4 Reasons to Buy a Boat Off-Season – Like most products, the best prices on boats can be found in the off-season. This makes fall and winter the ideal time to find a great deal. Cash in on used boats that are being sold to make room for an upgraded model. Or check out a dealer who’s eager to move unsold units from the previous model year. No matter which boat you have your eye on, the following reasons to buy—including practical tips and a few warnings—will help ease your mind when making a purchase in the off-season.


Better Price

Better Price

The main reason to buy off-season is the price. As dealers are clearing aged inventory and people are looking to sell their old boats, prices decrease. (prices increase 3-5% every new model year) Simple enough, right? Kind of. While the market has plenty of great deals, there are a couple of things to consider. First, if you’re buying a used boat, don’t get caught up in a deal that seems too good to be true. Make sure you go through all the steps: Get the boat appraised, check the hull ID number, test every system, and ask about the boat’s mechanical history. Second, don’t splurge on a bigger boat just for a better deal. Make sure you know your needs and which boat is best for you.


Manufacturing Time Lines

Dealer Packages

Winter is peak season for boat manufacturing in preparation for the upcoming busy boating season in Spring/Summer.  Most manufacturers are building boats for Spring delivery during the winter months.  If you are looking for a special order or a brand new boat to be delivered in March or April, it needs to be added to the manufacturer’s production schedule in January or February.  Most manufacturers schedules are full months in advance (if not more).  Early winter is the best time to order to ensure a timely Spring delivery.


Easier Negotiation


Buying during the off-season gives you an advantage when negotiating your price. Do some research and shop around to find prices and deals on comparable models to strengthen your position when negotiating. Even if you can’t get a price reduction, many dealers will offer valuable add-ons to sweeten the deal.  Shopping around dealer to dealer who carry the same new boat brand is not advised.  Using the dealer nearest the area you will be boating ensures a smooth ownership experience.  That doesn’t mean you won’t get the best price.  Most manufacturer’s websites have the suggested retail prices listed, that is the best tool to use when shopping a particular brand.  The NADA guide can help you assess your trade in value.


Better Winterization


Buying this time of year ensures that your boat is winterized correctly. Sure, it’s frustrating to not be able to hit the water to celebrate your new purchase, but it would be even worse if it was damaged by the cold due to poor preparation and planning. Here’s Crownline’s winterization guide.


Boat Shows!


Boat shows are a fantastic way to find a good deal and have fun as you dream about the upcoming season. Enjoy an entire convention center filled with brand-new boats and marine products. Check out the latest industry advancements. Talk with the people behind your favorite brands. Have a drink with your friends and family. Most importantly, get inspired for summer. You don’t have to buy a boat at the show, but you might just find a deal you can’t pass up. Here’s our guide to buying at a boat show. And check out Crownline’s all-new models at a boat show near you.