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Choosing your boat

Whether you're buying a boat for a first time, looking to upgrade, or just want a change of vessel you own, here's a simple guide to help you on the path of deciding which boat is for you:

Power or sail?

Some factors worth considering when deciding whether to buy a power or sailing boat include:

  • Operating costs: Power boats cost substantially more to run than sailing boats given their reliance on fuel. On the other hand, sailing boats are more labour intensive to operate. At the same time, many see sailing boats as a sport or lifestyle choice - and there's indeed an element of adventure or fun when you're underway.

  • Accessibility and manoeuvrability: Although many all sailing boats have an onboard motor, as a general rule, most power boats are more versatile when it comes to accessibility and manoeuvrability. Motor boats can generally operate in more shallow waters, are more responsive to control and are more likely to clear overhead obstacles such as bridges or powerlines - making them perfect for exploring rivers.

Operating costs

Boats are expensive to operate, particularly larger vessels. Maintenance, fuel, insurance, mooring and if necessary staffing, are just some of the factors that should be taken into consideration. Decide on how you plan to use the boat, and make your purchasing decision accordingly. If you plan to travel long distances, a more fuel efficient boat could result in considerable savings, while if large-scale luxury is what you're after, be prepared to pay for substantial fuel usage.

Age of vessel

If you're looking to acquire a pre-owned boat rather than a new vessel, ensure it is comprehensively checked. As boats spend most of their life in contact with water and salt, they are prone to all sorts of damage ranging from corrosion of metal and electrical components to damage to wooden parts. No matter the size or age of the vessel, always have the boat checked by an independent expert - preferably on a dry dock.


Despite a wealth of technological advances in recent years, many boats, particularly larger vessels, require more than one person to operate them safely, especially when departing and arriving at your destination. If you enjoy operating a boat yourself, be aware that not all vessels are well suited to this.

Shared or Exclusive Ownership

Buying a share in a boat can be a great way to get started, and there a many benefits. If you're considering this option, factor in whether this is best for you, as there are many limitations such as vessel availability, storage and upkeep requirements.


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