Buy Your Last Great Lakes Boat First!

Published in the December 2018 Issue July 2019 Feature Brady L. Kay

Buy your last boat first! It’s kind of catchy, huh? I understand in some cases it’s not quite as simple as that, but in reality it only makes sense to buy the boat you want—and will eventually need—from the start. 

Gradual steps are okay for 5-year-olds and bicycles, but a lot of people could save some sanity, as well as some coin, by being a little smarter in their approach to buying a new boat this year.

As we turn the corner and head towards 2019, there might not be a better time to hit the boat shows. Many boat dealers in our Great Lakes region are hungry and are anxious to get this year started off right. Do you have an odd request or some custom ideas that you’ve been hesitant to ask a manufacturer about? Some builders might have appeared too busy a few years ago to custom build a boat to your specifications, but that’s far from the case now. They’re not only willing to listen; they’re ready to give you a good deal on it as well.

We’ve done all the heavy lifting by putting together our first annual Luxury Buyer’s Guide edition. We set out to answer three basic questions for the average Great Lakes boater: what boat to buy, where to buy it and where to keep that new craft.

We began our preparation for this issue by researching the top boat brands available on the Great Lakes. Simply put, there are a ton of beautiful boats available today but if that manufacturer doesn’t offer any dealers on the Great Lakes, then what’s the point in including them in this Buyer’s Guide? There are plenty of publications willing to talk boats, but we only highlight boats built for the Great Lakes.

The next step was to include those top dealers. We felt potentioal buyers would not only want to know which brands are available, but how long the dealer has been in business and which dealerships will be supporting the Great Lakes boat shows this upcoming season.

And lastly we answer the the final question of where to keep your new boat by showcasing the most popular marinas and yacht clubs in our region. A lot factored into the decision of which marins made our final list including slip sizes, faucilities offered, distance to major city or attraction, etc.

So what are you waiting for? Read and study each boat brand you’re interested in and begin making your short list for the boat shows. When you visit those shows, talk to as many of the manufacturers or their dealers as you can. Tell them how you intend to use the boat, what your budget is and what your recreational needs are. Listen carefully to what they say. Take notes. Collect brochures and literature and specifications. And most of all have fun.

It’s time to start locating that perfect Great Lakes boat and I hope our Luxury Buyer’s Guide gets you excited for the boating season. On behalf of the Great Lakes Boating staff, we sincerely hope you make the best boat-buying choice of your life and have the greatest boating season ever.

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