Brundall Cruise

Buying a boat for the first time

Here are some tips from James, our Managing Director.

We sell boats of all sizes, shapes, ages and prices. The first thing to decide is how you want to enjoy your boating. Think about where you want to go. How many berths you need and, importantly, how much you are prepared to spend on enjoying your boating.

A two-year old top end boat should be just about as new and priced accordingly. On the other had an older boat may be a better fit to your budget and have years of life left.

Pick your dealer

Going to a dealer should mean a good choice. A good quality dealer should have a sales area where you can see several craft without hassle. A professional broker will be a member of the British Marine Federation and the Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents (ABYA). The ABYA have a code of conduct covering such things as how they check title to the boat and handle your money.

Brokerage boats

Brokerage boats are sold as is and without warranty. Once you have signed on the dotted line she’s yours. If you have any doubts, a survey and mechanical inspection before you buy is a good idea.

Dealer stock

A boat that belongs to a dealer is a different story. At Norfolk Yacht Agency, we prepare all our own used stock including valeting and a pre-delivery inspection for greater peace of mind. For details see here.

Find the right boat for youâ€Â¨

If you have boating friends they will give you loads of advice as to what to look out for: GRP, inboard/outboard, diesel, 6 berth, aft cabin etc. My advice to first time buyers is not to get caught up in your friends' opinions. What suits them may not suit you. Just begin your search knowing how you want to enjoy the boat.

Look for a boat that has accommodation that suits you and is of an age and condition that you are happy with. Walking onto a boat is like walking into a house, it either feels right or it doesn't. Look at several boats in the flesh. You cannot get a real impression of a boat from a magazine advert. Once you have found something that appeals consider whether it is suitable for your use and find out about running costs.

Inboard, outdrive or outboard

Many people think that the ideal boat would be shaft driven with the engine fully enclosed in the boat. However, particularly for smaller boats, there are advantages to outdrive or outboard propulsion. The space freed up gives more accommodation; full steerage astern helps with maneouverability; and reduced drag aids performance.

With an outdrive, the engine is in the aft of the boat, with the drive mechanism outside the boat. An outdrive will need regular out of the water maintenance (at least every 2 years – about £300.00 - £400.00 per drive ) and should be inspected by a qualified engineer before you buy a used boat.

Most small boats are powered by outboards – a self-contained engine mounted on the transom. The new generation of 4-stroke outboards are much quieter, smoother, less smelly and much more economical than owners of old boats might be used to.

We're here to help

At Norfolk Yacht Agency, we aim to make the looking and buying process a pleasure. Our staff are well informed and have the backup of the longest established boat brokerage company in the area. They can discuss technical details with an expert or provide helpful advice to beginners. If you call us to make an appointment, we will arrange to have someone ready to show you round some likely choices.

We look forward to seeing you .

James H Fraser
Managing Director