New or Used Boat - How Do You Decide?

Posted by: Erik Hendricks on Mar 29, 2018 11:20:00 AM

Buying new or used is one of the first decisions you encounter when you want to purchase a boat. You don't have a one-size-fits-all answer you can point to. One of the best ways to discover the best option is to ask yourself a few essential questions. 

What Are Your Preferences?

Do you have a natural inclination to go with a new or used boat? You may find yourself drawn to a boat that's fresh off the assembly line with that new boat smell. Maybe you'd rather skip losing 25 to 30 percent of the money you paid as soon as you take ownership of the boat, so you want to look into a used option.

An excellent way to determine whether you prefer one over another is to look at your habits when you purchase vehicles. If you have a driveway filled with used vehicles, chances are you're going to want to follow that pattern when you move to boats.

What Features Do You Require?

If you have a long list of feature must-haves, you may run into challenges of finding everything you want on a used boat. When you buy something brand new, you have the opportunity to tailor it to your needs and select the bells and whistles that fit into your lifestyle perfectly.

Sometimes a lot of the features on your wishlist are wants and not needs. You could end up overlooking perfectly good boat options due to this situation. Think about how your experience on the water gets impacted when you drop specific features. You want to focus on the ones that would ruin your trip if you went without them.

What's Your Budget?

In an ideal boat buying world, the budget wouldn't be a concern. Realisitically, it is, so you need to consider this carefully in relation to everything you want out of your purchase. If you have a lot of features that you can't live without, you may need to do the legwork of finding that combination on a used boat. A lower budget may not allow access to brand new boats that are fully outfitted, so it's important to keep all of your options in mind.

What's Your Mechanical Ability?

Are you great at taking care of basic mechanical problems on your boat and addressing issues as they occur? You may run into more issues on older used boats, but if you're handy, you can save a lot of money by fixing everything yourself.

If you'd rather get into something that just works, a new boat is the way to go. You might have a few kinks to work out early on, but this purchase has a warranty backing it. 

How Many Owners Does the Boat Have?

A boat that's passed through many hands may suffer from inconsistent maintenance, sporadic repairs and other problems with its long-term care. When you find a boat that has had the same owner the entire time, you have an easier time learning about its history, whether it's suffered major mechanical problems, the parts that got replaced, and other vital details.


Once you answer all of these questions, you should have a good idea of whether a new or used boat works best for your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Before long, you'll be relaxing on the water and enjoying your purchase.

Topics: First Boat
Miller Marine New Boat Checklist