4 Things You Need to Know When Buying a Boat in Jacksonville

4 things you need to know when buying a boat in Jacksonville, Florida

Here is a handy list of the top four questions and answers gathered from dealers across Jacksonville that you need to know so you can make the best, most informed boat-buying decision possible!

Q: How long does the purchase take when ordering a custom boat?

A: Production time can range from 60 to 90 days depending on the time of year. Some boat models and manufacturers are so tight on production schedules and spots that it may take even longer in some cases. Ask the dealer to deliver your boat earlier than you really need it to ensure you don’t miss out on the boating season. Typically, to get a custom boat by spring you’ll need to order it in winter.

Q: When is the best time to buy a boat?

A: The short answer is when you attend a boat show! The boat show can be a great time to buy because that’s when you’ll find manufacturer discounts and incentives you won’t find at any other time. As well as buying in the off-season, if you are looking for a boat at the lowest price, the boat show is your friend. However, inventory may be very limited on popular models and brands.

If you don’t attend many boat shows, you can still find a good deal. For some boaters, the best time to buy is when they find the right boat at the right price. When you find a great dealer who proves he/she will take care of you and helps you find just the right boat as a fair price then that could be a wonderful time to take the plunge and buy the boat. In that case, while you might be price-conscious, you aren’t buying the boat to save money. Instead, you are buying the boat because you work hard and feel that you are ready for the pride that comes with premium boat ownership. Plus, you’ve earned a bit of relaxation on the water, right?

Q: Are all manufacturers and warranties the same?

A: NO. Not all manufacturers stand behind the spirit of and wording included in their warranties. In fact, they often have “weasel” clauses in their warranties that you need to be aware of. Be sure to work with the dealer to understand how the warranty will be handled in real-life situations. Sometimes, the relationship between dealer and manufacturer can have an impact, as well. For example, large dealerships may be at a disadvantage due to bureaucracy and a sole focus on the bottom line. Seek a reputable manufacturer with a service-focused dealership as well as a dealership owner who is proven to have integrity. One way to know this is when you can have a face-to-face conversation with that individual when you have questions, concerns or problems with your boat.

Q: Is the dealership really all that important?

A: Aside from buying a quality boat with the right style and appropriate power for your needs, the dealership you choose will have major impact on your long-term enjoyment of the boat you buy. It is important for you to understand that buying a boat is not like buying a car.

With a car, almost anyone can service it. It is pretty easy to get parts, install electronics, and so forth. However, with a boat, the dealership can often make or break your experience as a boater. Even the best boat will require some touch-up by the dealer after the initial shake-down period of 20 hours or so.

In conclusion, buying a boat isn’t something you want to just throw yourself into. Don’t be pulled in by a salesperson’s hype. Do yourself a big favor and do a fair amount of research on the dealership, the salesperson who will be helping you (if possible), the dealer who owns the dealership and the manufacturer of the boat you are considering when making your final boat-buying decision.

Armed with this information, you will likely be happy in your final buying decision.

Don’t take the first boat you see. Do your due diligence (your homework) and don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. In fact, bring a list of questions with you to the dealership. Soon you will be able to sniff out potentially bad deals and dishonest dealerships. An honest dealership is one that isn’t afraid of answering your questions and spending as much time as you need to help you find just the right boat.