Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat
Think the boat you’re considering is big enough? Think again. Following are our top ten reasons to buy a bigger boat.
Remember: In the end, it’s all relative and you should buy the boat that’s best for you.
Reason # 10: It’s the economy, stupid.
Even after the last big recession you can still get a lot more boat for your money than you could previously. History and economic trends tell us that the prices of boats are going to rise significantly as they start selling again, as are the interest rates on boat loans, or the cost of money.
And right now, boat dealers are making deals and individuals are putting boats up for auction to make a quick sale. Sooner or later, sellers won’t be looking to make a deal to move inventory or to convince you that it’s okay that a brand of boat is on the brink of bankruptcy. Interest rates won’t be nearly zero for long. It’s a buyer’s market, so grab all you can if have the means.
Reason # 9: Tax Incentives
A real estate blog in the Washington Post reminded me recently that boat owners have an excellent tax advantage available to them. That is, of course, if they already own a home and if the boat is big enough.
Boats that have a head and a galley (that’s a bathroom and a kitchen area for you newbies) may qualify as a second home in the eyes of Uncle Sam, possibly allowing you to deduct the interest on your boat loan.
So if you’re on the fence between a boat that has these amenities and one that does not, there could be a financial incentive to you in April if you go with the bigger boat with all the extra stuff.
Reason # 8. Cure “Foot-itus”
As a smart boat buyer, you have to face two simple facts: First of all, boats are like cars in that they lose a lot of value as soon as you “drive off the lot”. Second, no matter how big of a boat you buy, soon after your first cruise you will immediately start planning to buy an even bigger boat. That’s just what boaters do.
Read more about the serious condition of “Foot-itus”, also commonly referred to as “Two-foot-itus”, which gives boaters an uncontrollable urge to continuously buy larger vessels, at BoatU.S.)
These factors – the cost of buying a boat, losing a bunch of money on it, and then suffering from Foot-itus and buying the bigger boat later – will cost you a lot more than if you had simply bought the bigger boat now. Buying the bigger boat now may also quell your desire to trade up to an even bigger boat (at least temporarily!)
Reason # 7: The Life Boat
Let’s face it, life happens. You may choose to buy a smaller boat now and think that in a year or two you’ll trade up to a bigger boat (see Reason # 8).
Think again. You never know what might transpire in your life over the next few years that could put buying a new boat on the back burner. Car and home repairs, college tuition, a career change or some other unforeseen event might take priority over upgrading to that bigger boat.
The boat you buy now may end up being your “life” boat, the boat you have for a very long time – possibly the rest of your life. With that in mind, buy the bigger boat now as if it is going to be your boat for life.
Reason # 6. Sharks.
You “Jaws” fans have been waiting for this line since we started discussing the Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat. Here it is… wait for it…
The sixth top reason to buy a bigger boat is not only because the late Roy Scheider said so, but it will also make you feel safer. I know, “Jaws” was just a movie, but come on – if you ever see a big fin in the water you know you’ll be wishing the boat you’re on was just a little bit bigger! Get the bigger boat now, because you never know when you’ll run into a huge, hungry shark.
Reason # 5: Versatility
A bigger boat is more versatile than a smaller one, allowing you to take farther, longer trips.
Sure, you could make an argument that a little runabout is more versatile than a cabin cruiser because the runabout could take a few people out for skiing, picnics, overnight camping, and day trips across the lake. While that is true, a larger boat can carry more fuel and withstand rougher seas allowing you to travel significantly farther than you would dare in most smaller boats.
For example, a Connecticut boater with an 18-footer might not attempt a trip to Block Island, or even outside the safety of Long Island Sound. Meanwhile, the boater with a 34-footer wouldn’t hesitate. And with the larger boat, you can still go camping on the beach… but you also have the option of actually sleeping inside the boat. Heck, if your boat is big enough, you could even carry that smaller boat around in an on board garage like the one on this Lazzara LSX 92. How’s that for versatility?
Reason # 4. Extend the boating season
Up here in chilly New England, all the small boats are pretty much out of the water for the winter. The bigger boats are still being used for fall fishing trips, foliage viewing, and many yachts are making their way down south for the winter.
The first half of the summer was so rainy here that most small boats stayed docked or on their trailer until mid-August. But a bigger boat with a cabin wouldn’t let a little drizzle ruin the weekend. Small craft advisories are just that: warnings to small crafts. The big boys get to stay out and play if it’s safe to do so.
Simply put, a big boat is more practical than a smaller boat because it can be used more often and for a longer chunk of the year. Rougher seas, inclement weather, a chill in the air… no problem for the bigger boat!
Reason # 3. Reduce “Guest Stress”
Have you ever experienced “Guest Stress” right before going out on the boat? You know the feeling when nine people show up at the dock when you only invited three.
Somebody brought their two kids AND one of the kid’s friends, your favorite aunt brought your other aunt who doesn’t even like boats, and even your spouse invited two people that you didn’t know were coming. You hate to be the bad guy, but safety first. Imagine the horror when you have to tell some of your guests that they can’t come along!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could fit more friends and family on your boat comfortably – and experience less stress about the guest list? You will enjoy your boat more if you can have “more the merrier” attitude – heck, you’ll probably even live longer! The folks at Discover Boating said it best: “Your family and group of friends are growing and they will keep growing. Once you find what you think is the right boat, check one out that is two feet longer. Three years from now, will your family be more comfortable in this one?”
Reason # 2. Save on Fuel and Food
This may sound counter-intuitive – but you can spend less money on both food and fuel with a bigger boat. It’s simple if you go big and take it slow.
Enjoying a bigger boat properly means taking more leisurely cruises than you may be used to. By going slower, you burn less fuel than you burn zipping around in a smaller, faster boat. You’ll even enjoy sitting at the dock more on your spacious vessel than you would in a smaller boat.
In fact, that brings us to how you’ll save on food. A bigger boat with a workable galley and comfortable seating areas will allow you to eat on board vs. heading on shore to the closest restaurant and spending a fortune every night. You’ll save a few bucks and experience waterfront dining at its best – on the comfort of your own boat.
Rounding out our Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Bigger Boat is:
Reason # 1. Let’s Face It, ALL Boats Are Too Small
It’s true. And after shopping for boats at countless boat shows, boat dealerships and marinas, you, too will notice the stark difference between how big a 30-footer looks up on pedestals in a coliseum or show room compared to how small the same boat looks in the water tied up at a dock.
Most people are surprised when they first notice this. Of course, the boat doesn’t actually shrink when it’s placed in the water. But remember that about a quarter of the boat’s exterior is now hidden below the waterline.
Staring up at the hull at an indoor boat show makes the boat look huge. Staring down at the deck from the dock when the boat is in the water makes the same boat appear much smaller. It’s only then that you realize that much of that hidden real estate on the boat is not even usable living space, i.e., the engine, bilge, storage, etc.
So, to avoid buyer’s remorse and ensure that you will not be disappointed by the size of your boat after you purchase it and place it in the water, buy that bigger boat now!