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Finding the Perfect Boat Dealer


If you’re in the market for a new boat, it’s important that you purchase your boat from a reputable dealer. Since your boat dealer will be someone you rely on to explain the details of the boat you’re purchasing and is also likely to be someone you visit again and again for service, it’s important that they be someone you can trust. A boat is a big investment, so you want to be sure that you purchase it from the right boat dealer. Here are some questions you should ask of any potential boat dealer before you buy.

How long have you been in business? Many boat businesses fail, and it’s important that you minimize your risk of buying a boat from a boat dealer that will be out of business in a year. Buying from a dealer who has been in business for several years helps ensure that he’ll still be there when you need him for service or repairs.

What are your business hours? If your boat dealer will also service and repair your boat, it’s important that you know when his service department is open for business. Saturday may be the day of the week that’s most convenient for you to take your boat in for service, so you need to be sure that your boat dealer keeps hours that work for you.

How does your service department work? If your boat is under warranty, will you have to pay a deductible for repairs? Is there regular engine service required? What are the charges for basic engine servicing? Are there any repairs that the dealer can’t perform?

Is the dealer “authorized” or “certified” for the boat you’re purchasing? Many boat manufacturers will train and certify mechanics and businesses for performing maintenance and repairs. You want to be certain that your dealer is certified or authorized by the manufacturer of your boat; otherwise your repairs may not be guaranteed under the boat’s warranty.

If you ask these questions, as well as asking the pertinent questions regarding the particular boat you’re considering, you should be well equipped to make an informed and safe purchasing decision.

It’s also a good idea to get references from friends if you can. If you have friends who are boat owners, find out the name of the boat dealer they purchased from and find out how happy they were with the buying experience. In addition, inquire as to any dealings they’ve had with the dealer since their purchase, such as for service and repairs. Ask them if they would consider buying from the same dealer again. Finding out the experiences of a dealer’s other customers can be very valuable.

Buying a boat is a major investment. You want to get the best price and ensure that you’ll have great service after the sale. It really pays to shop around for the best boat, and the best boat dealer.


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