Boat Insurance Magazine

When is the Best Time to Buy a Boat?

When deciding to buy a boat, there are many factors to consider. One factor which is of utmost importance is when you choose to buy. The time of year has the potential to affect your buying experience, whether that is due to better price deals or better potential for getting your boat straight out on the water.

Buying a Boat by Season

Buying a Boat in Spring and Summer

The spring and summer months are often considered the worst times to invest in a boat due to the high demand. These months are considered to be ‘boating season’ and, as such, demand and prices tend to be higher. On a logistical level, this could mean a longer turnaround time as dealerships are often inundated with business in these months.

Yet, that being said, there is a reason people are flocking to buy their boats during these months. Buying a boat in the spring gives you time to get ready for boating season meaning that you are able to enjoy all your boat has to offer and get out on the water as early as possible.

Buying a Boat in Autumn

It is a classic law of economics that as demand falls so too do prices. As we enter autumn, the demand for boat buying is far lower meaning that many manufacturers choose to offer discounted prices. These discounts tend to especially be around September and October. Whether you are looking for a brand new boat, or a pre-loved model, you can find some of the best prices during these months thanks to discounts and price cuts.

Whilst buying in the autumn means that you miss boating season, it also means that you have plenty of time to prepare for the coming year. This means that this is valuable time for ensuring your boat is fully equipped with all the essential boating accessories and equipment.

Buying a Boat in Winter

Winter is known in the boating world as ‘boat show season’. Boat shows are the most anticipated events for boat lovers, bringing together a global selection of boat models from the world’s most popular boat manufacturers. Spectators are able to enjoy and explore a range of models of varying size, styles and price tags. Here, exhibitors are able to display their latest models, allowing the buyers to compare and contrast different boats, all in one place.

The so-called “boat show season” typically runs between January and March. It is a great opportunity to buy a boat as you are able to fully assess and compare which is the correct model for you. Also, the high competition means that this is a good place to seek out deals and discounts.

Factors to Consider

Where you live

Depending on location, this can affect the best time to buy a boat. Boating seasons, although typically in summer, vary from location to location depending on the local climate. As such, when considering where to buy, think about the boating season of your area to decide what might be the month with the highest demand and, consequently, the highest prices.

When New Boat Models are introduced

Much like the latest iPhone, if you are in the market for a boat, the lead-up to a new model could affect prices. The more models that are released, the less valuable the  older models become. As a new model is released, the models which came before it may be selling at a lower price than before. Many manufacturers announce their new models in the late summer or early autumn, making them accessible to the public during the winter boat shows.

Buyer’s Market

Buying a boat in a period of lower demand may be the most cost-effective way to shop, especially if you are unconcerned about the time of year or the latest model on the market. A ‘buyer’s market’ refers to when it is a slow time for business at dealerships and they want to offload the older models before the latest models start to become available. This is the best time to find a discount and also may mean that the dealers themselves are more attentive and more open to negotiation.

Local Boat Shows

As previously mentioned, there is a lot to be said about buying a boat at a boat show. These shows give you the opportunity to fully explore the possibilities available and allow you to compare and contrast. Looking up your local boat shows is a convenient way to assess the best boat for you close to home.

Dealer and Manufacturer Incentives

Depending on the dealer and where they are located, the timings of price incentives, discounts and deals may vary. This, again, will depend on the area’s “off-season” for boating, boating season, and whether they are close to launching a new model.

Am I Ready to Buy a Boat?

Buying a boat is a big investment so the first thing to consider is whether you are 100% ready to purchase. Before rushing into buying a boat, it is crucial to do your research and decide exactly what you are looking for, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Find out about prices, dependent on different models, dealerships, and time of year. That way you know that when you find the right boat, you are making the right decision.