Learn what to consider in your decision.
Buying a new boat, rather than a used boat, may assure you of fewer problems and also usually gives you some type of manufacturer's warranty. But boats generally depreciate much faster than automobiles (which is very fast), and some boat owners tend to give up boating quickly, thus sending some nice, lightly used boats to market at fire-sale prices.
That's why used boats, bought the StreetWise way, may be a very smart buy: you've let the other person pay for the depreciation.
Unlike new boats, the wholesale and retail values of a used boat are more easily determined. We'll give you links to help you with that. But we can't help you find the "dealer cost" of new boats. So far, no one has published a reliable new boat invoice guide.
Want to take a break and daydream a bit? Here are some sites that will let you look at literally thousands of boats, new and used. You can also search most of these sites for specific boats by model and make, new or used. A little "window shopping" can help you identify boat makes and models that interest you and generally fit your budget. Caution: All these sites sell boats, so remember you are just browsing right now.
Make a note of the makes and models that seem to meet your needs. Note if those in your approximate price range are new or used. Then go to the next step checking out their record of safety and reliable performance.
boattrader.com allows you to search for boats by condition, boat type, manufacturer, size and location. The site also offers a new and used model showcase that features selected manufacturers.
iboats.com has classified ads for new and used boats. Each listing typically provides a photograph, basic description of the boat, and asking price. Ads can be grouped by type of boat or manufacturer.
boats.com allows you to search classified ads for new and used boats by boat type, price range, manufacturer and location.
Boat Manufacturers Websites listed by the Recreational Boat Building Industry lets you look at individual new power boat lines. Sites are grouped by type of boat.