Sports & Recreation / June 8, 2017

Buying a Boat in Ontario

Summer’s almost here in Ontario, and with the arrival of warmer weather,  many of us look forward to spending time on the water. For those of you who are shopping for a new boat, you may want to stop in at one of two upcoming boat shows before buying a boat in Ontario – Orillia’s Spring Boat, Cottage & Outdoor Show, June 9-11, and Barrie Boat Show, June 16-18 – to test a boat, get more information directly from the dealer, and take advantage of the great deals and information that a boat show can offer. As fun as they are, boat shows can also be overwhelming, and this purchase is too important to be made under pressure. Here are some tips to help you make the most of everything a boat show has to offer

Do your boat research first

This is key. You need to understand what kind of boat you are looking for, and how you plan to use it. Is this boat for waterskiing, fishing, cruising, and other summer water activities? Or will it be used as a cottage taxi? How many people will usually be on it? How will it be transported and stored? Once you start to answer these kinds of questions regarding buying a boat in Ontario, you will be able to narrow down your options – use this information to research boats and dealers prior to the show. You can also take this opportunity to write down a list of questions for the dealers that you meet there. And finally, get clear on your budget, and use it as your guide. If you are planning on getting financing, you may also want to consider getting pre-approved beforehand so that you are prepared to jump on any deals.

Tap into the boat show expertise

This isn’t the time to be shy! One of the best aspects of a boat show is the wealth of experience and expertise that is available to you in one arena. You will have your list of questions that you prepared earlier – make sure that you ask them of all the dealers that you talk to so that you can compare answers. It’s also important to understand who you are talking to. The dealer representative may not know much about the boats that they are selling, or they may be extremely knowledgeable – ask them about their certification/experience/training, and you’ll get a sense of who the experts are. On a similar note, don’t be afraid to challenge any sales claims that they make – this purchase is too significant to be timid.

Be aware of financial gotchas when purchasing a boat

Before you fall in love with a boat, make sure you understand what the final cost will be. The boat in front of you may not be a reflection of the base price model – extra add-ons will drive the price up. Negotiation is a key part of buying a boat, and there are excellent deals to be had at a boat show. However, keep in mind when negotiating a lower price that the dealer’s margins may be slimmer than you think. It can be easier to negotiate services such as maintenance rather than physical add-ons. Before signing on the dotted line, understand your financial commitment. If you are offered a monthly payment plan, make sure that you qualify first. And once you narrow down your boat choices, have a reputable boat insurance broker provide you with quotes on each one – the costs of purchasing boat insurance can vary greatly for different boats, for a variety of reasons, and this may make a difference to your budget.  Also be aware that boat insurance is different then home insurance. Learn the options and coverage related to loss, damage and liability. And finally, don’t succumb to pressure – the competitive nature of a boat show means that there are many deals to be had, often presented with a sense of urgency. However, most of those deals will still be available up to a week after the show ends, so if you need to take a day or two to consider your purchase, take it.

The joy of boat shows

If you are in the market to buy a boat in Ontario, boat shows are wonderful ways to find deals and rub shoulders with the experts. Arm yourself with a plan and some research, get your financial ducks in a row, and indulge your love of boating!


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