The day has finally arrived to make the first step in your boat purchase process. Whether you decide to meet with an agent for the first time at a boat show, at the office or over a zoom call, you want to make the most out of your time. There are a lot of questions that you will want to ask not only your agent but also yourself before you meet with an agent.
Relax and take your time. Catamaran buying is a life-altering decision for most buyers, so don't let the day's excitement distract you from gathering as much information as possible. And remember, if you forget specifics, an agent is just a phone call, text or e-mail away.
Can I afford this boat?
Probably a good place to start. Before meeting with an agent, you should research pricing and set a budget.
Besides purchasing a boat, options and aftermarket work, what should I include in my budget?
Other things to consider as a boat owner are dockage, maintenance, insurance, security and fuel. Speaking with your agent, they will be able to assist you in coming up with a good idea of numbers to include in an annual budget.
What financing options are available?
Obtaining financing is entirely up to your discretion. You can pick a marine lender of your choice. But when it comes to a boat loan, it's more comparable to getting a mortgage than a car loan. Factors like net worth and credit score will help you get better financing. You should also consult your financial and legal advisor about the best options.
One important thing to go over with your agent is identifying and pricing the exact boat you want. Then follow suit with your insurance.
When meeting with your agent, they would be happy to provide a list of companies clients have been happy with in the past.
How much does insurance cost?
Many variables, such as owner experience, location of your new Leopard Catamaran and other factors, all play into your insurance cost. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to shop around. If you are new to the subject, we suggest reading this blog: A Yacht Insurance Primer for First Time Boat Owners.
When you have you first meet with a sales agent, ask for a list of marine insurance companies that owners are consistently satisfied with, or better yet, ask for it ahead of time, so you can be prepared to factor that into your budget.
What is under warranty, and for how long?
When purchasing a new yacht, it's essential to understand what kind of warranty you receive with the vessel. The manufacturer of Leopard Catamarans is Robertson and Caine. When you buy a new vessel from Leopard Catamarans, the purchase comes with a 14-month workmanship warranty and a six-year hull warranty with R & C. The warranty starts on the date your vessel is handed over to MIT in Cape Town. All equipment on board would be covered by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer); for example, the warranty is three years on all Raymarine electronics.
Research your factory options, ask questions about the warranty length on individual items and then use your research to decide what will be and what will not be your choice for factory options. Speaking of factory options...
What factory options should I get?
If it is your first time meeting with a sales agent, this part of the conversation may be a little premature. There are, of course, options that an agent will swear by, and then there might be some options an agent will suggest it may be in your best interest to shop around a bit. Remember your overall budget, as factory and aftermarket options can quickly add up.
You may also want to consider that if you are purchasing a boat at a special price (for example, at a boat show), the pricing may include an option package.
Can I go on a sea trial?
Sea trials are available for qualified buyers if Leopard Catamarans hosts a demo day. Based on availability, sea trials are also available following the end of a boat show.
Once a contract is agreed on, a sea trial may be conducted if inventory is available.
What is my expected delivery date?
If you are interested in a production catamaran, most builders are seeing wait times into the following year. If you know when you would like to take delivery of a new vessel, be sure to have your timeline prepared before visiting your broker for the first time, this will help when discussing what options are available to you.
There is always the possibility of delays, so keep that in mind and discuss different scenarios with your agent.
Buying a boat should be a joyous occasion, and the most prepared buyers are happy buyers. There is no question that our team of agents has not already answered before, so don't be afraid to ask. Our team will be honest and open to ensure that each buyer has the best experience possible. Please don't hesitate to contact us at any time to learn more.