Buying New Vs. Used RIBs: What do you need to know?
Buying a boat is a significant investment so it's important to make sure you find the right boat for your needs and your skill set, all without breaking the bank. Pre-owned boats can potentially be a more affordable option, but you do need to be aware of a number of factors that can influence the costs over the long-term, so as to make the right investment for you.
Here are some things to consider as you search for your dream tender.
One of the biggest benefits of buying a new boat is that it comes with a warranty. Much like purchasing a vehicle, your new boat is guaranteed against all kinds of potential pitfalls. Having this manufacturer's warranty should actually be a consideration in your purchase price, as you're not only buying a blemish-free new boat, you're also buying the peace of mind that your new baby won't become a money pit. That said, many dealers of "recently" used boats may also offer a warranty package, which may well be worth the extra cost.
One of the challenges of buying used, is that the boat will likely come in an "as is" form, which means you need to educate yourself on exactly what that means. How much work is it going to take to make sure it's sea-worthy? Are you up for the work, and the expense? Always have the boat inspected by a third-party - in some jurisdictions this inspection is mandatory. Sea-water is remarkably corrosive, so if the boat has been sitting for sometime, be warned that it's going to take some extra maintenance (and possibly money) to make sure she's fit for the water. While maintenance work goes along with the territory, with a new boat, that work is much lighter.
Like adopting a stray animal, you may not always know the history of a used vessel. It can be very helpful to request its maintenance logs, so you can get a sense of its upkeep, and do your due diligence when talking with the broker or the marina. It's a very good idea to find out whether the boat has seen major repairs or if it has ever been in an accident or had weather damage. Many insurers require a marine survey, and it's worth the money to understand exactly what you're buying.
A significant benefit of buying used is that most used boats come with accessories and gear - in many instances, everything you need to get out onto the water. While this means you don't get to tailor your accessory choices to your own tastes, it can save you a bundle and possibly get you out on the water that much quicker.
Price and Depreciation
No question, a used boat is better bang for buck (usually). Boats depreciate significantly in their first ten years, after which their value tends to stabilize. Buying new means your boat decreases in value significantly, the minute you tow it away from the dealer. That said, well-built boats will hold their value, particularly if you take excellent care of it. Interestingly, insurance premiums are often significantly less on an older boat, as those costs are directly connected to the costs of your boat.
It goes without saying that an older boat is likely going to take more time and money in maintenance. That said, there is a benefit to "getting under the hood," so to speak, as the better you understand your boat, the more capable you are when you're out on the water.