Making the Most of the Boat Shows

March 12, 2018

As with anything in life, it is important to prepare and plan before you head out to shop for a boat. Wandering aimlessly through a boat show, without having done some prior research, can be a fruitless and frustrating experience.

With that in mind, here are some tips that will help you make the most out of your boat show experience and, hopefully, leave you with peace of mind after you’ve reached a decision.

As the old saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Therefore, before attending a boat show it makes sense to do a little research on the Internet to nail down the types of boats and brands that would best suit you. As you do, prepare a list of questions for local dealers so you can easily compare models.

If possible, try to attend the first few days of the boat show. This is when you’re most likely to have the dealer’s full attention. Being speaking with anyone, check out the models that most interest you, take photos, ask for a brochure and write down the prices and any applicable discounts. Although price is always important, don’t forget to consider quality, service and warranty.

And don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision. Boat show specials usually remain in effect up to two weeks after the show has ended.

Before visiting the show, check out the dealers who will be there, and research their dealerships. A good dealer should know their product and be able to clearly explain the warranty.

Don’t just appear before the dealer; make an appointment. That way, there will be time set aside so that you can ask questions. And don’t be shy about doing so. A boat is a major purchase, so you should ask questions until you feel comfortable that you know as much as possible about the model you are considering.

By taking the time to research the boat that fits your needs, and by developing a relationship with a dealer, you will be able to comfortably and confidently make a decision on a new boat, avoid any buyer’s remorse and excitedly look ahead to the next boating season.