Should I Buy My Boat at a Boat Show?

Boat show events are a great way to meet fellow enthusiasts, share experiences and, of course, to take a look at what manufacturers and brokers are selling. While visiting a boat show just because of the social aspect is perfectly fine, many people go there with a different idea – they want to get a boat. Boat sales across America were soaring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2021 is likely to follow the same trend. If you are still wondering whether you should buy at a boat show, then we can give you a very concise answer – yes. And if buying is not on your agenda, then you should know that boat shows are also an excellent opportunity to sell your boat, but we will talk more about this further down in the post.

Visiting a boat show with the intention of buying one for yourself is a great idea because you will be able to easily explore the inventory of many manufacturers and brokers, but this is certainly not the only advantage. Below we will go over some of the best reasons why buying a boat at a boat show is a good idea, and we’ll let you know about some hidden advantages that not many people know of! Boat selling seasons is about to set off with the upcoming warm months, so now is the best time to go shopping at the nearest boat show.

Save Time by Comparing Models in One Place

Depending on the size of the boat show you are visiting, you may end up being exposed to countless of makers and models. Instead of having to navigate through countless websites and technical documents, you can get all the data in one place. Best of all, it is likely that a similar boat will be just a few feet away – this allows you to compare their capabilities with ease, and find the best bang for your buck. Do not forget that the latest models usually get debuted at such events, so you might be one of the first people to get their hands on the latest boat model from your favorite manufacturer.

Save Money By Taking Advantage Of In-Stock Boats

While on the financial side of things, did you know that boat shows are probably the best place to find discounts and offers that are not available elsewhere? The primary reason for this is that all boats you see there are in stock and ready to be purchased – this means that the manufacturer is eager to sell them, and they are likely to offer a lower price compared to the one you would get if you had to place an order and wait for the boat to be manufactured. The sellers there have prepared their inventory, and they are looking for volume – the combination of these two things usually results in one-of-a-kind deals.

Boat Sales Reps Can Offer Various Manufacturer Incentives

Manufacturers almost always send experienced sales representatives to these boat shows, and you can rest assured that they are willing to offer you many perks in order to strike a deal. Buying off the manufacturer’s websites is unlikely to come with the same incentives you would get from a show. Some of the common offers you might receive while buying from a boat show include additional discounts, free maintenance for a limited time, winterization, or a package of accessories to aid you on your first trip. Make sure to ask around and talk to the sale reps to see what extra perks they have in store for you. Make sure to visit them on different days since some sellers tend to change their incentives towards the end of the show.

Pro Tip: Attend several days of the show, and don’t miss the first and final days

One thing that people rarely do when it comes to purchasing a boat from a boat show is to attend at least several days. If you cannot be there for the whole event, then we suggest focusing on the early and final days. There are two primary reasons for this:

  • Sales representatives have different strategies – some will look to blast attendees with offers and incentives on the first days, while others will save the best stuff for the last day.
  • Attending early can save you time on research, because the sales representatives can take care of this for you. Show up early, talk to them, and lay out your requirements as well as your budget. The chances are that they will look into potential offers and try to meet your requirements by the end of the event.

Get Financing Done Before You Go 

If you are planning on financing your purchase, then it is a good strategy to do this beforehand. This way, you will save a lot of hassle if you eventually find a good offer, but there is also another major advantage – sellers may sometimes work with other financial entities who would be willing to give you a better deal. When discussing your budget with sales reps, do not hesitate to mention the interest rate you are getting right now, as well as some other details about your current situation. As we already mentioned, the dealers there are looking for massive sale volume, so they may have very attractive financing offers in store for potential buyers.

Are Boat Shows a Good Place to Trade In your Boat? 

Yes, a boat show is a great place to trade in your boat.

If you are looking to replace your current boat, then taking it to the boat show is an excellent way to find a potential deal. The dealers there are eager to up their volume during this event, and they will not hesitate to add your boat to the inventory. Of course, keep in mind that it is better to do this on the first day of the event in order to maximize your chances of finding a buyer. The earlier you are, the more exposure your boat will get.


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FAIR. Water stained; 81-83 degrees; 4.13 feet low. Fair. The water level is 167.8 with no generators running. Water temperature at the Dam is 78-80 degrees with surface temperature around 80. The back feeder creeks are clear, and the main lake is clear with a few evening showers this week. Afternoon showers this week with lightning, if you hear lightning get off the water, as lightning can travel five miles. Black bass have been caught on creature baits, Carolina or Texas rigged 10-inch worms in black/red, chartreuse/pepper, or tequila sunrise. Crappie are still hit-or-miss on jigs and minnows. Play it safe on the water, always inform your loved ones or a friend of your expected return time to port or home. Good luck and tight lines! Report from Captain Steve (Scooby) Stubbe, Mudfish Adventures LLC, Mudfish Rod Shop, Kayak Sales, Fishing Guide Service & Rod Repair.

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