Boat Shopping Resources

Below are articles and other resources to help you choose the best boat and equipment for your needs.

  • Regulator boat in rough seas

How to Evaluate the Quality of a Saltwater boat

March 26, 2024|

If you are shopping for a Saltwater boat, you already know that it can be difficult to compare options.  The Saltwater segment represents a diverse group of boats ranging from small Skiffs and Flats boats to Offshore Center Consoles and Sportfishing Yachts that are sometimes 50’ or larger in length.   There are dozens of brands to choose from and many look the same on the surface.  But what lies beneath can often make the difference. In this article, I dig into the key things to look for in terms of the boat's construction, materials/components used, and other factors to [...]

  • Deck boat vs Pontoon

Deck boat vs Pontoon – which one is right for you?

May 15, 2023|

If you are considering buying a boat that can carry a lot of passengers, you might be debating between a deck boat vs pontoon boat.  While they offer similar benefits, there are a number of differences between the two types that will impact your on-water experience.  In this article, I discuss some of the key differences and share my thoughts regarding which type is best based on the activities you plan to do with the boat. What are Pontoon and Deck Boats? Pontoons Most all boaters know what a pontoon boat is.  It is basically a large, [...]

  • Fishing Pontoon Boats

What to look for in a Fishing Pontoon Boat

April 4, 2023|

Pontoon boats have become incredibly popular in recent years because of their comfort, versatility and ability to accommodate numerous guests.  And, many pontoon owners enjoy fishing from their vessel.  In this article, I will share my thoughts regarding who a fishing pontoon boat is best suited for and what factors to consider when shopping for one based on over three decades of boating industry experience and personal interviews with hundreds of pontoon owners. What are Pontoon Fishing Boats? The majority of pontoon models built today are designed primarily for pleasure cruising.  They feature large bench seating and are intended to [...]

  • Sterndrive Powered Boats

How to Find Used Boat Prices Online

November 13, 2022|

If you are thinking about buying or selling a Used boat, you need to get a sense of the fair market value.  Fortunately, there are a couple of free and easy ways to do this. NADA Guides (JD Power) This popular resource for automobile and boat values was acquired by JD Power in 2015.  Estimated market prices are derived from sales numbers from a variety of sources including private sales, dealer sales, and auction sales. Simply enter the make and model year to see a list of models available.  A nice feature of this tool is that you are [...]

  • How to buy a used boat

How to buy a boat from a private seller

November 11, 2022|

The vast majority of Used boats purchased today are bought directly from a private party.  However, buying a boat from an individual instead of a dealer requires you to do a little more work and carries additional risks.  In this article, I outline the key steps to purchasing a used boat and provide suggestions for how to protect your interests along the way.  It is assumed that you have already found a used boat to potentially purchase.  However, if you are still trying to decide which type of boat to buy or where to find a boat online, be [...]

  • Runabout and Deck Boat Incentives at BoaterInput.com

How to Register a Boat

November 10, 2022|

You just bought a boat and are anxious to start using it.  But, before you can legally use it on public waterways, you likely need to register it with your state. What is a Boat Registration? Whereas a boat title designates who has legal ownership of a boat, the registration dictates whether the vessel can be legally docked, stored, moored and/or operated on public waters within that state. Nearly all motorized boats and even some non-motorized vessels are required to be registered. When you register your boat, you will need to pay a fee.  The amount typically varies based on [...]

  • Establishing a Price for a New Boat

How Much Off MSRP for New Boat?

October 27, 2022|

Determining a fair price to pay for a new boat can be a bit of a challenge because, unlike with automobiles, dealer invoice information is often not available. Plus, you might not be able to find the same model nearby from other dealers to compare prices. In this article, I provide some guidelines to help you asses how much off the MSRP for a new boat you might be able to achieve to help you negotiate your next boat purchase. Types of New Boat Pricing When shopping for a new boat online, you will likely see one of two [...]

  • Best Places to Buy a Boat Online

Best Places to Buy a Boat Online

October 17, 2022|

If you are shopping for a new or used boat, there are dozens of sites where you can go to help find the boat of your dreams.  But which sites should you focus your time and attention? In this article, I identify the most popular boat listing sites in the US and describe what I like and dislike about each.  Plus, I provide recommendations regarding which sites you should investigate for certain types of boats. Evaluation Process To help identify the best places to buy boats online, I examined several pieces of information: Total Visits: This is the total [...]

  • Tritoon
  • Wake boat
  • Saltwater Offshore
  • Fiberglass Bass
  • Aluminum Fishing Boat

What type of boat is right for me?

September 27, 2022|

Because I am in the boating business, I often get asked “what type of boat is right for me?”.   Of course, the answer largely depends on what you are wanting to do with it.  Below is a description of the more popular boat types along with my two-cents regarding who they are best suited for and the advantages and disadvantages of each based on my boat ownership and usage experience and over 30 years of doing research with boaters. ALUMINUM FISHING These boats are generally lightweight, relatively lower priced, and are used primarily for fishing, hunting or basic transportation.   [...]

  • Outboard Motor
  • Sterndrive

Is an Outboard or Sterndrive better?

September 26, 2022|

If you are shopping for a Runabout or Cruiser, you might be wondering “is an outboard or sterndrive better?”   In this article I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each propulsion type and provide some recommendations as to which one is best for a given application. Not long ago there was not much choice in the matter; smaller boats and boats designed for fishing were largely outboard powered whereas pleasure boats were often propelled by a sterndrive engine.  However, as outboards got bigger and better over time, and as the cost of sterndrives increased (due, in part, to the [...]