Fall can be a very good time to buy a boat, and not just for the new boat buyer who is taking advantage of the fall boat show discounts, but also for the used boat buyer as well. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to take on all the burdens of boat ownership when your new boat will be sitting on the hard for much of the winter, but there are advantages to buying in the fall that you should consider.
Most boat sales do happen in the spring, but bargains can be had as current boat owners find it harder to balance using and maintaining their boat now that their kids are back in school, and pretty soon it’ll be time to haul it. Avoiding the logistics, work, and cost associated with storing a boat for the winter is another compelling reason that pushes people to sell. One boat owner’s busy fall schedule and anxiety about the inevitable hurricane threatening the coast, or the longer term winter weather on the horizon, can be a buyer’s opportunity for you.
Another advantage to a fall purchase is that it should be easy and cost free to sea trial the boat. It also could afford you some glorious Indian summer days and the fall foliage season to enjoy their new boat, without the hassle of commissioning and launching the boat; it’s already afloat, go ahead and enjoy it. As a bonus, you also might be able to assume its mooring or dock slip for next season. Finally, a little experience on the water with your new boat can refine your winter maintenance plan and give you time to address what’s important.
Make sure the discount price you will pay now would cover those loan or storage charges typically incurred during the winter season. Any experienced owner who is thinking of selling will recognize these expenses and be willing to negotiate, especially if you are willing to accept the logistics and work of storing a boat.
Autumn boating has provided some of my favorite times on the water over the years. So, if it’s time to restock the woodpile and keep an eye open for school buses, it might also be the right time to look for a good cheap boat.
Author’s Note: If you missed my earlier blogs on the boat-buying process—and you found this one useful—“Choose a Home for Your Boat” and “Focus on Use When Buying a Boat” may also be helpful as you narrow down the type of boat you should be pursuing, at any time of year.