The Art of the Deal
Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats
Selecting and Evaluating New and Used Boats
by David Pascoe
Once you have decided on the type of boat you want, the quality and general price range, it's time to start thinking about the dealer.
There are, however, some things the first time buyer needs to know about boat dealers. In the first chapter, I discussed the nature of the boating industry so that you'd have a good understanding of why things are the way they are, so now we'll take a look at why the choice of a dealer is so very important.
Unlike just about any other major purchase that you can think of, boats are sold from an amazing array of differing facilities.
From Honest John's roadside stand to showrooms as lavish as any car dealer you've ever seen. In between there are boatyards, marinas, storefronts, waterfronts and even those that look like vast junk yards set out in the middle of a corn field.
Boats are sold everywhere and anywhere, from ritzy multimillion dollar showrooms to converted gas stations and storefronts, and it is this fact of life that makes the task of buying one a bit more difficult.
If there is any consolation, it is that you're far less likely to encounter the absurd trickery and overall odor of manipulation and dishonesty that permeates the auto industry.
Generally speaking, boat dealers are more honest and less sophisticated in their sales tactics, except in those places that obviously mimic auto dealers.
You can generally expect that buying a boat is going to be a more pleasant experience as long as you use common sense and are a reasonably good judge of character.
There are some very good dealers and some not so good ones, with others somewhere in between. In the commentary that follows, and in consideration of the historical track record of boat dealerships, I take the position of guilty until proven innocent, which does not mean that you should paint them all with the same brush, but to be alert to the possibility of running into one that lacks full integrity, expertise in service, or both. As Ronald Reagan put it, trust but verify.
My experience is that those dealers who have invested considerable sums in waterfront facilities tend to be more professional, carry higher quality products and have better trained service personnel.
This is not absolute, nor does it mean that you should not consider smaller dealers or roadside dealers. In either case, I recommend that you do what you can to check out their reputation.
If you're totally new to boating, you probably don't know anyone to talk to and basically don't know how to find out. In that case, I'd recommend staying with the larger waterfront dealers.
Moreover, the independently owned or family run businesses are usually superior to the large dealer chains that are found in major boating centers.
On the other hand, established waterfront dealers are understandably higher priced. They've got all that overhead to pay for.
Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of getting what you pay for. It's axiomatic that if you want the lowest possible price, you'll have to accept the fact that you'll probably get the lowest level of service.
(Additional spaces are added for easy screen reading.)
Table of Contents: Chapter 13
It Really a New Boat?
How About Demonstrators?
What About Builder Direct?
What Are Dealer Markups?
What to Expect From Salesmen
Negotiating With the Dealer
Changes and Alterations
Walking Away From a Deal
Insuring Your Boat
- Selecting and Evaluating New and Used Boats
by David H. Pascoe
Publisher: D. H. Pascoe & Co., Inc.
David Pascoe - Biography
David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.
Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.
Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:
- "Mid Size Power Boats" (2003)
- "Buyers’ Guide to Outboard Boats" (2002)
- "Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats" (2001, 2nd Edition - 2005)
- "Marine Investigations" (2004).
In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.
In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.
On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.