If you are looking to buy a pontoon boat but have a limited budget, you might want to consider diving into the growing market of used boats.
I know, I know...the thought of buying a used boat often stirs visions of spending the summer puttering around the lake on a boat straight out of the 70s.
And while the process of buying a used boat can be intimidating considering you really don’t know the boat’s history, if you do your homework and ask the right questions you can actually pick up a newer model pontoon that is in great shape for a lower cost.
So let’s dive into the topic of buying a used boat!
Choosing Your Dream Pontoon Boat
For starters, you'll need to figure out your budget and exactly what you want out of your pontoon boat!
Pontoon boats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and also offer many features that can be catered to meet your specific needs.
Not only are they known as the luxury craft for entertaining, but pontoons are now designed specifically to meet the needs of the anglers, the water sport enthusiasts, or the entertainers.
You see, pontoons are versityle, and when buying new you can easily pick up a pontoon boat that is seemingly designed specifically for you.
That said, we aren't talking about buying new boats!
When dealing with a used boat you will have to keep in mind that you may not be able to check off everything on your dream boat wish list.
You are going to need to be a little less picky.
On a positive note, depending on what kind of savings you get from buying used, you could always consider investing a little extra cash into customizing the pontoon to make it your own.
And once you have decided on the model of pontoon you are interested in, you should definitely take a look at the prices for brand new pontoon boats because in some cases used isn't a whole lot cheaper.
Things to consider when choosing your pontoon boat:
- Size matters! Make sure you are choosing a boat that will be the right size for the lakes you plan to boat on.
- Think about what you will do on your boat. Will you be primarily entertaining? Fishing? Wakeboarding? Different pontoons will provide different options to suit your needs.
- Where will you store your boat? You may want to consider the size of your boat depending on where it will be stored.
- How much extra cash are you willing to invest in customization or repairs?
- Are you able to inspect the boat yourself or are you willing to invest in a marine surveyor to do the inspection for you?
Finding Your Dream Pontoon Boat
Thanks to modern technology, you can easily find plenty of used pontoon boats for sale, near and far with a few clicks of a mouse.
Online sites like Kijiji and Boat Trader are a great start point to seeing what's out there.
These sites will allow you to search by specific criteria to help you narrow down your search.
Alternatively, many boat dealers also sell used pontoon boats.
While most dealerships might not promote their used pontoon boats on their website, it is worth calling or taking a quick drive out to dealerships to see what they have on site, because you might find the gem you’ve been looking for!
Did you know that here at Legend Boats we offer a wide variety of new and used pontoon boats alike?
Visit and Inspect
A picture says a thousand words. We've all heard the expression, right?
But here's the thing, with modern day photoshop and good angles, a picture can be quite decieving!
The rule of thumb when you are buying used is that you need to visit and inspect before buying.
So the boat looks great in picture, and the boat owner sounds like a great guy, but you really can't make such a huge investment without looking things over and assessing the situation for yourself.
Boats experience wear and tear and what seems like a steal of a deal could turn out to be a boat that looks good but is in dire need of repairs.
You want to make sure that the boat was treated with love and care by the previous owner. Because just like with purchasing a used car, neglecting to do regular maintenance can transform an otherwise great boat into a sinking investment.
Questions you should consider asking before buying:
- When was the boat last used?
- Why are you selling it?
- Have there been other owners?
- Has it been used in salt water?
- What is the mileage like on the motor?
- Have there been any damages, leaks, or other issues?
- Have there been any repairs to parts or wiring?
- What was the maintenance schedule on the boat like?
- How was the boat stored?
- Is the boat still under warranty?
If possible, you are going to want to take the boat out on the water for a test run to make sure there are no leaks and that the boat runs well before making your investment.
While a used boat might be cheaper, it really isn’t a great investment if you can’t use it!
Best of luck on your searches, and may you find that gem of a pontoon you are dreaming of!