When Is the Best Time to Buy a Boat?

Smart Boat Buying Tips for Boaters

Dan Marsh/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

One question most boaters ask is: When is the best time to buy a boat? The answer is quite simple: The best time to buy a boat is during the off-season, according to experts across the boating industry. Conversely, the best time to sell a boat is at the beginning of boating season when demand is high.

Winter Boat Show Season

According to Thom Dammrich, the president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the winter boat show season is the time to get a good price on a new boat. The height of the boat show season is typically January, February and March, and boaters who live in colder climates can sometimes find good deals at these boat shows. For boaters in areas of California and the Gulf Coast, there is no off-season, but dealers are trying to sell their end of the year models to make room for the coming year's flotilla of new boats.

Where to Buy a Boat

While most people in the boating industry agree that the off-season is the best time to buy a boat, there is some disagreement about whether it is best to buy a boat at a boat show or from a dealer. To make boat buying fun and easier for you, I have written some top boat show tips to get the most of the experience and researched buying boats at a boat show vs. a dealer. Done well, boat shopping will be a rewarding experience as you learn to use both avenues to find the best deal and the best long-term solutions after the initial purchase.