Are you and your family considering a used bowrider, pontoon boat or aluminum fishing boat this year? The family diner table meetings set and reset the financial budget and model parameters….everyone is onside…the next step is to find the right boat! Now the question is where so we find the boat package….dealer….side of the road….for sale websites? Are you prepared to look at available boats under that budget number all over the province or are you prepared to be selective geographically and stay on coarse for budget and type? One of the big decisions is dealer or private?
Private or Dealership?
First of all, do not think that you are going to save tax through a private purchase!
- All boats new and used must be registered or reregistered through New Brunswick government offices and they have access to evaluation guides for all makes and models. The Feds will be looking for you to pony up the HST of 13% on a reasonable value for a boat of that type, model and year.
- Photo ID and a complete set of photographs must be supplied to effect true ownership change.
- You must have the original or a true copy of the vessel license to complete the change in ownership. If there is a trailer a ownership for the trailer is required as well and this has to be changed over at Services Canada plus you will need your bill of sale. Depending trailer capacity you may require an annual inspection certificate.
- If a true vessel license is not available the original owner must secure this or the new owner is going to get involved with legal cost surrounding affidavits and look out if there has been multiple owners.
- As a seller you must get ownership transferred to the new owner or you may have legal implications involving any liability issues going forward as you are still the registered owner.
- A buyer of a private sale knowingly buys “as is” with no implied warranty for function, operating condition, reliability, fitness or even ownership.
A reputable dealership has legal requirements with respect to the sale of new and used boats including fitness and the ability to provide true title. A dealership may provide a mechanical warranty and they would be legally expected to have preformed at least a basic mechanical inspection or the boat package before sale.
Buyer Beware on all Private Sales! There are legal requirements for the transfer of ownership that must be done. Tax has to be paid. Private sales have no warranty expressed or implied!
Buyers frequently look at Kijijiji or Auto Trader or Boat Buys or dealer websites for listings. The real question is what parameters would be prudent in the search for the new family boat? Lets take a look at some of the parameters you should be considering for this purchase.
Age…How Old is Too Old?
Consider this….The normal expected lifespan of a good quality boat make with Vinyl ester resin technology is…..20 to 25 years or about 1000 hours of actual use. A majority of small bowriders even today are made with lesser grade polyester resins. Major factors that influence the lifespan is regular preventative maintenance service as specified by the engine manufacturer, how it has been stored in the winter months, how much rough water usage, salt water usage, trailered or non trailered, how many hours of watersports in addition to the actual pride of ownership displayed by the original owner.
Is a used boat that is 20 to 25 years old a good investment if the seller says it has low hours and has been taken care of….in a word…..no…most of the time and a few maybe! How much risk are you willing to take…on the roulette wheel…black or red and how high is the stash or cash? Why? A boat of this age is as much as 5 generation behind on the technology scale, this unit will have a high wood content which will have issues, is designed for a different type and quality fuel than available today and may not have replacement part support for critical engine components. These types of boats are normally priced in the $2500 to $5000 bracket and they are frequently available on Kijiji or found sitting in a heap on the side of a road or driveway. The really bad ones I call $500 per weekend boats and you spend more time doing repairs and looking for parts than actually boating.
What is the Ideal Age Bracket
Look for a used boat less than 10 years old used exclusively in fresh water. There are a number of used boat dealers in Ontario that for some time have ventured to Florida or southern United States for used boats and imported these to Ontario for sale. Be smart and check or at least ask the question and get in writing where the boat came from. Service records are great! A dealer cannot release to you without the consent of the previous owner.
What About the Original Boat Builder
The knowledgeable shopper will consider the market reputation of the boat builder at the time of build and today. I would suggest strongly that this be a part of the buying process. If we take a look at say Four Winns they have had a number of owners over the last decade. Is this good or bad? The question is when there is ownership change is the product better quality or of lesser quality. I don’t think that any boat company is sold because the Brink’s truck broke down from too many trips to the bank. If a boat company goes Chapter 11 does that mean or could that product quality be of a lesser grade due to financial pressure? These are hard questions and you will not find easy answers….but these are considerations.
Product quality does change over periods of time. What was considered a good quality boat in 1986 like Doral or Grew does not mean that they are good quality 5 years later. Will someone ague that Bayliner, Tempest, Tahoe, Reinell, Edson, Sunray or some others where ever considered as above average quality at best? Was an OMC Cobra drive ever considered superior to say a Mercruiser? Are parts still readily available for Cobra, Elgin, Sears, Ted Williams, Eska, old Volvo Penta, Chrysler Marine….no! Don’t expect going forward for any of the OEM builders to be stocking parts past 15 years from the date of manufacturing.
What Determines A Used Boats Value
A used boats value is a function of available supply versus demand, different brands have higher perceived buyer values, actual hours of use, horsepower, condition, colour, service history, storage history, number of owners and geographic location. In other words…the value of a used boat is determined by buyers….not the dealer! Is there a difference in the perceived value of a brand of power? Yes there is and it can be geographic in nature. In the Muskoka region a Mercruiser powered boat can have a higher perceived value than a Volvo Penta. This is due to a higher recognition factor as they is significantly more Mercruiser powered boat in Muskoka than Volvo Penta and a higher level of supporting dealer support.
More to follow!