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Complete Guide to Buying a Boat in NZ

Wednesday, 12 April 2023

Complete Guide to Buying a Boat in NZ

With all the beaches, lakes, and rivers throughout NZ, having a boat, especially over summer can be a very fun and rewarding time for all. Boats can be used for a variety of different activities like fishing, diving, or water skiing, but deciding on what type of boat to go for can be a challenge.

In this complete guide, we take you through the process of buying a boat in NZ and outline tips and tricks along the way to make the boat-buying experience as fun and easy as possible. We provide questions to ask sellers and checklists to help make sure you don’t miss anything important when buying a boat. The guide covers the different stages of the boat-buying process which we have outlined below:

  1. Arranging boat finance
  2. Picking the right boat for you
  3. Questions to ask when buying a boat
  4. Taking the boat for a test drive
  5. Purchasing the boat
  6. Getting boat insurance


Arranging boat finance

Before you start looking at different boats you want to buy, it is important that you first arrange the right amount of finance to fund your purchase. You may already have enough cash saved up to go shopping immediately, but a majority of people buying a boat will need to source boat financing from a finance company like Credit One.

Once you have picked the finance company you want to go with, the next step is to arrange pre-approval, which essentially means that you will be loaned an agreed amount of money given you meet a few conditions. Getting pre-approved allows you to confidently shop around and find the best boat for your budget. It also helps you when you are trying to negotiate the price as you know exactly what your top offer will be along with being able to give the seller a quick sale. Lastly, pre-approval can also protect you from paying too much money for a boat and removes any emotional buying decisions you might have.

If you are looking to get a boat loan or boat finance then Credit One could be a great option for you. We compare finance products from 17 leading financiers to get you a great rate and can have an instant online quote for your finance 24/7.


Picking the right boat for you

Now that you have pre-approval for your boat loan, the next step is the exciting part which is going shopping for your dream boat. But before you go into the boat yards or go online to find the right boat for you, it’s best if you do some research and make a list of exactly what you are looking for. Like what is your budget, the type of material your boat is made from, the size of your boat, etc.


Questions to ask when buying a boat

If the boat you are looking to purchase is new, then you may not need to ask too many questions. But if the boat is second hand, it’s good to get a bit more information on the boat’s history. You need to find as much information as possible about the condition and use of the boat to make sure it doesn’t run into problems or even worse sink. Here are a few things that need to be asked for when purchasing a second-hand boat.

  • Did you buy the boat new?
  • How long have you owned it?
  • How often do you use it?
  • Have you ever had any problems with the boat?
  • How often do you get the boat serviced?
  • Where have you been storing the boat?


Taking the boat for a test drive

Boats can be expensive items, so you want to make sure everything is working like it should and for most boaties get the seller to demonstrate how they use the boat while on the water. If you don’t know much about boating, then it is always good to get a friend who does. So that they can ask the right questions while test-driving the boat.  And you can take some points out of the checklist below:

  • Check that the radio and all safety equipment work
  • Watch and learn how the boat is launched
  • Find out if the battery works
  • Ask the owner to show you how to drive the boat (trimming)
  • Check where and how to use the fuel tanks
  • Check all the electronics are working
  • Walk around the boat to check its stability
  • See if all the seats are in working order
  • Watch and learn how the owner gets the boat back on the trailer
  • Once back on land, pull out the drainage plug to see how much water comes out.

It is also important when out for your test drive to make sure with the seller who is responsible for the cost of the fuel along with who is liable for any damage to the boat.


Purchasing the boat 

If after your test drive you are happy with what you see and you have come to a fair and reasonable price with the seller, then you can agree to buy the boat from them. When purchasing a boat there are a few pieces of paperwork you will need to complete along with some recommended training on how to manage and operate a boat., we have noted these below:


Getting boat insurance.

As the final and crucial step in our boat-buying guide, obtaining boat insurance is highly recommended. Although your boat may be covered by content insurance while stored at home, venturing out onto the open waters entails risk of damage. There is a range of policies you can take, starting with full cover where a majority of risks are covered and then working your way back to part-time cover. Boat insurance can cover all the things that might happen to the boat, like accidental and malicious damage, fire, theft of and from the boat. issues encountered when taking the boat for a test drive, and lastly third-party damage. Also, if you are berthing your boat at a marina you may need insurance to cover the damage to marina pontoons and piles.

Lastly, if you are looking into boat insurance and need some great advice on what to go for, please reach out to one of our loan specialists at Credit One who have years of experience in the boat insurance game.