Are you planning to have more fun on the water? Pontoon boats are a great way to enjoy cruising on the water, but new ones are pretty expensive. If you want luxury on a budget, buying a used pontoon is the way to go. The best time to buy a used pontoon is winter, between November and February.
Winter is off-season for almost all boating activities, and demand for pontoon boats is lowest at this time. Since demand is low, the prices of pontoon boats will be low too, and you will have options to choose from. This article takes you through the nitty-gritty of buying a used pontoon boat. Read on!
Reasons For Buying Pontoon Boat During The Offseason
1. Dealers Want To Get Rid Of Stock
As we have said above, most boat dealers selling used pontoon boats want to get rid of their old watercraft. They go out crying to potential customers to buy their boats, and they would sell them at a great deal to buyers. They may sell at a lower cost to clear them off and make room for new ones they’ll purchase for the summer season. Buying a boat during this time ensures you get a good deal by buying a quality boat at a relatively lower price.
2. Boat Shows
During the offseason, there are numerous boat shows and exhibitions done by dealers selling used pontoon boats. As a result, they create stiff competition between them, everyone trying to convince customers to buy his product. One of the powerful, convincing techniques they use is to sell the boats at a lower price than their competitor, and that being the case, you will have an advantage because you want fantastic but pocket-friendly deals.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Used Pontoon Boat
As they say, ‘cheap is expensive,’ sometimes true. You may find yourself spending much more on the used pontoon boat you purchased than that amount you would have used to buy a brand new pontoon. To avoid this, some key factors need to be considered before deciding which one you’ll purchase. You can imagine how hectic it is to research those factors and the time you will waste, which you could have used to do something productive. We have made your work easier, and below are some of the factors that you should consider before buying a used pontoon boat:
1. Try To Drive The Pontoon
Before purchasing any used pontoon boat, we highly recommend that you take it to the nearest water body and try to drive before making your decision. If the seller accepts to give it to you for the test, you have to pay attention to keenly
1. The sound of the pontoon boat’s motor when you start.
2. Watch if the gauges are accurately and perfectly working when on the move.
When still on the water, try to drive it according to how you would do when you buy it. Drive it at high speed, make sharp turns, and see how it performs. Don’t drive it straight; it’ll be difficult to notice some of the problems that may exist in the pontoon. Remember, it is not a brand new pontoon, so don’t expect it to be that much faster. However much original the motor’s horsepower would be.
2. Condition Of The Pontoon
Inspect the condition of the pontoon you want to buy, and see if the way it is will convince you to make the purchase. Have a more consideration on;
1. The Furniture And Floor
As it is already a used pontoon, you should expect wear and tear of some parts of the floor and furniture. But it would be best to look at the degree of that wear and tear to avoid those that will develop into a bigger problem(s). Keep off buying a pontoon boat with large rips and tears because you will be forced to replace it very soon.
Also, be aware of the condition of the floor. Go over the floor and check whether it has rotting/rotten spots, look underneath if possible if it is carpeted, and see if it has signs of rotting or wearing out. If it has left it, or else, you’ll incur a loss, as it will be expensive for you to repair. Try to step everywhere and feel if it is soft; any soft feeling means that the floor is rotten, or it is in the process of rotting. You can avoid it, or risk and buy, though we discourage the latter, because maintenance cost may be a burden.
2. The Motor
The reliability of any boat depends on how well the motor performs. Before purchasing, ensure that the motor is in good condition so that it won’t leave you stranded on the water. See if it is being taken care of by looking at how dirty or clean it is. Keep an eye on any leakage of fluids that may exist. In case of any leakage, have a chat with the seller and see if he can repair it before you purchase, or if you’ll be given on discount, which is equivalent to the estimated cost of the repair. After examining the motor, how is the condition of other parts? Are they cracked, worn, or broken? Do they need repair and maintenance? If yes, it means that you’ll incur some cost to replace, repair, and maintain the affected parts.
3. Condition Of The Hull
Don’t see an outward appearance of a used pontoon boat looking brand new and assume everything is okay. Observe the condition of the hull very keenly; see whether you can spot some cracks that may turn out to be a significant problem. Can you spot any lumps or dents at the junction where the deck meets the hull? If it has one or two small cracks that do not seem dangerous, that won’t be a big deal; you can buy it as long as other factors to consider have impressed you. Also, another thing to look at is the shining degree of the hull, though this does not have any effects because it’s a matter of applying cosmetics. You can polish the hull to give it a new look.
3. Where To Get It
It may be challenging to get a legit seller of used pontoons, and it will require you to be highly keen to protect your wallet. The world is full of scammers; therefore, ensure that you are well versed with the seller of the watercraft you want to purchase. Living in a digital world has eased how things are done, and selling products online has grown every day, even though others are scammers. Places you can search for used pontoon boats is Boat trader, which allows you to navigate through and narrow down to the pontoon you want based on your requirements and location. There are also listings of local dealers, which you can approach to help you buy the one that matches your needs.
Local boat dealers also have used models for sale; you can visit them and see if they have the pontoon to satisfy your expectations.
Best Time To Sell A Pontoon Boat
In the above two sections, we have given insights on when to buy your pontoon boat, why you should buy it at that time, and the factors you should consider before deciding which one to purchase. In this third section, we will look at the best time to sell your pontoon boat.
That being said, the best time to sell your pontoon is during spring and early summer. That is the time when loads of people want to go out on the water, and the demand for watercraft is on top. People will be scrambling to buy them, as they don’t want to miss the experience on waters during that time. In case you get bored with your pontoon, and you want to get rid of it, or you want to replace it with a new one or another model, wait for spring or early summer to sell them and get at least some of the money you used to purchase it.
We hope that this article will significantly benefit you as you prepare to get on the water and have the experience you are yarning for. From our discussion, we found that there is no specific time that is best when you want to buy a used pontoon boat. Still, we recommend you buy it during the fall and winter season(off-season), and we have given our reasons on why we chose that season, one of them being that dealers want to dispose of them to get new ones. We gave you factors that you should pay attention to before deciding which pontoon to buy that will save your pocket while giving you the best experience. Additionally, we have gone the extra mile and discussed the best time to sell your watercraft if you want. Now, the choice is yours; make a bold decision on the best time to buy or sell your used pontoon.
NUS is a kayaking enthusiast who has been kayaking with a local group for the last five years. He loves using kayaks while out on outings on the water or camping when the friends want to have a BBQ party somewhere on the bank of a local lake.
Based on his experiences with the different types of kayaks, he is sharing his opinion about kayaking tricks and required gears so that a beginner can get started right away.
Find his team on Twitter here. Happy reading!