We would argue that there’s never a bad time to buy a boat, but right now might be a particularly good time to get out on the water. As we all adjust to a new lifestyle that may include social distancing, a great way to get out into the world in a safe and responsible way is with a family boat. Don’t believe us? Here are five reasons now is a great time to buy a boat (or rent a boat) and get out on the water.
1. The Fun is Back
There’s a lot of fun to be had among known family members, and while you are in the boat you are naturally distancing from others. Follow your local health guidelines at the launch ramp and the gas dock, of course—be sure to check out our Boating During COVID-19 Safety Guide for additional tips—but once on the water, the fun is back. This applies to just about any kind of powerboat, sailboat, personal watercraft (PWC), or human-powered craft like a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard. There is a boating activity to fit any lifestyle, family size and geographic location.
If your family traditionally took a long-distance vacation, those plans may have been swept away by pandemic issues, especially if your travel plans involved flying or even camping with an RV. With a boat you can stay local and stay safe. Enjoy the excitement of waterskiing or tubing, or the quiet solitude of fishing—there is something for everyone on the water.
Wondering about facility restrictions in your area? You can use our Public Water Access Map to select your state to see the latest updates on local boating guidelines, ramp availability and access in your area. Another handy resource can be found at the US Fish & Wildlife Service: State By State Closures, which lists the US Fish & Wildlife locations including many with access points, and their current status is updated daily.
2. Interest Rates are Low
Financing the purchase of a new or pre-owned boat has never been easier or more affordable. In fact, if you need or want to finance, rates have never been lower, through dealers, your local bank or specialized marine finance companies.
For some great tips, visit our Boat Financing: Helpful Information for Boat Buyers page, which includes a link to our Boat Loan Calculator, which can help you establish a budget for your boat purchase.
3. Gas Prices are Low
Though gas prices have crept back up a little from the lowest level seen this spring, in many markets regular-grade gasoline is still below $2.00 a gallon, with the mid-grade required for many boats priced below $2.40 a gallon. This makes boating, and towing to the water, more affordable.
4. Boat Inventory is High
The disruption of the economy this spring pressed the “pause” button on boat sales in many markets, which means that inventory both at new-boat dealers and on the private, pro-owned market may be higher than normal this summer. That can mean better-than-usual selection and deals for buyers as we roll into the summer season.
5. Science Says: Boating is Good for Your Health
Science has proven that being in, on or near the water—including on a boat—is great for your overall health and wellness, including your physical, emotional and mental health. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols has even written an entire book dedicated to understanding your “blue mind.”
According to Nichols, “Simply the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin, and inducing relaxation… Blue mind is when we disconnect and logout. We move away from the screens and we get out on the water, and leave all of that technology and information behind.”