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Planning on purchasing a boat during the pandemic? Here are some things to note before you do.
Boating is a popular hobby amongst many people - the ocean breeze is refreshing and calming, and the sound of the waves crashing against your boat is like ASMR in real life. However, with the pandemic locking down the world in one place, many of us boat-lovers haven’t been able to indulge in our hobby.
You might be wondering if it’s still possible to go boat shopping at a time like this. To answer your question, yes! Although the market might seem relatively inactive, there’s a lot of sales happening as we speak. Of course, with COVID still lurking around, things are a little different from normal circumstances. So, if you're looking for some boats for sale, here's what you need to know.
Do Research Online
Before going out to buy your boat - and this goes without saying - you must do an appropriate amount of research.
Firstly, you want to find a model you like. There are many different types of boats out there, and each category has several models to choose from. You want to make sure you look through all the nitty-gritty by which I mean, the features and specifications of the boats. You should also consider what you’ll be using the boat for - and don’t forget to check how many passengers it can accommodate. You wouldn’t want to get a lavish-looking boat only to find out you can’t even fit five people in it.
Secondly, you want to educate yourself about the responsibilities and terms of being a boat owner; they might have changed slightly due to the pandemic, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. You will need to know things like the costs of owning a boat, getting a certificate for your boat, and other financial matters like boat loans or the values of boats in general (which would explain their pricing).
Lastly, you might want to attend boat shows that are being hosted online, or at least meet with dealers via video conference to get a better idea of the boat you’ll be paying for. Without a doubt, it would be best if you could see it for yourself; however, due to the pandemic, it’s much safer to stay home. To add, you might want to find websites that sell second hand or used boats. It’ll certainly save you some money, and provided you purchase from a trustworthy seller, it’ll be a steal!
Make Appointments With Your Dealer
You can consider booking an appointment with the dealer whenever it's convenient for you. Since this is a pandemic, you must follow certain guidelines when going about your appointment.
According to COVID guidelines, you should avoid crowds or go to certain places with many people. Therefore, when you go for an appointment, try to limit the number of people you take.
When it’s time to take your boat of choice on trial, be sure to only take on board those with who you currently live.
Maintain social distancing! You might not encounter crowds, but it takes one person to spread COVID amongst a bunch of people. When speaking to your boat dealer, be sure to wear a mask and remain about six feet away from them.
Bring your PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). The sellers may already have some ready for you, but they might be contaminated. You never know how many people have tried those on. They might not even be properly disinfected. It’s best to be as cautious as possible when it comes to these things.
Bring something along with you to take notes. These notes can serve as your review for when you head back home.
Be sure to ask the dealer whether the boat was properly cleaned and disinfected before your arrival. If you feel they might skip sanitizing the boat, you should mention that at the time of booking your appointment.
Remember, don’t stay longer than what’s necessary. Leave after you are done with the trial and have taken all the necessary points down. . Do not help other sailors or take walks around the harbor. The last bit sounds quite tempting, but you don't want to risk anything given the world's current circumstances.
Getting Your Boat From The Dealer
After you finalize your deal, you will be able to sit with your dealer privately to collect all the necessary paperwork - all while following the proper safety protocols. If you aren’t comfortable closing the deal in person, you might want to talk to your dealer about completing the purchase and getting the paperwork online. It is doubtful that they will agree to it, but you can at least try asking.
Due to the pandemic, boat sellers have been asked to follow specific rules when delivering their products to their owners. They would probably need to clean and sanitize the boat for you. If your boat is to be delivered to your home, they would also have to maintain social distance and the general guidelines to ensure your safety and the safety of your family.
Continued Customer Service
Calling in and asking for customer service can be a little intimidating during a pandemic. However, you can maintain safety guidelines and receive the help you need whenever such a situation arises.
When you get in touch with your dealer, make sure you give them a clear idea of the problem you’re facing. You might want to send pictures or videos of the issue or simply have them on a video call to directly communicate the problem. Don’t leave any details out. Since they aren’t there physically to inspect your boat, it’s likely that missing tiny details here and there can confuse the dealer and might make their work harder.
Finally, once you are done discussing the issue in detail, you can set a date for them to come to pick up your boat. The pickup and delivery of the boat should be done while practicing the safety guidelines. Remember, whenever you send in your boat for servicing, be sure to remind your dealer to clean and disinfect your boat before dropping it off to you.
With all the regulations that you have to follow, it might sound like a hassle. This is, however, for the betterment of both you and your family. Follow the right rules so that you can enjoy your boating hobby without fear. Good Luck!
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