First, consider your budget and the different boat options, as well as where and how you will be using the boat. Boats have different uses and what you buy should fit how you plan to spend your time on it. Bowriders, pontoons, sailboats, speedboats and fishing boats are all common options and you should thoroughly consider their specialties and uses before deciding. Consider the amount of time and money you will also have to put into enjoying it. Keep in mind additional expenses, such as a trailer, storage fees, safety equipment, skis, maintenance, etc.
Second, decide if you want to purchase a new or used boat. Buying a used boat minimizes your economic risk if you end up choosing the wrong boat. New boats can be purchased from dealers and come with warranties. Used boats may be sold by boat brokers who are like real estate agents. Some boats can be found on eBay and Craigslist, but remember these offers can be risky. Always ask to see ownership papers and get everything in writing whether it’s a new or used purchase.