Visiting a boat show near you is a GREAT way to one stop shop for a new boat. It can also be overwhelming, there are so many boats and so many options it gets tough to make a sound buying decision after seeing TOO many boats. Follow these tips from me to get the best boat for your family, and the best deal too!
So many boats, so little time
Narrow down the type of boat that will work best for your needs. I am astounded by the people at boat shows who haven’t decided between a cruiser or a bowrider, a pontoon or a deckboat. Do some research before you arrive at the show to narrow down your boating goals. Take things into account like Lake Restrictions, and trailering capabilities. Do you need a bathroom onboard? A cabin to stay overnight or get out of the sun? Discover Boating has a great Boat Selector to help you narrow down the type of boat that would work best for you and the brands available. Once you have narrowed down a few brands that offer the kind of boat you want, you can have a game plan ready to visit those booths to compare models in person at the show.
Decide the price range that fits your budget
Did you know, the interest on a boat loan could be tax deductible? It can, if it has a galley, berth and head. Use this boat loan calculator to help you decide what price boat works into your desired monthly payment. Look for boats that fit into your price range. Thinking you can talk a dealer down from a higher price range into your lower range, isn’t time well spent. From the horses mouth, we can tell you the markup is not that high on new boats….The cost of manufacturing is at an all-time high. These dealers want your business, but they can’t come down 10 or 20 thousand dollars, the math just doesn’t add up. Look at boats in your price range and hope to get a few free upgrades or a small percentage off, if you are buying a non NAP boat. Nationally advertised prices come straight from us and are typically rock bottom.
Be careful when looking online at “sale prices” many times these prices don’t include the basics you want/need to get on the water. Like trailers, flooring, cupholders, even adding color to the gelcoat of your new boat costs extra with some manufacturers. (Not Crownline BTW, we offer the longest list of standard features in the industry. Our Nationally Advertised prices included EVERYTHING you need, and want….. wink, wink)
Don’t wait until the last day of the show
Many people believe that waiting until the end of the show is the time to get the best deal. They would be wrong. We spend A LOT of time in the booths at boat shows, and from personal experience, we can say the deals are the same throughout the entire show. In fact, the earlier you buy the better in many cases. Early in the show, we are motivated, energetic, and excited! By the end of the show many dealers have sold out the stock they brought, they also have been standing in a booth for days and days, for 12 hours a day…. They are tired, and ready to wrap it up. They may not be the most negotiable when they are tired and thinking about cleaning up the booth and heading home. (Speaking from experience here)
See you at the shows!
Amy Turner – Sales & Marketing Director