What to Know Before Purchasing a Boat

So, you’re thinking about buying a boat? What better way to enjoy the water during the summer? From entertaining friends to enjoying family fun and even romantic sunset cruises, boats provide many options for recreation. Finding the right boat for you is essential. There are many different types of boats available, but not all are suitable for every type of waterway. You will need to do some research before you purchase a boat. It’s a significant investment, and you want to be sure you get the full value for your purchase.

If you’re looking at waterfront homes for sale in Annapolis, here is what you need to know before you purchase a boat.

Red flags when buying a used boat

It happens time and time again—someone gets a great deal on a used boat with low hours on the engine then finds out later it needs a lot of work. Wear and tear on a boat don’t only occur when driving them: sitting in water or saltwater wears on the boat. Saltwater can eat its way through hulls, known as the “marine age.” Be sure to ask about this when looking at purchasing a used boat. The marine age is a better gauge than the hours on its motor. An old boat that has been sitting for a long time likely hasn’t been properly maintained.

Plan for maintenance

Boats need annual maintenance to stay afloat. Budget for spending about 10% of the purchase price on yearly maintenance. Take it every winter for maintenance, and you won’t have to worry about needing a significant repair over the summer when you want to be out enjoying your boat.

Plus, preventive maintenance is cheaper than something breaking and causing an engine replacement. All mechanical and electrical systems need annual upkeep to have them running correctly. These systems will also need to be replaced every ten years or so. Depending on where you are and how often you use your boat, you may want to store it over the winter instead of sitting in the water, which adds to its marine age. If this is the case, you will also need to budget for storage fees. When looking at waterfront homes for sale in Annapolis, these are things to keep in mind.

Know what you need long-term

Boats depreciate more than your car or other recreational vehicles. To get the total value of your purchase, you will want to keep your boat for at least five to ten years. With this in mind, what will you want from your boat in five years? Will you have kids by then? Will your kids be older? Maybe when you make the purchase, your kids will be young and happy to float behind the boat. Five to ten years later, they will be teenagers and may prefer to water ski.

Also, think about where you will want to use the boat. Some boats are best for rough water, while some are not. So, you will want to be sure the boat you’re buying will be able to manage the water it navigates. Knowing what you will need five to ten years down the road is also good when looking at Alexandra real estate.

Where will you store it?

Where will you keep your boat? Do you have waterfront property with a dock where you can store it? If so, can you keep it there year-round? If you’re looking at waterfront homes for sale in Annapolis, ask them about winter storage. You will likely need a trailer, even if you’re keeping it at your dock all year. There will be times you will need to take it in for maintenance. Having the flexibility to pack your boat up and take it on vacation is a benefit. If you don’t have waterfront property with a dock, will you need to keep it on a mooring? If so, check with marinas, as there may be a waiting list. If you must pay slip fees, be sure to budget for it.

Be insured

Neither Maryland nor Virginia require you to have boat insurance. However, it’s a good idea that you do. Insurance will cover property damage, liabilities, medical payments, and uninsured coverage, much like your car. If your boat is stolen or totaled in an accident or natural disaster, you will recoup your loss through your insurance. If you’re in an accident on the boat and damage someone else’s property, they could sue you for damages. Your insurance will protect you and cover your damages. If people were injured in the accident, insurance would cover medical payments for you and other parties involved. If an uninsured boater hits your boat and you’re injured, your insurance will cover your medical expenses. Like home insurance for Alexandra real estate, you need to protect your boat.

Find a place to enjoy it

When you invest in a boat, you won’t want it sitting in storage unused. Find several areas where you can take it out to enjoy. One of the best ways to get the full enjoyment of your boat is to have a waterfront home. There are many great waterfront homes for sale in Annapolis. Then, your boat and fun days on the water will be right in your backyard. No need to load your boat up on a trailer. No need to pack up the car for a trip. Fun is at your fingertips. Finding the right waterfront property for your needs is important. There’s a lot to consider when looking for waterfront real estate. Working with an experienced real estate agent with waterfront property will be your best resource. They will guide you through the process and make sure you feel comfortable and confident before moving forward.

The team at The Waterfront Group are experienced waterfront specialists who are happy to answer your questions about owning unique waterfront real estate. Since 2013, they have been helping people buy and sell waterfront property that meets their needs. Contact them today to get started!


The Waterfront Group was a natural decision to form. This blended the waterfront lifestyle that Patrick lives to the marketing knowledge and experience he has gained in the industry. The Waterfront Group now serves those looking to buy or sell waterfront across the region with a trusted advisor and marketing expert.