketplaces in the world with hundreds of new and used boats for sale all over the world. With intuitive search tools, helpful customer support and the chance to peruse photographs, plans and specifications from the comfort of your home, we’ll make sure you’re at the front of the line for the perfect boat. 


Written By: Rightboat Team

The Rightboat team

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