In 2017, about  262,000 new boats were sold to excited buyers. If you’ve been thinking about buying a boat, you’ve probably spent several hours shopping around and looking at all of your different options.

The question now is, what’s the best boat for the money? How do you know which boat is the right boat for you? We’ve created a guide to help you get started.

Keep reading to learn how to figure out what kind of boat you should by.

Should You Buy a Boat?

If you’re looking to buy a boat is a form of financial investment, then you may want to look elsewhere. Their depreciating value and continued maintenance make them not the smartest investment for those looking to grow their wealth.

However, if you love being outdoors and on the water, then buying a boat is a smart investment. The amount of enjoyment and use you’ll get out of the boat is well worth the investment.

Can You Afford a Boat?

The experts say that to avoid your boat feeling like a money pit; you should only buy a boat that you can afford to buy with cash. Now, if we all followed this advice, very few people would own boats.

Instead, look at your budget, figure out what you can realistically afford. Then think about the boat that you can buy with that money. Will you use that size boat often enough to make the investment worth it?

Too many people overshoot their budget and buy a boat they don’t utilize enough.

Can You Afford the Maintenance?

You aren’t done once you buy the boat. Depending on where you live, there’s seasonal maintenance that’s required. Then there’s the ongoing required maintenance that comes with owning any vehicle with an engine.

Before you buy your boat, research what the local boat repair and maintenance costs will be. Looking online lets you compare prices and services so you can get the best service at the best rate.

Boats kept in saltwater require more maintenance and therefore are more expensive to maintain than those boats kept in freshwater.

Consider Buying Used

Instead of buying a brand new boat and eating the immediate depreciation, why not look for a used boat? This lets you look for a boat that’s already broken in, and already experienced its first drop in depreciation.

Many boat owners do not go through the budget and value return analysis we previously mentioned. You can take advantage of this by buying their boat. These owners usually have only owned the boat for a year or two and barely used it during that time.

Buy the Best Boat for the Money

While we can’t tell you specific models, the best boat for the money is the one that fits your budget and will get used. This could be a small jet boat big enough for you and your significant other.

Or maybe it’s a large pontoon boat capable of transporting the entire extended family. Then there’s the sailboat that is outfitted with everything one would need to circumnavigate the globe.

Take a break from dreaming about your future boat and check out the latest news in sports.