Boat Owner Orientation

What should be expected when buying a new boat.

Looking for a new or used boat to buy? The questions to be asked when buying a boat may not always be directly related to the boat manufacturer or model. Sometimes it’s more about the lifestyle of owning a boat. To make a decision, the right dealer is as important as the type of boat.

Buying a boat isn’t like buying a newspaper, a loaf of bread or even a car or truck. When a newspaper and groceries are purchased, the items have a finite timeline. Most people already drive either a car or truck. But with a boat purchase, especially with a first-time buyer, it is more of a lifestyle change, than a mode of transportation. A good dealer should guide the buyer through the process of navigating the wonderful world of a lifestyle afloat.

The best dealers walk buyers through all the features, functions of the equipment and the owner’s service points. This information may be unfamiliar to new boaters. It is essential that the dealer makes orientation to the boat an intrinsic part of the deal. Buyers need to learn how to use each feature to enrich their days on the water.


The new boat orientation should focus on key points like: how the canvas goes up or on; how the head works, using it and keeping it pleasant; what is the blower switch on the inboard or I/O; connect the safety lanyard and starting the motor. The dealer should introduce you to the safety gear and how to use it.

When there is time available with the dealer, any and all questions should be asked. If a dealer is involved in the sale, the buyer and dealer should build a relationship where the buyer can come back later and ask questions or arrange a maintenance schedule. Buying from the right dealer is just as important as buying the right boat.

The dealer should also make sure the buyer knows the basics; how to gas up and launch and load the boat. The relationship only starts at the sale and should never end! From handing off the keys to launching and loading the boat, the relationship with the dealer should grow over time.


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