The human race is not an aquatic species, but people have long since had an affinity for the water all the same. Boats have been used since the dawn of history for fishing, trading, exploration, and even war. Today, major fishing companies are catching nets of fish and navies handle warfare. For the average American, “boat” means fishing boats such as pontoon boats, or speed boats for some fun at the local lake. Finding used boats for sale is a great way for a budget-oriented enthusiast to launch a marine hobby, though new and cutting-edge fishing boats and pontoon boats do have their perks. So, what should a customer know when they visit boat dealers to find a new vehicle to purchase? And how is the overall boat industry holding up?

Boating Today

It is safe to say that Americans love boating, and the industry is as strong as ever. In fact, 95% of all boats sold in the United States are domestically built, and they come in a variety of brand names. Overall, the numbers say that the recreational boating industry has yearly economic impact of $121.5 billion, which includes direct, indirect and induced spending. This mammoth industry also supports around 650,000 jobs (both direct and indirect), and some 35,000 different small businesses. Sales of boats and marine products and services climbed 3% in 2016 to reach a value of $37 billion, and at some point, estimates believed that trend would continue through 2018. Better yet, it is believed that 95% of Americans live within a one-hour drive to a navigable body of water that can support boats, from California to Missouri to the New England area. Practically anyone, anywhere, can buy a boat and find somewhere to use it. Now, how to buy one?

Looking For a Fishing Boat for Sale

A quick aside: there is also the option to rent boats, such as for interested parties who want to go out on the lake once in a while but can’t justify the expense of purchasing a boat. Staff members at local marinas should be able to help with this, and offer pontoon boats and speed boats for sale.

Meanwhile, many Americans, often middle-aged ones, are looking to purchase boats, and they can find such vehicles at marinas and land-based retailers alike. Often, a new boat will come with a wheeled trailer as a package, so the new owner can tow that boat home with their pickup truck or a strong SUV. Such trailers are also used to ease a boat into the water once it’s time for boating, so recreational boats can be considered somewhat amphibious.

Now, about finding a new fishing boat for sale. New boats will cost the most, but in exchange, these boats will be in excellent condition and have no wear or tear, and they will also come with factory warranties. What is more, they tend to boast the newest and most cutting-edge fuel efficiency, motor power, features, and aesthetics, which (when combined) can make for an outstanding boating experience. Many retailers will offer various financing options, and a buyer is urged to have a good credit score so they can get a great deal (prices will vary, of course).

A used boat is also a strong option, especially for more budget-oriented buyers who have excluded high-end new boats from their search. Used boats can, in many cases, be an excellent deal for their discounted price, though a shopper is urged to make their search thorough and careful so they can find those deals. Discount prices vary, especially among private sellers, but a buyer can look over the boat in question and decide if it’s a good buy. In person, the buyer can check the hull for cracks or holes, make sure the awning is in good shape (such as on pontoon boats), and look over the boat’s carpeting and seats for any wear and tear. Of course, the buyer should take the boat for a test run to assess its engine performance.

If the used boat’s outstanding repair needs are minimal, the buyer can purchase it for a greatly discounted price, and effect repairs as needed. They can, for example, remove the worn-out boat carpeting and put down new carpeting themselves.

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