Throughout the year, we receive several questions about the process of either purchasing a boat or trading in a boat. Some people know exactly what they want and others are just starting out and need more guidance. There is a lot more to consider than some people realize! Do you know what questions to ask when buying a boat?

If you are in the market to buy a boat – whether it be your first or you are trading in – we want you to be prepared. Here are some points to consider when purchasing a boat:

  1. What will be the purpose for your boat?

    Is this boat for fun water sports with friends and family? Will you be sailing and relaxing around the harbors? Just like there is a lid for every pot, there is a boat for every type of person. Let us help you find the perfect boat for you.

  2. Are you looking for new or used?

    This may seem like a simple question; however, there are details to think about here. Keep in mind that when you buy a previously owned boat, you will likely get one in great condition that meets your needs, but it may not be 100% perfect. Decide what you can live with and without and go from there. Some used vessels may have all the features you need! Others may discover that they have more serious plans for their boat and want something fresh and new for the long haul. A new boat Warranty is a wonderful benefit and new boats don’t have to break the bank. Our Factory-Direct pricing on Formula boats will surprise you and we offer a number of financing options as well.

  3. What is your overall budget?

    With anything, we all have an ideal budget in mind. However, once people start to look at boats and discover all the options and additional features available, things can start to get out of control. It’s a good idea to make a list of what you really need versus what you really want. The small add-on charges can add up faster than you think!

  4. But wait, there are outside costs that follow the purchase of your new boat…

    If you live in a seasonal climate like us here in Chicago, you’ll need storage arrangements for the winter season. These costs vary based on the size of your boat, whether or not you’ll store indoors or outdoors as well as details like having your boat wrapped for extra protection. Click here for a storage quote
    Don’t forget to think about where your vessel will live during boating season? If you need to keep it at a marina, this will be a monthly fee as well.
    Interested in trading in? We’ll provide a free evaluation for you.
    Just like your car, boats need yearly service checks to ensure they run smoothly. Boat washes, oil changes, etc. all fall into that umbrella. As always, it’s good to prepare for the unexpected and have a cushion to cover any repairs that may come up.
    Boat Education & Licensing
    Does your state require a boating license? Some states even require you to take a boating class beforehand. Boating education is critical to ensuring the enjoyment of your boat but remember to add this into your budget. Chicago Yacht Academy can provide you with Certified classes or private lessons, which will reduce your insurance costs and your anxiety!  Contact us today to schedule instruction.


    Any other questions? Feel free to reach out to us any time at or at 312.666.6670.