Put the "ing" in your Boating

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Boat sales (power and sail) are already spectacular this year according to reports from the major Boat Shows.

"The trends have the potential to make 2006 the beginning of an incredible era in the marine industry" says Boating Industry Magazine Feb 13, 2006.

"Robust sales at the 2006 Toronto International Boat Show are expected to resonate through the entire season". "The combination of low interest rates and memories of last year’s fantastic season, put people in a mood to buy. "These quotes are from Boating Industry Canada Feb 7, 2006.

At the Vancouver Boat Show, "Exhibitors reported sales up across the board, from luxury yachts to smaller runabouts, gear and accessories." Boating Industry Canada Feb 27, 2006 reported.

After the Miami Boat Show, Boating Industry Magazine Feb 28, 2006 reported that it was all glowing press releases coming from manufacturers. Here are just a few quotes. One manufacturer states that "retail orders represent an increase of approximately 50% over its results at the 2005 Boat Show." Another released that "this is the best Miami Boat Show in our company’s history." "The Miami Boat Show showed strong sales across the range" says another. "The customers just ran us ragged. They were obviously waiting for the Show."

Don’t Panic

Panic not, boats are not sold out yet! There is still time for you to find the right power boat or sailboat, that "FITS" your family’s unique requirements.

Now is a great time to do your research and buy a boat. Unfortunately, most boat buyers will make a hugely expensive mistake. With over 70 different types of boats to choose from, buying the right boat can be an overwhelming experience.

Avoid Mistakes

Don’t make the common mistake of buying the wrong boat! Some boaters buy because "it’s a boat show special". It may genuinely be a great deal, but is it the right boat for you? Some boaters buy, because they fell in love with the boat and let their emotions make the buying decision, only to find out later that it wasn’t suitable for their kind of boating.

The most important step in the boat buying process, is identifying your primary and secondary activities--what do you want to do with the boat? There are 12 major boating activities to choose from. Once you have selected your activities, you can match your activities to the boat type most suitable.

This sounds simple, but with over 70 different types to choose from, it can be mind boggling--even for some industry professionals.

Take the time to identify what you and your family really want to do with the boat and make sure it "FITS". The "T" in Doug’s "FITS" acronym stands for the "Type" or "Trip". Make sure the boat you buy, "FITS" your family’s planned boating activities or "Trip". The Report "Boating Activities and Boat Types" describes the 12 major boating activities and the 70 boat types and cross references them for you.

A boater from New York wrote to tell us:

We have edited out the boat brands. He wrote: "My wife and I just returned from the New York Boat Show. We went there fully armed with your Buy With Confidence Book and Reports. Before going to the show we decided not to go for anything larger than 25 feet -- again with the help of your book.

Anyway, it took us 1.5 days to go through all the 25' Express Cruisers at the show. We short-listed down to four. After getting initial price markers we narrowed our choice to 2 boats. We really liked both boats, and each had some nice, unique features/benefits the other did not have. We didn't have time to go through every point in your 'Inspect It Yourself' Report in check-off list fashion, but we did keep as many items in mind as possible when looking at the boats.

We were down to the wire deciding between the two. Then we remembered one of your key points about going through the windshield pass through, onto the foredeck, and walking over to the bow cleats and anchor.

And that's when we discovered a fatal flaw in our #1 choice.

Just forward of the pass through is a really nice foam cushion. Great for sunbathing, but not a great non-skid surface to walk upon. On each side of the cushion was a sloping, triangular shaped piece of Plexiglas surrounded by smooth, slippery fibreglass. Again, a great feature for adding light to the cabin but again, no safe place to walk. Overall, the foredeck slanted down towards the bow rather steeply. Just sitting stationary at the boat show, we felt totally unsafe walking around the bow. We could only imagine what it would be like trying to get up there on a rough, windy, wet day!

The salesman -- in this case the owner of the dealership -- tried to convince us that this was not important. He said we could get by docking by using the midships and aft cleats, and then tie onto the bow cleat from the dock. Ha! (And what about anchoring???) He also pointed out the 2" wide non-skid "walkway" underneath the bow rails. (A toddler just might be able to walk along this, carefully placing one foot directly ahead of the other foot...) If we had purchased this boat, an otherwise fantastic boat, we would have found out very quickly, that we had made a major mistake!

We went back to look at our choice #2 and its foredeck was completely non-skid, much less steep, with easy and safe access to the entire bow area. So, we bought it and we are very pleased with our decision. But if it had not been for your expert guidance, we likely would have opted for our choice #1 and this would have been a major error for us! So many thanks for the assistance. The money we paid for your book and reports was a very wise investment!"

Irwin Nathanson saved himself a lot of time, and money buying right.

Buy the Boat by the Book

Don’t make the most common mistake boat buyers make. Buy the right boat that FITS you and your family. You will not only enjoy the benefits on the water, but also in your bank account.

Before you start your buying process, study "Buy a Boat With Confidence" to help you make the right decisions--all the way through the Boat Buying Process.

Be a wise buyer. Buy Right!

Buy the Boat by the Book.

Doug and Brenda Dawson

060306

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