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Power Boat Buyer’s Guide

If you are looking to buy a power boat, a bit of background knowledge is essential, especially if it is the first time you have bought a boat. Doing your homework will help you make the right decision and ensure that you get the perfect boat for you. There are a number of practical considerations you need to make to get your started, such as what you will use the boat for, how large you need the vessel to be, your budget, and whether you will be buying new or used.

When it comes to buying your power boat it is worth trying to visiting one of the boat shows in order to speak to experts and shop around: there are many held each year with the largest being London in January and Southampton in September. If you are unable to attend you should do as much research as possible by searching online and reading boating publications.

Power boat hulls

One of the most important considerations is what you are planning to use the vessel for, as this will help you to choose the right boat to suit your lifestyle. To narrow down your search it is worth looking at the basic principles of hull design.

There are three main types of hull:


When considering purchasing a power boat it is important that you take into account the annual running costs of running a boat such as marina fees, engine servicing, maintenance, fuel, harbour dues and power boat insurance.

New Power Boat ProsNew Power Boat ConsUsed Power Boat ProsUsed Power Boat Cons
Good financing options Rapid depreciation early on Purchase cost is less than new Financing options may not be as good
Warranty protection Purchase cost Usually much better equipped Warranty may not be included
Choose the specification to suit your needs Equipement will be extra Less depreciation Specification as seen

Buying a new power boat

Boat In Marina

If you are buying a new boat you have the option of buying direct from a manufacturer or via an authorised dealer or agent. If the manufacturer is not based in the UK then it is likely that they will have a UK agent you can contact.

You should always ensure that you receive a builder's certificate, and that the boat is built and equipped to Boat Safety Scheme standards. You should always make sure that sea trials are included as part of any contract you sign as it is important that you try the boat before you buy it.

Buying a used power boat

When buying a used boat you can either do so using a broker or through a private sale. Whichever option you choose it is important that you go for a number of viewings and look out for things such as:

  • Indentations in the hull

  • Oil leaks

  • Damage to the propellers and rudder

  • Sign of corrosion on metal hulls

  • Signs of damp

Find out as much as you can about the boat before you make an offer, such as the history of the boat, outstanding mortgages, how long the boat has been for sale, and whether it has been in any accidents. Once you have done your visual inspection and background checks it is vital that you partake in a sea trial to see how the boat actually runs and handles.

sold sign on power boat


This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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