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Old 02-10-2011, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Michigan
1,217 posts, read 3,028,131 times
Reputation: 561

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This will be our 2nd summer on a lake. Last year it was torture watching our neighbors zipping around on their water toys. My wife and I are considering getting either a waver runner or boat. Priced out the wave runners and it would be cheaper ( monthly) just to buy a darn boat. New they finance them cheaper and longer than the personal watercrafts and my payment on a 20,000 boat would be less than a $9500 Sea Doo.
So my question it this. Is it worth it to buy used? I've heard so many nightmare stories about boat ownership or buying used that I can't help but ask myself ( and you if you own one) are they worth it? Would you ever buy used? If you have owned a personal water craft and boat what one did/do you prefer? The Sea Doo I am looking at is a pretty impressive machine. It has brakes. Seriously, brakes! It has a lever that flips it into reverse somehow and forces water forward to stop the machine. I thought this was a GREAT feature and made me think this is the one I want.
Anyway if I could get some boat owners to weigh in on this I'd appreciate it. I think I'm going to drag the wife to the boat show this weekend and see what kind of deals they are offering.
OH ALSO- do you feel you get your money's worth? I mean we ca only used them what? 3 1/2 months or so?
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:05 AM
 
Location: NE philadelphia
550 posts, read 1,915,543 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGatti View Post
This will be our 2nd summer on a lake. Last year it was torture watching our neighbors zipping around on their water toys. My wife and I are considering getting either a waver runner or boat. Priced out the wave runners and it would be cheaper ( monthly) just to buy a darn boat. New they finance them cheaper and longer than the personal watercrafts and my payment on a 20,000 boat would be less than a $9500 Sea Doo.
So my question it this. Is it worth it to buy used? I've heard so many nightmare stories about boat ownership or buying used that I can't help but ask myself ( and you if you own one) are they worth it? Would you ever buy used? If you have owned a personal water craft and boat what one did/do you prefer? The Sea Doo I am looking at is a pretty impressive machine. It has brakes. Seriously, brakes! It has a lever that flips it into reverse somehow and forces water forward to stop the machine. I thought this was a GREAT feature and made me think this is the one I want.
Anyway if I could get some boat owners to weigh in on this I'd appreciate it. I think I'm going to drag the wife to the boat show this weekend and see what kind of deals they are offering.
OH ALSO- do you feel you get your money's worth? I mean we ca only used them what? 3 1/2 months or so?
I will speak as a daughter of boat owners....who got her boater's safety when she was 12 and has loved boating ever since (and before)!

My family has owned a pontoon boat (party barge) since 1994 the exact same one is still running beautifully...we have had it reupholstered and carpeted in recent years, but it can still pull a tuber and a water-skiier (when not fully loaded ). So I definitely recommend a used boat! I think to keep it in good shape and to know if it is a good buy, you need to know a boat mechanic/specialist very well....our first boat (small speed boat) and this one have been serviced by the same marine service for years! I think they take good care of it and so do we!
I LOVE jet skis...but have never owned one, just lots of friends do so I get to use theirs when I'm home best thing about a boat is you get to just cruise sometimes with snacks and drinks and company.....that is one thing you couldn't do with a jet ski...

Cannot wait til this summer!
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,042 posts, read 69,251,736 times
Reputation: 35573
If you buy a new $20,000 boat today, tomorrow you own a used $15,000 boat. The boat is really not much different that it is today.

By the way, that new $20,000 boat will cost you as much as $50,000 by the time you pay it off. If you buy an older used boat, you can pay cash say maybe $5,000. Then you have $45,000 to put into repairs and upgrades before you are behind on the deal.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 35,926,806 times
Reputation: 16943
I've been boating for my entire life. Literally, there are photos of me as a little baby out on Lake Michigan in either Dad's or grandpa's boat. In the 25+ years of owning my own boats, I have looked at a LOT of new ones (just ask the wife ), but have never owned a new one. I ALWAYS buy used. The depreciation on a boat is quite steep the first year or so, and I just never thought I wanted to foot that portion of boat ownership. I let somebody else take that hit, then when they decide to sell, I end up with a new-to-me boat for the price I think it is worth. Plus I just like the lines on some of the older boats. Right now I have a 1958 Lonestar ElDorado that is my primary fishing boat, and a much newer Wellcraft bowrider for almost everything else.

I tried the whole personal watercraft route several years ago and really didn't like them as much as I thought I would. Expensive upfront to buy, expensive to maintain and run, too small for what I wanted really. In 47 years on a boat, I can't think of a single time I would have needed to have "brakes". Throttle control and boat handling skills are for keeping your out of trouble and safe on the water. You will be amazed at how fast a boat stops when you kill the power quickly, water resistance slows you down rather quickly. If it isn't quick enough, then there is always reverse and a bit of throttle to slough off forward momentum even quicker.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,212,830 times
Reputation: 3901
I would definitely buy used. Generally boating season for most people is about 3 months from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so a lot of used boats have very little hours on them.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 8,142,586 times
Reputation: 3906
You know what they say about a boat...break out another thousand!
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:05 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
27 posts, read 54,987 times
Reputation: 27
I am a mechanic by trade (Aircraft) and have owned 1 used boat and 2 new boats. Unless you are a knowledgeable boat mechanic, and yes it is different than working on your car, I would buy a new boat. Yes you are going to take a hit on the value but you will get a full warranty from the dealer and should have several years of trouble free boating. My current boat is a 2002 Glastron with a tad over 200 hrs on it now and has been extremely reliable. This is the first year I have had to do anything to it, figures I just paid it off..lol. The key to an older used boat is an hour meter. Make sure it has a working hour meter. If you look long enough you can find boats that are 10 years old with less than 100 hrs on them. I have a buddy that has a 1999 with 75 hrs on his. Don't trust anyone that says it has low hrs if it does not have an hour meter. For the peace of mind I prefer new and I am the guy that loves to work on and restore cars, but boats take a special detail to keep them in tip top shape. Also a boat over a PWC allows for freinds and family, the only way to go in my opinion. Let your buddy buy the PWC and play with his. If you like sking and tubing, this is another reason for a boat. In Texas we can get on the water pretty much year round, finding a low hr used boat is not easy. That's my 2 cents, hope it helps.
Clayton
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Michigan
1,217 posts, read 3,028,131 times
Reputation: 561
I appreciate everyone's responses. The wife and I are going to go to the boat show at Cobo this weekend. We have decided a new boat is not going to be in the cards. My wife told me she would prefer a PWC over a boat and to a degree I am leaning toward one as well. I know that's not the machine to entertain friends on etc but our lake is small ( all sports but small) and I really want something for us. Just my wife and my kids.
When it comes to a PWC I am leaning more toward new and know I will pay the premium. But I want a machine 1- with a warranty and 2- when we go out to ride I will feel better knowing ( or at least I hope) it will start and be reliable for years to come. I'd hate to haul something up north, drop it in the water and then have to try and push it back on the trailer because it's dead. lol
If we decide to go used ( which we just might) I am leaning toward a jet boat. Once again they are small but like I said so is our lake, and I don't feel we need a 17ft IBO with mega HP. Just something to cruise the lake and pull my son on a tube, and I hope some day he wants to ski.
I'm wondering though is this a good time to buy? Or spring? I'd hate to buy something I can't hear run or see on the water. Man that would suck to have some serious hull issue when it gets dropped in the water.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,042 posts, read 69,251,736 times
Reputation: 35573
I live on an island. Pretty much everyone has some kind of boat. Many people with PWCs say that they are great fun for the first season, and then less great each season after that. There is only so much that you cna do on them, and you are always going to be wet. Friends suggested just renting one once in a while. However some younger friends absolutely love them. They are the types the jump the wakes on the big ocean freighters and other crazy stuff. I guess that is how they keep the PWC's entertaining. A lot of people say that a PWC is a great thing to have as a toy on your primary boat, they are great for trips to shore and around different areas. But we could never afford or want something that big.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:02 AM
 
362 posts, read 637,671 times
Reputation: 200
I went to Cobo and bought a new boat in 1997. I had compiled a list of features I wanted like airated live well/s. A top you could stand up in even to operate the boat, storage cover, outdoard lower unit prop when towing, easy load trailer and big enough to handle the waves on a ruff day on Big Bay De Noc but small enough to handle alone if need be. After looking at several boats from 17 to 19 feet I elemiated several as two narrow. It came down to a Blue Fin by Spectrum 19', a Fisher also Spectrum 19', and a Star Craft Sport Fisher 19'.

All were out fitted by the builders about the same just locations of live wells and sizes of same were what was different.
I had priced the Star Craft at one dealer who gave me a price with the idems I wanted like the storage cover, lower unit prop and the rest that dealers make up. so that was my starting guide for the price. I would have a Blue Fin right now except the dealer refused to lower his price 20.00 to match the Star Craft price. Any way We had went out to lunch and returned to look some more when the dealer for the Star Craft found us. He said he had a New left over 1996 Sport Fisher and would set uit up the same as the 97 for 5000.00 less. We bought and have loved it every since although the dealer really sucked.
ON Delivery day it was not ready yet so we had to wait 4 hours for them to finish rigging it. They didn't have every thing either, the storage cover and lower unit towing prop was out of stock. Took a month to get the storage cover. took a threat from a laywer to get the prop in 4 months. took it in for fenishing things that didn't fit right and loose stuff. Got acall it was ready, went and got it. OH it's out in those rows of boats some place just hook up and go every thing is all set. A month latter we got another call our boat was ready. I told Kare we should go down and hook on some nice large boat and take it to the shopping mall and leave it.

Any way don't be afraid to take a older model left over if YOU just have to have new.

Still lots of life in many new boats on the market today too. When gas prices went up and people started loosing their jobs they put the boat on the market cause they just could not afford it.

My brother in law and sister just bought used pontoon boat from a dealer (Farwell area) last spring. They could not be any happier with a new one

Al
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