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There are boat options for every budget, type of use and lifestyle.    Buyers new to boat buying should do their homework before shopping. The first thing to do is determine what type of activities do you want to do with your boat, where you want to boat (river, lakes or ocean) and who will be using the boat. 

When choosing a boat, be sure you know how you intend to use your boat— fishing, waterskiing or causal boating? Where will you be boating—a lake, river or ocean? Who will be using the boat in addition to yourself? Most people get involved with boating to spend quality time with family and friends, the majority of  Americans live a short distance from a body of water suitable for boating.

Before buying a boat we suggest you do the following:

Do your homework. The best place to shop for boats is your local boat show. Research the type of boat you would like to own, does it meet your usage needs? Is it the right type of boat for the body of water you want to use it on? Gather feedback from friends, family, and colleagues about what boating options might be right for you.

Find the ideal boat/dealer combination. Select a dealer that is willing to work with you to meet your needs, and confirm they can provide quality service after the sale. Look for a dealer that can let you “test-drive” the boat you are interested in to see how it performs in the water. Test-driving a variety of boats will help you determine which boat is right for you.

Determine your budget. Interesting fact per NMMA, 77%f of individuals who buy a boat have incomes under $100,000. Just like buying a car, there are boat types and prices to fit every budget.  Figure out how much you want to spend before shopping, a good dealer can recommend options to fit your budget.

Learn as much as possible about boats. We recommend taking a boater education course before you begin operating your new boat.  Learn to be a “smart boater”, the better prepared you are, the more fun and safe you will be.  Check out the boating courses that are offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or the U.S. Power Squadron. Your local boat dealers may offer classes.  Classes are typically free, – aside from the cost of materials – and can help reduce boat insurance prices.

Tow safely.  Spend time familiarizing yourself with the boat towing laws in your state.  Be sure to protect your boating investment with a Prop Alert safety cover.  Our durable Prop Alert is waterproof, can be seen up to 100 yards away and can be used in or out of the water. Available in small or large the Prop Alert is the perfect safety prop cover for boat motors of all sizes. 

View our Blog Post: “Learn to Tow Safely”

If you have a canoe, kayak or other vehicles that require towing or sticks out from your trunk, pick-up or trailer, check-out the Flag Alert safety flag from the makers of the Prop Alert.  Made from the same durable, waterproof, and highly visible materials as our Prop Alert, the Flag Alert attaches with a strong cord to help other drivers see your kayak. 

Enjoy your new boat,  have fun and be safe on the water!