When you are ready to step up your fishing game, it will be time to buy a boat and get out to deeper water, and all those places you just cant get on foot. The biggest question when wanting to do this is, how much does a bass boat actually cost? There are so many different types of boats out there, how do you know which one you can actually afford to get. Should you buy a used one, or one right off the showroom floor? Buying a new boat sounds good, but do you get a trailer with it, and are there any hidden fees attached. If it’s your first boat, should you buy a used one, and is the price a used one better than buying a brand new one.
All these questions can start popping up, so we are going to take a look at how much a new bass boat might cost and give you a few examples of what they typically go for at a dealership.
Your typical brand new bass boat will run you anywhere from $17,000 dollars to $70,000 dollars at a dealership. I know this sounds like a big gap, but you have to remember that it all depends on the length, size, and brand. If you are starting out and just need something for you and a few of your buddies to go out to your local lake to fish, you might get away with a nice 18 foot Tracker boat. If you are going to be out on bigger lakes, with four to six of your friends or family, you might need to step up to a 21 foot bass boat with a bigger motor, running you into the 40-50 thousand dollar mark. It really all depends on what your needs are, and how many people you plan to fish with, but plan on spending that range on a new boat.
Here are some examples of new bass boats, so you can get an idea of the cost for what they have in them. Keep in mind that these examples are for your basic bass boat, with no buttons and bells added on, just what you would get off the showroom floor. The main brands are Tracker, Nitro and Ranger:
- 2018 Pro Team™ 175 TXW: This 2018 tracker boat is $18,595 and is 17 feet 7 inches and holds up to four people.
- 2018 Tracker Pro Guide V-165 WT: This boat is 16 feet 8 inches and is $22,995 and will hold up to four people.
- 2017 Tracker Pro Team 195 TXW: This boat is $24,995 and is 18 feet 7 inches, and will hold four people.
- 2017 Nitro Z18: This boat is 18 feet 8 inches and costs $28,995 and will four to five people.
- 2017 Nitro ZV21: This boat is 21 feet 7 inches, and is $51,995 and fits four to six people.
- 2017 Nitro ZV18: This boat is 18 feet 11 inches and is $37,995. It will fit four to five people.
- 2016 Nitro Z20: This boat is 20 feet 2 inches and is $43,395 and will fit about six people.
- 2016 Nitro Z21: This boat is 21 feet 2 inches and is $47,995, and will fit about six people.
- 2018 Ranger Z522D: This boat is 22 feet 7 inches and is $70,795 and will fit six to eight people.
- 2018 Ranger Z521L: This boat is 21 feet 7 inches and is $70,195 and will fit five people.
- 2018 Ranger Z518C: This boat is 18 feet 8 inches and is $46,895 and will fit four people.
- 2018 Ranger Z519C: This boat is 19 feet 6 inches and is $59,695 and will fit five people.
As you can see, there are some options out there that are a wide range on the market, but will give you an idea of how much a few of each brand will run you. Take a look at a few of them and see if any of them fit your options, and if you are really after one, go to the build your own section and add as many features that you want into it and see the final price tag.
Buying a used boat can be a good option for you if you dont want to take on a brand new boat. If you can afford to pay cash, you will probably get a much better deal than if you have to finance one. You can usually get used boats for more than ten thousand dollars or more less if you can find the right deal, but there can be some pitfalls to getting them. Keep in mind if you see a boat that is normally fifty thousand dollars, and you see it for twenty, there may be some red flags that should pop up because it might have some serious issues. Here are few things to consider, and questions to ask if you really want to buy a used boat:
- Engine Hours: The first thing you want to look at is how many hours the engine has on it. If it has 5000 hours on it, and he used it every weekend, you may need to get the engine overhauled at some point which can be costly.
- Hull Damage: Walk the boat and look for any hull damage that might have occured. Remember that people do hit floating debri, or run over rocks, that can scratch, gouge, and dent the hull which may have to be fixed, and fiberglass work is expensive.
- Maintenance Records: Ask to see maintenance records, and check to see how they actually kept their boat. If they did all the work themselves, check over the engine for any leaks or damage that may have occurred.
- Trailer Damage: Towing a boat can be difficult if you live in an area with lots of traffic, so check out the trailer and tires to make sure there is no dents, or issues that may have happened to the wheels and tires.
- Check The Internet: when you go look at a boat, make sure you have at least checked the internet for what people are selling them for. I can guarantee that there is more than one boat you are looking for online for sale. take an average of what you find, so you have a good idea of how much to haggle for.
- Test Drive: Most people who are serious boat owners will be willing to meet you out on a lake to test drive the boat, especially if you live near a body of water. Ask the seller to take you out on it to see how it runs.
Make sure that if you are going to buy a used boat, you do a little homework on them so you know what to look for and you actually get a good deal and not hosed. The hull and engine can be the most expensive parts, so always check them out. Remember, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.
If you are buying a new or used boat from a dealer, you will have to pay sales tax, period. Make sure you check with your city or county on what your tax rate is, and if you are traveling further than where you live, make sure you check with that cities tax. Taxes can be very up and down, and I have seen it jump from 7% to 9% in just under 40 miles. They will usually tack sales tax onto your loan which will make your payment go up, so be aware of what you are paying!
You will have to pay for licensing at the time of your purchase, and every year that you have the boat in your name. Make sure you check with your local DMV office to find out at least a ball park of how much licensing will cost you. The more expinsive the boat, the more licensing you will have to pay. This goes for how new it is as well. A 2018 boat will cost you more per year to license, than buying a used 2005 boat, so if you have questions, call the DMV.
Insurance is a MUST, and even though you could go without having it, you will regret it in the end. Accidents happen all the time, whether it be on the road, or on the lake or river, so you really do not want to chance having something happen to your boat if it breaks. Some states require you to have insurance on your vehicles, so that is another thing to check with your local DMV. Try to factor in insurance before you buy, and you can get a quick quote from your insurance office, or online as well. Sometimes insurance companies will give a discount on “bundling” both vehicle and boat insurances, so it might not cost that much money.
If you are serious about buying a boat, you may have to do a little homework, and a lot of searching before you find the right one. If you are buying a new boat, be prepared to spend around $18,000 to $40,000 or more for a standard boat. If you are buying a used one, while they may be thousands cheaper, can come with a lot more headaches. Keep in mind that there are always additional costs like licensing and insurance, so make a few calls ahead of time, so you know how much more it will cost you per month than just the boat loan. If you do these things, you will get into the boat that you want, for the price you can afford, and will be enjoying tons of time on the lake with your family and friends.