Boat Buyer’s Guide
Buying a boat is a gateway to years of family fun and enjoyment, and the process is a relatively simple one. Our experienced sales team is trained to walk though all questions you may have to make sure you find the boat that’s right for your needs. For those first-time buyers there are many common questions that boater should think about as they embark on their decision, and we’ve tried to address some of them below.
The first thing you should think of is how will you use it – Will it be for water sports? Cruising? Will you be entertaining friends, or your kids friends? Will you be fishing, or spending the night on your boat? Will you be operating on Winnipesaukee or other waters? All of these will add fun to your experience, but they will also shape the buying decision.
Should I buy New or Used – This question typically comes down to personal choice. It often depends on budget, desire for warranty, and how long you expect to own your boat. Many boaters may start with a smaller boat and trade-up to larger boats as their kids grow and they become more accustomed to boating. You’ll want to consider overall condition, safety features, engine and optional features when looking at pre-owned boats.
Type of boat – Bowrider, Deckboat, Cuddy Cabin, Cruiser, Pontoon Boat… so many choices! Deciding which is right for you can be difficult. Don’t worry though, the Meredith Marina sales team is here to help! Bowriders offer plenty of seating and sport boat performance and many come with a head (or porta-pottie). Deckboats are becoming more popular every year. The combination of bowrider performance and pontoon boat amenities make them the most versatile out of the group. Do you want all of the comforts of your living room on your boat? Do you have a large family or frequent guests? Then maybe a pontoon boat is the answer. Pontoon boats are also becoming more popular due to recent innovations that have increased their performance and style. Cuddy Cabins and Cruisers are great for venturing out during the day and spending the night or weekend on board. Many have all of the comforts of home!
Financing – There are many financing options available for your boat purchase. Most boat loans have longer terms than an automobile loan. Some boats can be financed for up to 20 years. This means lower monthly payments! Many new models can be financed for less than $200 per month!
Fuel Economy – The amount of gas you use will vary on the size of your boat and how fast you’re going. Remember you’re not always running – most boaters spend a lot of the time anchored enjoying picnics, swimming, entertaining etc. For those who are putting lots of hours on their boats, you should know that Stingray boats use 1/3 less fuel due to their patented Z-plane hull design and many of our Hurricane Deck Boats as well as Godfrey Pontoon boats are equipped with very fuel efficient 4 stroke outboards. Most families can spend an entire weekend enjoying their boat with one tank of gas!
Trailering – While many boaters are comfortable trailering their boat and enjoy experiencing different waters, some boaters prefer to leave the boat in a slip or our valet service, and they never have to buy a trailer. See your vehicle owner’s manual for tow ratings. Our experienced team will show you the proper way to hook up your trailer and the proper way to tow it!
Service – Most boats are sold with warranties to cover any issues however routine maintenance (oil changes etc.) is still the responsibility of the owner. Boats do need to be professionally winterized in the offseason to prevent engine damage, and some customers choose to store boats here while others trailer them home following winterization.
Registration – Similar to cars, boats have to registered with the state each year, and we can handle your paperwork at closing and the start of each season.
Taxes – There is no state sales tax in New Hampshire, and no luxury tax on boats.
Insurance – Insurance is easy to obtain and we can put you in touch with underwriters that special in boat insurance and therefore can offer low rates. Insurance depends on the size and year of your boat, but typically costs under $300 per year.
We hope this has helped answer some of your questions and shows that we believe in customer service. We’ve also tried to make this site useful for new boat buyers, and have included a resource for videos and reviews. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 603-279-7921, or send us your comments on our contact page.