Choosing a boat
Here are some tips from James, our Managing Director.
We sell boats of all sizes, shapes, ages and prices. The most important thing to consider is how you want to enjoy your boating. Think about where you want to go. How big a boat do you need, berths, cabin space etc. and ultimately, what’s the budget?
A two year old top end boat should be just about as new in terms of its condition but will be priced accordingly! On the other had an older boat may be a better fit to your budget and have years of life left in her.
Going to a dealer should mean you have a good range of vessels to choose from. A reputable dealer will usually have a sales area where you can see several craft at any one time. A professional brokerage should also be a member of the British Marine Federation and the Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents (ABYA) who ensure a code of conduct covering such things as how title is guaranteed and money is securely handled.
Brokerage boats are sold on behalf of a vending owner without any prior inspection or guarantee from the broker. Once you have signed on the dotted line she’s yours, so assessing the condition is important. We always recommend a survey and mechanical inspection before you buy and can help put you in touch with the relevant professionals.
A boat that belongs to a dealer is a different story. A trader has a legal responsibility which is often downplayed. At Norfolk Yacht Agency, we prepare all our own used stock to a very high standard including valeting and a detailed pre-delivery inspection. Most of our stock vessels are sold with warranty providing our clients peace of mind. For details see here. For an insight into our pre-delivery inspection click here.
If you have boating friends they will no doubt provide you with their insight into what to look for and more likely what not to look for. My advice to first time buyers is not to get too caught up in your friends’ opinions. What suits them may not suit you. Just begin your search knowing how you want to enjoy the boat.
Look for a boat that has accommodation to suit you and is of an age and condition that you are happy with. Walking onto a boat is like walking into a house, it either feels right or it doesn’t. Look at several boats in the flesh. You can’t get a real impression of a boat from an advert. Once you’ve found something that appeals consider whether it is suitable for your use and find out about running costs!
Many people will think that the ideal boat would be shaft driven with an inboard diesel engine fully enclosed in the boat. However, particularly for smaller boats, there are advantages to outdrive or outboard propulsion. The space freed up by locating the engine at the rear of the boat usual provides more internal accommodation, not to mention steerage astern and in planing boats greater performance and efficiency.
A vessel fitted with an outdrive has the engine located in the aft of the boat, with the drive mechanism outside the boat. An outdrive will need regular out of the water maintenance. Most manufacturers recommend a service every 2 to 3 years dependent on use. However outdrives can be expensive to fix if not regularly maintained.
Smaller boats are powered by an outboard motor, a self-contained engine and gearbox mounted on the transom. The latest generation of 4-stroke outboards are whisper quiet, smoother, less smelly and much more economical than owners of boats in years past might be used to!
At NYA, we aim to make the viewing and buying process a pleasure. Our staff are knowledgeable and have the backup of the longest established boat brokerage company in the area. We’re happy to discuss technical details with an expert or provide helpful advice to beginners. If you call and make an appointment, we’ll ensure a member of the team is free and able to show you round some likely choices.
We look forward to seeing you.
James H Fraser