One of our visitors approached me recently wanting to offer up some tips for people who are perhaps new to the world of boating, or just looking for some tips on how to save a buck. Vanessa's ten point on how to save a few dollars follows:
**Tips for Buying Boat Equipment & Parts**** **
Working to obtain your boating license in Ontario, Canada at Boat License Ontario ( www.boatinglicense.ca ) or California, or from wherever you may be located_,_ is only the start of your adventure. Buying and owning a boat however is big responsibility and can be quite expensive. There’s a lot of equipment to buy, and the boat will require frequent maintenance and sometimes, new parts. These costs are unavoidable, but you do have control over how you approach the purchases, and the right strategy can save you a considerable amount of money in the long-term.
1. Get the Big Purchases Right
If you haven’t made the big purchases, such as the boat and the trailer, slow down and make sure you get this right. Being a boater is expensive. This is your foundation. The more you get right now, the less you’ll pay in the long-term. Going partners isn’t a bad idea for first-timers, and don’t make the rookie mistake of buying a cheap trailer or tires that are too small.
2. Go to Boat Shows:
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Make a point of going to a local boat show once a season, preferably more often. This keeps you apprised of new equipment and parts as well as the going rates. It’s also a great time to buy parts and supplies on the cheap that you know you’ll eventually need.
3. Perform Regular Maintenance
Most boaters overpay regularly because they procrastinate. If you maintain a rigorous maintenance schedule, you will save yourself a substantial amount of money in parts, long-term.
4. Shop Online
Unless you live near a flourishing marina, where competition between shops is very high, local boat shops are terrible. It’s not just the lack of competition. They typically lack the bulk-buying power, and their profit margins are extremely small. Online shops have much more competition, more customers and much less overhead.
5. Do Not Guess-Buy Parts or Equipment
A common rookie mistake is to take a shot by buying and replacing the cheapest part that may be the solution to their problem. This is an inefficient strategy long-term. If you’re not sure, hire a professional. You’ll still save money purchasing and possibly installing the part yourself.
6. Comparison Shop
Prices on boat equipment and especially parts fluctuate greatly based on a number of factors, including season, wholesaler overstock and retailer order size. Don’t become someone’s regular unless that someone is willing to price match. There’s a lot of money to save in comparison shopping.
7. Do Not Be Cheap
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Don’t spend just to spend, but don’t be cheap either. Budget adequately, and buy the best boating equipment and replacement parts that you can reasonably afford.
8. Buy in Bulk Whenever Possible
Some boating equipment we buy once with the hope that it lasts a long time. Other supplies are consumable, such as oil and cleaners. If you buy what you need now for an entire season or even several seasons, then you can save a great deal due to the bulk discount. You can purchase non-consumables this way by combining buying power with fellow boaters.
9. Avoid Shipping Costs
Shipping costs can wipe out most of the savings you earn by shopping online. You can avoid shipping costs by targeting online stores that offer free shipping. Most that do this require you to purchase a certain amount, so try to make large infrequent order to maximize savings on shipping.
10. Avoid Sales Tax at Time of Purchase
We don’t condone or advise avoiding sales tax altogether but one of the beauties about shopping online is that typically, no sales tax will be charged. In the meantime, you can put that money aside in a low-risk money-earning endeavor to offset the cost.
All good stuff to know and do.