Buying a boat isn't something you can just DO. It is a purchase that needs plenty of careful planning before you can finally buy your dream yacht or cruiser.
The checklist below is a summary of what you need to be able to buy a boat sucessfully -
- TIME - a neglected boat is a very sad story, and yachts need to be sailed regularly to keep them at their best. I would say that one outing on the water in every three months is the very minimum you can sail your yacht. What's more, you will need to give your boat essential maintenece (unless, of course, you are willing to pay someone to do that for you), so if you do not think you will have enough time to maintain your vessel properly AND enjoy yourself on the water, then buying a boat may not be the best decision for you at the moment.
- A HARBOUR - if your boat is small, you may consider purchasing a trailer and storing the boat somewhere on your land (eg. a driveway), but a larger boat will require a dock of some kind. Therefore, if sailing your boat is something you plan to do often, a marina of some kind nearby is always a great bonus. Of course, marinas cost money - so many buyers opt for a smaller boat and a trailer. It is also worthwhile to make sure that your storage is a safe place for the boat - chain it to something solid to protect it from theives, or fit with a specially made burglar alarm.
- ENTHUSIASM - everybody will be excited with bying their first boat - but this isn't necesarily going to last. Make sure when buying your yacht that your enthusiasm is going to last - if it dwindles, it won't just be money that you may have wasted - it will be effort too.
- EXPERIENCE - and not neccesarily very much! In this case, the obvious reason for needing experience out on the water is to know how to handle your boat properly - and what to do in different situations. However - another just as important reason (which is related to the enthusiasm section above) is that the more experience you have on the water, the more you will know if owning a boat is really the thing for you. If it is something you are going to get bored with, the more experience you have the more you will realise this. And if it's something you really don't like in the first place, you will realise this through even a small amount of experience on the water. It will also help you realise good and bad features of different vessels - a skill that never fails to come in handy when looking for a yacht to buy.
- WATER - sounds stupid - but there's no point buying a boat unless you live by the sea, or at least something similar (eg a large inland lake). Many boat buyers forget that - it's extremely suprising. However, if you live far from a yachting location, but are sincerely willing to travel there whenever you wish to use your vessel, it's fine! This is one of things that is left entirely up to you.
- MONEY - Insurance, Berthing Fees, Harbour Fees, Maintanence, Fuel, Equipment and Charts are just a few of the additional prices to be paid after buying your boat. Be prepared for this - it catches many inexperienced yacht buyers out - and they end up having to take out a loan for the privelige of actually sailing and operating the yacht they have just bought!