SALT takes a deep dive into the many options available when making a boat purchase. It is important to carefully consider what truly suits all your specific needs before making that crucial final decision. 

Faced with so many choices, selecting just the right boat can often prove somewhat of a dilemma, albeit a pleasant one! From speedy RIBs to stylish motor boats and elegant yachts, there are simply so many possibilities. Choosing the perfect boat for you can sometimes seem like a minefield and of course it is a big investment that needs to be right. Bear in mind key pointers such as budget, experience and lifestyle which will help to make the initial tricky decision-making process more straightforward. Once you’ve identified what you believe to be the right fit, it is important to get up close and personal on board your chosen craft, as well as carrying out a sea trial.

Financing a boat

At SALT the focus is on making boating dreams a reality and we fully understand that, for the majority of purchasers, budget dictates the acquisition. As a considerable financial outlay, it is best to plan ahead carefully with an open-minded attitude; work to a realistic figure and remember to factor in recurring annual costs such as insurance, fuel, storage, maintenance and potential equipment upgrades or purchases too. When using our unique app backed by open banking, with 24/7 access to track progress from quote to completion, quick decisions and fast funding make this part of any purchase journey seamless and simple.

We have also compiled a comprehensive step by step guide that takes many factors into account when buying a boat with finance and is an insightful read for purchasers. Why not use our instant quote tool to help work out your costs?

Finding a trusted boat dealer

It is a tough call for any buyer, especially a first-timer, to decide whether to purchase a new or used boat and there is no right or wrong answer. It is often said the balance is a pre-owned boat, just a couple of years old, bought from a trusted dealer. With a brand new shiny craft, the owner writes its on-water biography from day one, complete with warranty and fully equipped with the latest innovative tech. For a preloved boat, the cost generally will be lower, a marine survey provides confidence, plus there is often less angst for the first tiny scratch to appear on the paintwork. Savvy advice will also come from your trusted dealer, who will invest time in discussing all your needs. For instance family-run business The Wolf Rock Boat Company offers vast experience across a range of new or pre-owned boats, ribs & inflatables from industry-leading, global brands whilst offering servicing and repair options too. 

Finding a boat to fit your lifestyle

A big factor when looking at a marine purchase is what type of intended use is envisaged and your general lifestyle. Perhaps you intend to invest considerable time fishing or are just looking to enjoy fun weekends with family and friends out on the water. It is important to think carefully about who is going to use the boat, where this use will take place and the activities envisaged. Will this be just a weekend boat used during the summer months, or will it be used regularly during the entire year. These questions will generate answers to many features exhibited by your new boat. 

For instance, if extended periods at sea are on the cards, propulsion reliability will be a big influence, so maybe look at twin engines, in case one fails. Envisage if enough space is required on board for a specific number of guests, which will dictate the general layout and in turn this becomes reflected in the length overall. Perhaps you will be wanting to trailer the boat, which additionally puts a limitation on size to ideally under 50 feet. 

Alternatively, if you think there will be a whole host of activities you want to enjoy, a versatile model is the best bet to give flexibility for fun. It could be that watersports come top of the requirements list, so for wakeboarding enthusiasts Moomba Boats are likely a great option. Both CDT Marine and Windermere Boat Sales are experienced distributors for this brand in the UK, providing advice and a range of models to suit expectations. Therefore, analysing your general lifestyle and discussing it in detail will considerably narrow down the extent of choices and help to pinpoint what design does indeed fit the bill.

Boating for beginners – what boat is right for you?

Boating experience is an important consideration, unless you are a salty sea dog and know exactly what you are doing! Selecting a boat that is wholly suitable for your level of experience will pay dividends; match this to time spent at sea plus training or qualifications, whilst also being mindful of your limitations. However, if you fall in love with a craft that is beyond your realistic capabilities, investigate courses and licences to get you quickly up to scratch and confident to take the helm. 

In general all these factors will clearly highlight what boat size, style and extras are right for you, plus it is very likely from the outset you know if either a sailing or motor boat is on the horizon. Naturally there are advantages and disadvantages to think about with both these very different styles of vessel.

Sailing boats are generally not for novices with more specific training needed, but they do open up a new way of travel with the opportunity for truly immersive cruising whilst harnessing natural resources. Lower fuel and maintenance costs can be expected in comparison to motor yachts, whilst the entire sailing experience is generally quiet and highly absorbing. However, the narrower hulls on yachts are more restrictive, relying on wind may curtail a trip and replacement of sails and rigging is a financial outlay to consider. Again, advice is important to compare and contrast all styles. UK leaders in boat sales Clipper Marine has extensive knowledge across a wide selection of boats from top manufacturers, including leading sailing brands such as Beneteau, Jeanneau and Bavaria Yachts, where the pre-owned market is strong. 

The choice of a motor boat takes the lead from speed, so you get to places much faster than a sailing yacht. Easy operation in shallow waters and versatile manoeuvrability with powerful engines delivers convenience, plus driving a motor boat involves less training, so for those less experienced this is ideal. However, fuel is certainly expensive and engines need regular servicing or repairs. With the advent of net zero marine restrictions, the option for eco-friendly electric powered boats is definitely the way forward and worth strong consideration. Bates Wharf has an established 100 year marine industry history, working with outstanding brands such as Bayliner and Rand, who recently launched their outstanding electric models in this field.

Clearly there are numerous considerations that come into play when choosing the best boat for you. Ranging from budget and finance, size and style plus intended use and optional extras, the main mission remains, doing the homework so you know that the right choice has been made. Whatever the case, starting up your marine finance arrangement with SALT ensures this part of the journey will be straightforward and seamless, allowing you to take time for the all-important decision-making process!

Remember – right boat, happy boater!