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Questions to Ask Your Boat Dealer BEFORE Buying

(Avoid a boat buying mistake with these 7 questions)



You’ve been researching boats online.  Maybe you attended a boat show.  You’ve even talked to your boating friends (or strangers at the docks, marina or landing) to ensure you make a smart investment on your upcoming boat purchase.


You’ve decided on the style of boat and are getting very serious.  To help avoid a major boat buying mistake, here are 7 questions to ask your dealer BEFORE buying your boat.


1.  Do you offer any guarantees when I buy a boat from you?


A boat dealer who does not offer any types of guarantees other than the manufacturers standard warranty is putting all the risk on you as the buyer.  If the dealer does not offer a single written guarantee, I wonder why their not willing to put their service on the line?

2.  How long have you been offering the manufacturers you carry?

The relationship with a manufacturer and dealer is very important in your long-term enjoyment of your boat if a warranty claim arises.  If the relationship is strong (and a long relationship is typically a strong one) they are often able to get quicker approval for a warranty claim. 

That quicker approval and processing of the claim will get you out on the water faster so you don’t lose any boating time.

3.  What happens if I have a warranty claim?

Not only should you expect a quick warranty resolution, its important to know how the process works.  Do you have to bring the boat to them?  Will they cover, parts and labor?  Will you incur any costs?

Having this conversation upfront (and getting it in writing upfront) will ensure there are no misunderstandings 3 years from now. 

4.  How can I be certain I’m getting a fair price?

Investing in a new boat can be a big decision and sometimes holding off on a purchase can save you a little money.  On the flip side, waiting to get on the water means just that… waiting to start enjoying your new boat. 

5.  How will you train me on my new boats operation and systems?

Even if you are an experience boater, some level of training on the new boat will be helpful.  And, if you are newer to boating, training on your new boat is an absolute must.  The most reputable dealers will offer all new boat buyers training at delivery.


6.  If I buy a boat from you, what kind of support can I expect over the next 12 months?

Buying a new boat is not like buying a car.  You don’t just drive off the lot and you can be totally fine if you never visit the dealership again.  Having a dealership that will stay in touch, support your boating lifestyle, offer events for like-minded boaters and stay involved with their clients for years to come are the best ones to work with.


7.  What do your previous clients have to say about their experience?

It’s real easy for a dealer to say all the right things before you buy a boat, but how do you know that’s actually what’s going to happen after you take delivery?  One of the best ways to ensure you make a smart boat buying decision is to see what their previous clients have to say.  Check online reviews like Google Reviews and their website see what kind of experience you will have long term with the dealership and your new boat.

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