December 7, 2022

Buying a Good Pontoon Boat

Boating remains a popular sport among many adult Americans, and these boats can be found in a variety of sizes, shapes, purpose, and price. Anyone who’s an enthusiast for water activity such as fishing or a floating picnic can find premier pontoons for sale, and a pontoon boat, if a good buy, can be a very practical and comfortable way to get around on any lake. Sometimes, a customer will want to buy a new pontoon boat to find the latest models, and pontoon dealers are bound to have the newest models on site. Other buyers may instead be on the lookout for a used pontoon boat, and while there are some potential problems to look out for in a used pontoon boat, a used pontoon boat can result in great savings when buying a desirable boat. How often to Americans go boating, and what should a pontoon boat user keep in mind?

Boating Today

Boats owned by U.S. households are often manufactured natively, at a rate of 95%, and many households are boating enthusiasts. As of 2016, for a recent example, nearly 11.9 million registered boats existed in the United States, and more and more younger buyers are looking to get into boating as well, ensuring further growth of boating. In that same year, many Americans went boating: 141.6 million. Some of them were owners of boats, while others were guests on board a boat, such as friends and family, and some others simply rented a local boat for an outing on the water. This represents a recent increase; recreational marine sales rose 3.5% from 2015 to 2016 to reach a total of $36 billion. This includes 981,600 pre-owned boats being sold across the United States. Someone looking to get into boating will have to bear some things in mind when choosing whether to buy new or used to find the best deal.

Making the Purchase

Buying a boat has some overlap with buying a car: in both cases, a vehicle can be purchased either new or used, and there are distinct advantages and disadvantages of each route. Someone looking to buy a new boat can enjoy the vehicle’s lack of maintenance issues, and its up to date hardware for safety, power, and comfort, and this vehicle will also have its warranty in place in case anything should go wrong. Newer boats may also be the most trendy and stylish among all boats, and a purchaser may use financing options to get a good loan and buy a boat.

Buying a used boat involves other complications, but if a good used boat is found, a buyer can acquire a great vehicle at a very discounted price. What should be kept in mind? In nearly every case, for one thing, a used boat will not have its warranty anymore, so buyers should be prepared for that. A used boat may not quite have modern standards of power, safety, or comfort, but a fairly recent model in good shape can be nearly as good as a new boat if the buyer finds what they want.

Maintenance is likely to be the biggest issue when looking for a used pontoon boat on the secondary market. A used boat may be worn out, such as faded or peeling paint, or worn out boating carpet or a tattered awning. A used boat may also have barnacles or zebra mussels from the exchange of ballast water, so a used boat buyer should check for those to prevent causing environmental harm to a lake. A used pontoon boat may also have cracks or holes in its hull, some of its electronic components may be worn out or fried, and the motor may have issues. The potential buyer should look over a used pontoon boat in person to find any maintenance issues, and also take the boat for a test drive to check its power. If the engine makes stands sounds, stalls, or vibrates too much or gives off smoke, these can be warning signs. A used boat that has maintenance or upkeep issues should have the costs of such repairs factored into its price, so the buyer can see if they are still getting a good deal, or if the total repairs will drive the price far higher.

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