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The Worst Time To Buy A Boat

the worst time to buy a boat

The Worst Time to Buy a New Boat

When it comes to buying a new boat, timing is crucial. In this article, you’ll learn about the worst time to buy a boat in the US when prices are high and inventory is low, both for new and used vessels.

Worst Month to Buy a New Boat

According to industry trends and data, the worst month to buy a new boat is typically July, when demand is at its peak, inventory is low, and prices are at their highest.

You might be interested in: The best months to Buy a boat.

Factors Affecting New Boat Prices and Availability

  • Supply and Demand: As you can imagine, during the peak boating season (summer months), demand for new boats is high, leading to increased prices and lower inventory levels.
  • Manufacturer Promotions: Boat manufacturers often offer promotional deals and incentives during the off-season, making it a more favorable time to buy a new boat.
  • Dealer Incentives: Dealerships may provide additional incentives, such as discounts or financing offers, during the slower sales periods, like winter months or boat show season.

The Worst Time to Buy a Used Boat

Similarly, when purchasing a used boat, the timing can have a significant impact on price and availability. We will discuss the best and worst months or seasons to buy a used boat in the US and factors such as consumer demand, trade-in cycles, and the impact of boat shows.

Best and Worst Months to Buy a Used Boat

Data suggests that the worst time to buy a used boat is also during the summer months, when demand is highest, and inventory is lowest. The best time to buy a used boat is typically in the late fall or early winter when the boating season is winding down, and owners are more likely to sell their boats.

Factors Affecting Used Boat Prices and Availability

  • Consumer Demand: Used boat prices tend to rise during peak boating season as more people are looking to buy, and inventory is lower.
  • Trade-in Cycles: Boat owners often trade in their used boats for new models during the off-season, leading to an increased supply of used boats on the market.
  • Impact of Boat Shows: Boat shows can influence the used boat market as well, as potential buyers may decide to purchase a used boat after viewing new models at a show. This could lead to increased demand and higher prices for used boats during and immediately after boat show season.

Time of Year To Buy A Boat (Quick Reference Guide):

Below we have created a quick reference guide that provides you with a breakdown of boat-buying advantages and disadvantages by season:

Season Advantages Disadvantages
  • Lower prices
  • Dealer incentives
  • Less competition
  • Lower inventory
  • Waiting for the boating season
  • New model releases
  • Boat shows
  • Ready for boating season
  • Higher prices
  • Higher competition
  • Boating season
  • More used boats available
  • Higher prices
  • Higher demand
  • End-of-season discounts
  • Lower competition
  • Less inventory
  • Boating season ending

Tips for Buying a Boat

Armed with the knowledge of the worst time to buy a boat, you can now focus on making the best decision when purchasing one. In this section, we will provide some general tips for those in the market for a boat and discuss factors such as researching the market, negotiating with dealers, and considering the total cost of ownership.

General Tips for Boat Buyers

  • Research Your Local Market: Familiarize yourself with industry trends, pricing, and the various makes and models available in your region of the country. This will ensure you’re making decisions based on where you will actually be buying your boat, not somewhere on the other side of the country that might have different buying habits.
  • Negotiate with Dealers: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with dealers to secure a better price. Even though supply and demand still favor the dealer, you never know the specific situation of any specific dealer, and they might just be in need of moving a boat quickly.
  • Total Cost of Ownership: Remember that boat ownership involves more than just the initial purchase price. Consider costs such as maintenance, storage/docking, insurance, and fuel when determining your budget.


To sum up, the worst time to buy a boat, whether new or used, is typically during the summer months when demand is high, and inventory is low. The best times to buy are usually in the late fall, early winter, or during boat show season.

But again, these are not rules, just averages. You can always catch someone who needs to sell a boat quickly, and that’s going to be your best bet to find the ultimate discount, not playing the averages.


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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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