Buying a Boat, Captain Chris Kourtakis


Eight steps to take
when buying your boat

Highlights from this Segment

– How a new boat gives you piece of mind

The pros and cons of buying a used boat

– What insurance companies require when buying used larger boats

– Why Brokers are good to work with

– Do you know the difference between Pre-owned, pre-logged, and pre-enjoyed boats?

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Here’s what you’ll discover in this presentation…

  • The monster do’s and don’ts when looking for your boat
  • Which boat activities match the different types of boats
  • How to avoid these four mistakes when buying a boat
  • What you need to know about buying a boat in the North vs in the South
  • The pros and cons of working with a boat broker
  • A simple way to involve your family (spouse) in your boat purchase
  • Two powerful strategies when considering a boat with a high number of engine hours
  • What you need to know about buying a repossessed boat
  • The most important reason to look at the hull identification number
  • The most useful technique to use if you buy a boat at a boat show

About Captain Chris

Captain Chris Kourtakis has been boating for 20 years and has been in the marine industry for over 15 years. He owns H2O Limos, offering yacht rentals and on-water boating courses, based in Michigan.


Robin: So is there anything different a boater needs to know about buying a used boat versus a new boat or even from a private seller versus yacht broker?

Chris: This is a great question. I get this asked all the time. What I tell people it’s no different than when you’re buying a car. In today’s day and age, there’s a lot of used boats out there as there has been in the past, but. New boats give you warranty, gives you piece of mind. You’re buying a new boat from a dealer who hopefully has a good reputation where you know you’re going to be able to get service after the sale, education if needed, and they’ll really be able to help you along. Again, that boat is new, you’ll have factory support that if anything goes wrong they should be able to help you. There’s a lot of great companies out there.

When you buy from a private seller it is as is. There’s no help if something goes wrong you’re on your own. With a private seller you’ve got to go out, you’ve got to do all the homework to make sure that –  finding your own financing, finding your own insurance and also maybe get the boat surveyed. If it’s a larger boat a lot of banks will ask for surveys now so you’ll have to arrange all that. Whereas, if you buy a new boat you don’t need a survey because the dealer or the bank sometimes likes working with dealers over private sellers.

And then a broker is kind of the combination of both. He works to make sure that you get everything that you need. He’ll work on getting you financing, he’ll work on taking care of storage for your boat. He’ll take you out to teach you how to use the boat. If you need a survey, he can help arrange that and he kind of works as the in middle, in between. Some banks do like working with brokers. It’s really a fine line between the three. It’s a comfort level of what you want. If you want the new boat, you’re going to go to a dealer. There’s a lot of great deals out there with private sellers right now and they will – you can work with them, but again, you’re on your own, whereas a broker will help you work through the process and the steps and make sure that you’ve got everything covered so that there is no last minute unexpected surprises.

Robin: Ok, so I’ve seen the terminology used boats and pre-owned boats. What’s the difference? Can you just explain what the difference in terminology is?

Chris: The biggest difference is coming from the dealership. Whereas a used boat probably a dealer has not gone through the boat and corrected any hidden engine issues that may have been there, any major flaws on the boat. Whereas a used boat, you’re buying it as is and let’s just say on a larger boat the trim tabs didn’t work. When you buy that used boat the trim tabs more than likely still do not work. Whereas a pre-owned, pre-logged, pre-enjoyed boat more than likely a dealer has gone through that boat and…


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