1. Call Ahead
This is a big one! Make sure the boat (or boats) you’re interested in are readily available for you to take a look at by setting up a showing appointment. Most of the time boats will be shrink wrapped for the winter. This shouldn’t be a problem. If you make an appointment ahead of time the dealership that you’re working with can make sure that there is easy access to the interior. Some might even be able to bring the boat inside if they’re given enough notice.
2. Know Your Budget
This one seems like a no brainer but you might need to consider your approach. In the winter months most boats are priced the lowest they’ll be for the rest of the year. That means that they DO NOT last long. If you’ve done your homework on what you can afford and come ready with a down-payment you can make sure to secure the new or used boat you want before someone else gets it.
3. Make it Contingent on a Sea Trial
The sea trial is arguably the most important part of buying a boat – regardless of whether it’s new or used. If you can wait to take the boat home until spring this is the way to go. The sea trial is the time for you to find out if the equipment that you’re paying for actually works and have someone show you how to confidently use it. Buying in winter should NOT mean that you don’t get the same sea trial as someone else during warmer months. No boat dealer should have any issues making the sale contingent on a sea trial in the spring. *P.S. Make sure it’s written directly on the purchase contract*