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When Is the Right Time to Buy?

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You may be out using your boat quite a bit these days, whether you’re in the warmer climes of a world in summer in the northern hemisphere or in the part of the world where it’s always boating season and you climb aboard to make the most of sea breezes as the mercury rises and school-age family members have some free time.

When you’re using your boat, that may be the time that you think most about upgrading to the next model, something different, something that may change the game for you and get you and your family and help you get more into boating than ever. The question is: Do you make a change now or do you enjoy the summer and the status quo and then start your hunt in the fall? Here are three ways to think about it.

1) Well begun is half done. Start your search now, and maybe you’ll spot a deal, some boat on a trailer that never got launched this season (or maybe even never even got wet last season) and the owner is tired of paying storage and is realizing that he’s never going to use the boat the way he thought.

Your broker may know about these boats, because he’s in touch with his buddies at the boatyards all the time on other matters and a simple, eyes-open question such as “Hey, what’s that?” can inspire a phone call here or there to find out about things. The market has been fairly busy these days with boats changing hands, and the inventory levels are not what they once were for pre-owned boats priced to move. There are always going to be a good number of boats for sale, but the number of bargains out there—and remember one man’s deal is another man’s ripoff—ebbs and flows.

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2) Wait it out. You’ve got a good boat, she’s running well (thanks to your maintenance!), and everyone looks forward to spending time aboard. Sure you’d like to extend some cruises into long weekends and beyond, but the space is a bit tight for that if the whole crew comes along. Plus your job or business may have picked up with the strengthening economy and while you could be away, it’s just as well to stay closer to home. Maybe call a broker and tell him you may want to sell, and have a meeting with him.

Ask the broker what you can do to increase the return on your current investment, such as when a good time to list the boat is, and also what you need to do next. If he says, Stop using the boat, since many more hours on the engine will drop your asking price, or You need to get the boat cleaned, get all your junk off it, and leave it on the dock so I can show it, then you need to decide if your broker is really listening to you at this midsummer meeting or if he’s just looking for inventory he knows will move. If you’re ready to make that move, work with him and also give him a list of what you will need in your next boat.

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3) Search for the fun of it. There’s a lot out there to see. If you don’t know what to do right now, that’s not a crime. That’s the fun of looking. You may see a boat on BoatQuest.com that makes you stop and say, Wait a minute… this is the boat that I always wanted. What’s wrong with it that it’s listed at that price? Honey, have a look at this…

Bottom line: Only you know when it’s time to pull the ripcord.

Here are the listings for the boats shown on this post, from the top:

1980 Broward 80 Raised Pilothouse listed by Leo Thibault at Edwards Yacht Sales

2015 Viking 55 Convertible listed by Team Michael C at Galati Yacht Sales

2015 Contender 28 listed by Anglers Edge Marine

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