Buying a Boat: 6 things you should know before

A boat is wind of freedom, it’s a sincere friend.
It is an important step and for many people it is the crowning of the dream of a lifetime.
However there are information that are important to know before the purchase.
Let’s try to clarify.

The reasons for the purchase of a boat

The reasons for the purchase of a boat can be numerous.
They are born from an emotional drive dictated by the desire to do a great experience of live, by the desire to widen one’s horizons and to practice water sports and hobbies.
These are different reasons, but with only one aim: have the joy of going by sea, every time you can.
It is an object that satisfies our pleasure, not a necessity; hence it is a choice that puts in comparison emotions and reason in a deep way. Hence, let’s try to focus on the points to have always in mind if you are starting your life as sailor or if you are going to buy a new boat.

What will you find in this article?

Buy a new or a second-hand boat?

If you are asking yourself this question, probably you have not yet started your search and you are informing about what should be and about the purchase of a motor pleasure vessel or boat can impact on your budget.

What is the difference between vessel and boat?
It is defined vessel if its length is not over 10mt, boat if its length is over 10mt.
A new boat is just like a new car: it will be difficult to find defects or problems – at least in the first years of life and – in case here are any – they will be covered by guarantee.In Italy there are lots of shipyards, like Sessa Marine or Capelli, able to propose you the right solutions for your needs, proposing several possibilities.
Instead, a second-hand boat is a more difficult choice, above all if it is your first boat. It’s useless to dance around: it’s above all a matter of costs. Not only. Who in life chooses to buy a boat has to know that there will soon be the desire of another one, similar or different, it depends on how much the purchase of the first boat has been pondered. It’s just like a house: you never stop searching for the “perfect” one.

If you want to evaluate a second-hand boat, you have to consider the help of an expert nautical advisor, a figure that can help you in understanding the real state of the boat you wish to buy, the extent of the works for the adjustments and even necessary, and any little visible defects that should become an unwanted cost after the purchase.
Usually, the advisor analyses the state of the shell with devices able to make a kind of “x-ray” analysis to the material in order to verify the conditions in all its parts, a more scientific approach to the opinion of the seller or of the glimpse given by a friend who has owned a boat from a long time. Do not renounce to the evaluation: it should seem to be an accessory cost, but it is an excellent investment having a real value.
You can contact our commercial expert to receive all the information as for the boat. He will surely guide you towards the best choices.

Which are the costs?

Always as for costs, a common mistake is to underestimate the budget at one’s disposal only in function of the purchase of the boat. There are other costs to take into consideration and that are functional to the keeping and the good functioning of the boat. Here you can find a short list:

  • Initial equipment of maintenance of the equipment
  • Fuel and sailing
  • Cost of the boat dock (mooring)
  • Routine and extraordinary maintenance
  • Insurance

It is impossible to give a precise idea of the calculation of these costs, because they are strongly determined by the dimension, the type of boat and by the use. If you are going to buy your first boat and you would like to know its yearly cost, it is better to take into consideration the type of boat you will choose, your sailing programme and the place where you live and you will store it. In this way, you will have a more precise idea of the result. Let’s go by order.

Mooring and storing: what are they and how much do they cost?

Mooring is fundamental when one decides to purchase a boat. As a matter of fact, the choice can be pivotal for the total cost, the use you do of the boat, the frequency of use, up to the easiness of movement.

The berth can be rented or purchased. Please evaluate both solutions.
But there is also a third solution you can be interested to. Very convenient solutions that can make you save a lot of money, the rental of a place in a dry dock.
You can choose a trainable boat to haul by car and take at sea whenever you want.
That said, the cost of the boat dock depends on the place you wish to moor your boat. You can choose a further marina because it is cheaper. But this should mean less possibilities of leisure during the year. Then, there are particular needs that must be considered: the presence of children or disabled people in the family obliges you to choose a mooring equipped for the needs of each one.

At the same time please remember to evaluate also the costs of electricity and tap water that are not always included in the prices that are proposed. Secondly, please verify also the average conditions of the port where you have chosen to moor; ask for information about the seabed, the average intensity of wind, the possible undertow of the port and about the conditions of marine currents.

Maintenance: when to do it?

Among the annual expenses to consider when you decide to purchase a boat, those for maintenance can be considered as the most important ones.
You can reasonably think about more interventions on an old boat, towards those that are necessary for a new one, but anyway there should be the need of a lot of care to try to avoid that the time that passes, salt and weather can damage the shell, the equipment and the motor, which are the parts that must be periodically and carefully maintained.

If you want to try to make an economic plan of the maintenance expenses for the boat to consider, you can refer to those annual items of expenditure (or a bit more):

  • check of the motor, set-up and change of oil and filters;
  • substitution of the sacrificial anodes that help to keep intact the “noble” metallic parts of the boat and of the motor;
  • deep cleaning and application of the antifouling paint on the shell;
  • supply of products for cleaning and polishing;
  • every two years it is important to make the servicing of the whole safety equipment (life jackets, life rafts, etc.) for boats sailing over 6 miles;
  • every two years it is important to make the servicing of the pumps (bilge and drain) in case of boats.

Other maintenance to take into consideration, every five or ten years, are those of the electronic part and the possible substitution of batteries. To this list there should be added only the periodical servicing of some delicate parts of the boat or that concern the comfort of use, for example, fenders, stanchions, rigging, mooring ropes and sheets.

Our team of mechanics can give you all the necessary information. Write us for free.

Boat insurance: is it mandatory?

The boat insurance, mandatory by the law, is the civil liability, very similar to the car one. It is about an insurance for the civil liability over damages to third parties occurred during sailing, following to operations in water, in the harbour or during the mooring.

Even if it is not mandatory, we strongly discourage you to keep a boat without insurance. It is a delicate means of transport, vulnerable and expensive, that must be protected in the right way.
Those who buy a boat must soon face the need to choose the right insurance over the mandatory Civil Liability. It is important to know that this decision is not easy at all because there are lots of variables: from the type of insurance to the guarantees to include according to one’s necessities.
The solution to avoid these problems can be a Kasko insurance policy, that offers you a unique insurance solution, a series of guarantees covering damages that can occur during sailing while the boat is mooring (even on the ground or in disarmament).
This kind of insurance can help you in several cases, such as:

  • Total loss
  • Failure (even for accidents such as grounding, collision, crash against fixed, floating or submerged objects)
  • Accidents during sailing
  • Fire or explosion
  • Acts of piracy, overt act and vandalism
  • Throwing and/or removal
  • Theft or robbery of the boat and of the equipment
  • Natural disasters (floods)

Those who are more meticulous can subscribe an accident insurance for drivers. It is useful in case of particular accidents.

How to choose the right boat?

For many people the question is: sailboat or motor boat? In reality this is a consequence of your sailing style, tastes and preparation, hence, don’t think too much about it, bring to the table your ideas, what you want to do with your boat.
A lot depends, for example, on how you’d like to live this experience, if you want to share it with passionate friends or with your family, even with kids. It is clear that in this case, the needs of comfort and space can change. If you want to fish, because you are a passionate, it will be better to choose specific boats, with the right setting that leave a wider space for fishing manoeuvres.
Be informed about the differences existing among the several types, even in relation to the performances and the consumptions of the motor: it can be useful to know everything before, above all if you wish to make medium-long trips or medium to long hauls cruises.
There are some tricks – when you decide to purchase it – that can help you in the choice:

  • Activate all the research channels you know, websites (reliable as Peter Nautica), brokers or personal contacts
  • Make a list of fundamental features that you want to find on your next boat
  • Try to realize a small “wish list”, a list of features you dream to have on your next boat, but that are not fundamental
  • Book an appointment to see the boat and find a capable expert. Clearly, the cost of the advice influences the total investment, hence try to select few boats of your interest, and for which you are really willing to spend the amounts proposed, independently of the margin of negotiation. Maybe the first time you can go alone, but it’s better to have a second visit with a skilled expert.
  • Make a test at sea: it is fundamental to understand the effective status of the boat, above all if it is a second-hand device, bring with you the expert and be sure, during the sailing, to make a tour of all the spaces to verify any possible infiltration, unusual sounds or damages to the furniture.
  • Here it is, you have recognised it… You have just found the right boat for you. However, please not that, as the sea lovers say: “the right boat for you will always be last you’ll buy”.
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