new boat guide 2015

At the time of typing, the year's biggest showcase of extravagant yachts and awesome waterbound craft, The London Boatshow, is still powering on after already impressing attendees several times over. Whether you had the pleasure of seeing these new models and products up close or through online photos, it may have ignited that long held off spark to look into finding a vessel to call your own. Even if you already own your own catamaran or sleuth, this article by The Onion (a most reputable news source, we assure you) suggests now may be the right time to dig deep yet again. Seachest is here to help with our own New Boat Buyer's Guide for 2015!

Step 1: What kind of boat do you want to float?

It's one thing to have an image in your head of exactly how you want to use your new boat, but knowing what kind of vessel will make that a reality is a different matter altogether. We doubt that anyone would go the full nautical mile with their purchase without some clear idea of what each boat does, but just for the sake of basic knowledge, here's a breakdown of all the major boat types:

Cruising: Probably what most people imagine when they mutter to themselves "I Should Buy A Boat...", cruising boats are characterised by docile handling qualities, interior space, good light-wind performance and on-board comfort. Some offer cabin accommodation and some don't, so you'll want to decide whether you want a boat for cruising in the day or for overnight voyages.

Fishing Boats: Designed with open cockpits and the maximum amount of deck space for their intended purpose, fishing boats can also be built with sleeping quarters, though it's typically smaller. Whether for big game or small time angling, most good fishing boats try to strike a balance between comfort and a prime catching space.

For Watersports: Waterskiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, tubing...they all require a boat! Though some boats like Bowriders and Pontoons give a nice space for relaxing on the water, many types of watersport boats are known for providing the speed needed to get the most out of the water.

Step 2: Narrow Your Choice Down With Knowledge

Before owning your first boat, it helps to know everything about owning a boat. By researching with just of a few of the many Boat Buying Reference guides, talking with experienced boat owners and salesmen and other forms of your research you may start to get a gradual picture of how to fit your desired boat into your life. Getting educated on the finer points of new boat ownership will give you greater idea of how best to use it, get it to meet your travel requirements, store it, maintain it, transport it and insure it.
buying a yacht guidesailing cruiser buying guidesurveyor boat guide

There's no point seeking out an Express Cruiser or Trawler if your best option is to park it at home, nor is it wise to desire a Jet Boat or Bowrider until you're adequately trained to use it. Reading and learning as much as you can about boating before you start looking for local sellers will not only lead you to a raft that best fits your lifestyle, but you'll be all the more prepared for life aboard it.

Step 3: Buying brand New or Going Second Hand

This classic question of budget always has similar pro's and cons regardless of what your buying, but with boats there's lots of hidden questions you need to be aware of. Boats that are fresh from the factory have very clear benefits: issue free engine/sail performance, no damage and they come with warranty coverage and the support of manufacturers. There are some cons though - newer boats often don't include all the necessary equipment, they depreciate in value fast and often feature technology that is more expensive not because it's better, but because its new.

Second hand boats can be bought for a fraction less, but with lower cost comes a higher risk. Whilst they are often sold with all the necessary on-board gear and with insurance that is much more affordable, a limited warranty or lack there of, plus the requirement of a surveyor to fine comb its condition means it might be as money-saving as it first appeared.

guide to buying a boat 2015

This Year's New Boat Recommendations

As a 2015 new boat guide, this article wouldn't be complete without a couple of mentions of the best boats on the market for those who do decide to buy new, or perhaps want to have an idea of what they could look for second hand in a few year's time:

Cruiser - Jeanneau Sun Odessy 349Average Retail Price: £60,807Designed by Marc Lombard and available in a choice of two or three cabins, this new twin wheel & two rudder cruiser is spacious, easy to handle and with very high qualitywoodwork. Winner of Cruising World's Boat of the Year 2015 award for Best Pocket Cruiser.

Powerboat -  Bavaria Sport 400Average Retail Price: £212,000
Available in an open, hard top or coupe model, this practical powerboat mixes practicality with luxury to match your particular dream day out on the water. The owner's cabin is more akin to a suite, with an open sunroof turning the cockpit into more of a social space.

Fishing - Mariner 180Average Retain Price: £12,995
With its strong storage space, great speed and sizeable cockpit, this is one of the most natural boats for fishing we've seen in years. Nicely tailored to the individual, those who've been through many fishing boats in their time will appreciate how the Mariner 180 combines the best bits of all of them.

To keep up to date with all our boating guides and news, float on over to the Seachest Facebook page, Twitter and Google+.

Post By Graham