Boat Dealers and Brokers in Seattle
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HOW TO FIND BOAT DEALERS IN SEATTLE
There are plenty of boat dealers in Seattle to service the demand for boating on the Puget sound. Westlake Ave along Lake Union will be the best starting point since this area is home to most of the recreational boating businesses. Both Lake Union and Salmon Bay will have tons of dealers and are great areas to do sea trials for a new boat since they are sheltered from the larger Puget Sound. Ballard and Kirkland will also have some boat dealers but it’s recommended that you stick to Salmon Bay and Lake Union since servicing the boat will be easier for the dealer. Bainbridge Island does have dealers, but unless you want to bring your boat over there for warranty service then it’s not recommended to buy there. The best thing to do to get your bearings is to check out the dealer locator on the boat manufacturer website. This will tell you where to find the closest dealer to you, and proximity to where you’ll be boating is key. It’s also worth checking out online reviews and asking friends where they bought their boat from. If you are in the greater Seattle area and don’t see any dealers close to you on this page, then go to the Mariner Exchange Dealership Search Page and enter in your location to search for boat dealers near you.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE A BOAT DEALER
- No hidden repairs to take you by surprise: Buying a new boat means that you shouldn't have to do any repairs to it. Often, when you buy a used boat, you have no idea what work has been done to it and whether or not certain parts that are not visible need to be replaced. These are issues that likely won’t present themselves during a brief sea trial. Something to keep in mind is that while you shouldn’t have to do any repairs, the first two years of owning the boat are when it will depreciate in value the most.
- The dealer will handle the warranty work: They will be able to work with the manufacturer so that repairs don’t cost you a dime while you’re under warranty. This way, you don’t have to do any of the paperwork and can just relax and enjoy yourself.
- Dealers know the ins and outs of the manufacturer: They will be able to walk you through each model of the boat and help determine what the right one is for you and your family. They also have their ear to the ground and know what the manufacturer may have coming out that would be perfect for you. If there are older models that would be a fit, then they’re likely to know about those as well. The bottom line is that they are experts in that type of boat and can teach you a lot through the buying process.
- If you need to customize the boat: The great thing about boats is that you can order custom ones that meet your exact specifications. Dealers will act as liaison with the manufacturer to help you place the order so that nothing gets lost in translation and you end up with the boat you wanted.
- Marine lenders onsite: The dealer will likely have a relationship with a marine lender who can approve you for a loan on the spot. It’s probably a good idea to get pre-approved for a boat loan before you go to make a purchase though.
TIPS ON BUYING FROM A BOAT DEALER
- Make sure the service department is good quality: You’re going to want the dealer to do warranty work for you so make sure they have a good service department. You can look at ratings and reviews on Mariner Exchange to see what customers are saying about them. You’ll be working with them at least through your warranty so this is a very important aspect and not something to be overlooked when you’re deciding where to buy.
- Take a look at last year’s model: There isn’t too much innovation year over year, so you can get a discount if you buy last year’s model. The dealer will be trying to get last year’s model out of inventory so you’ll have more bargaining power.
- Go to a boat show to compare side by side: Boat shows are a really fun way to shop for a boat. You can go to the Seattle Boat Show and see all of the dealers side by side to see which ones provide the best services and which ones have the best options. Obviously the dealer you go with will depend heavily on the brand of boat you’re looking for, but if you’re between two, then this will be a great opportunity to see which is a better fit from a service perspective and who can offer a better price.
- Online research will be crucial: The best thing you can do to get ahead of the curve is to look up the boat online before you go into a dealer. Not only look at the manbufacturer website and peruse the different models, but also look to see what used versions of the boat are selling for. If you factor in depreciation, you should be able to get a rough estimate of what the boat should cost.
- Take advantage of Pacific Northwest winter: This is the off-season and the dealers will be trying to get rid of the boats in inventory. You can get better prices since not many people are buying boats during this time of year.
- Ask for a discount if you order custom: When you order a boat that is custom built, that means that the dealer never has to actually finance it and inventory it, so the cost of sale for them is much lower. See if they will pass some of those savings on to you.
- Look for a dealer close to where you boat: Having the boat dealer be located near you is crucial because it makes the warranty service much easier. It can be a huge pain to trailer your boat long distances.