The boat-buying season is in full swing, but before you go all Frisbee-eyed at the first one you come to, be sure to take your time and do a little homework first. But unlike those miserable high school reports you put off until the day it was due, this kind of homework is actually a lot of fun. When it comes to the variety of pontoon and deck boats that our industry has to offer, no one should have to settle when looking for the right boat. But where's the best place to get started? Actually, your best resource is in your hands (or on your screen for those viewing our annual Buyer's Guide digitally) and our bio section will save you a lot of time as you narrow your search.
Using our Buyer's Guide to help select the manufacturers you're interested in is only the first step. In order to make the best informed decision, it's best to hit the local boat shows as well as the larger ones when you can.
Boat shows are great places to find low prices, but keep in mind that show "specials" may be no bargain if the dealer doesn't maintain a service shop or is located hundreds of miles away when repairs are needed. There are numerous boat shows that include all types of boats held around the country, which can provide huge amounts of information and opportunities to be selective.
From large boat shows to smaller local ones, there are deals to be found. Even if you're just starting the process of buying a boat with no plans to buy in the immediate future, the right boat show can help you whittle down your list.
When you can't get to the boat shows or you're not able to see the specific manufacturers that you're most interested in, the next best resource is your computer. Obviously, searching online is an excellent resource tool when shopping for a new or used pontoon or deck boat. If you don't have access to the Internet in your home or office, stop at your local library and take some time to check things out. It is an easy resource to learn to use and you'll have the entire world at your fingertips.
You can use the Internet to discover different types of boats that you never knew you even wanted. The Internet has endless resources to help narrow down the specifics of your boat-buying experience. You can find area dealers, used boats for sale, tips on what to look for, manufacturer information and things to avoid when buying a used boat. You'll find resources and articles to make your experience easier and more enjoyable. Plus you can look at digital back issues of PDB magazine by going to www.pdbmagazine.com.
Magazines, newspapers as well as the Internet are all great places to find classified listings of boats for sale. This is a great local resource as well as regional if you're willing to travel a little to find the boat you're looking for.
Check out the newspapers near boating areas, or check out forums like ours at www.pdbmagazine.com and look for the specific section for selling used boats. It costs nothing to join or post and it's a great resource for both buyers and sellers.
For some people the simple hobby of just looking for boats at a marina is something they enjoy doing, even if they don't consider themselves in the market or even seriously looking. Marinas are a great place to find boats for sale. Just like some people are addicted to garage sales every weekend, you can become a boat-buying addict. If you want to take the hands-on approach, tour local marinas to find boats for sale. This method can be more time-consuming, so you will want to narrow down your features in a different method.
Many boaters believe they won't know what they're looking for until their boat calls their name as they walk down the dock. It is a fun way to spend a weekend and you can walk away with a great deal if you stumble upon a motivated seller.
There is no right or wrong way to hunt of your next boat, it's just important to have fun and not to give up until you find what you're looking for. So hit those boat shows, get on the Internet or start walking those docks and in no time you're sure to find the pontoon or deck boat you've been hunting for.