Each day we get asked many of the same questions. We wanted to list them for you to help in your boating experience.
FAQ Boat Sales
What boat is right for us?
This is not a straightforward answer, Some questions/factors that have to be answered
• Where will you be boating?
• How many people on average will be going on the boat with you?
• What are you wanting to do on the water?
• Will you be towing the boat? If so do you have the proper towing vehicle?
• Do you have a certain budget?
Typical boat types and their purpose
• Pontoon - General leisure, a little tubing but mostly for entertaining with larger people capacity.
• Tri-toon - Water sports such as skiing and tubing, leisure with larger people capacity
• Runabout/bowrider - Water sports and speed with smaller people capacity.
• Deckboat - A mix between a runabout and pontoon/tritoon, water sports, leisure with larger people capacity and open floor plans.
How many people can a boat hold?
Each boat has a "Max Rated Capacity" for people and weight. This is a mathematical calculation based on size of the boat, the amount of floatation and the weight of the max size engine the boat can hold. This rating has nothing to do with actual places for people to sit. NMMA Certified boats today are designed to be able to hold its max capacity and still not sink if filled with water up to its gunnel.
Do I need to upgrade my horsepower of my boat to do certain activities?
Many boat manufacturers advertise boats with lower horsepower options to promote a lower selling price. They also show catalog/internet photos of the same model boat with 2-3 people in the boat performing certain activities. This does not mean that those same activities can be done with the base horsepower with 50%-80% people capacity. When selecting which horsepower to go with you must account for how many people you will have in the boat and what activities you will be doing. If you will only have less then 50% capacity and will not be doing water sports, the base horsepower could be acceptable. This is like buying a new truck that promotes a towing capacity of 7000#. You select the V-6 instead of the more expensive V-8 engine. This truck will not handle the 7000# very well in most situations.
What makes one pontoon of the same size more expensive than another?
In most cases in boating you are not paying for a name like in other things we purchase. It really comes down to materials, warranty and the exact configuration of the boat itself. Lets take two 20' pontoons, one is $2k-$3k higher than the other. Now lets take a closer look at each, the less expensive model typically will not have fencing skin that goes all the way to the top as the more expensive model does. A common area that many pontoon builders cut materials costs are in an area that is not seen which is below the floor. Think of building a house, the walls are constructed by building code of 16" centers for the wall studs. If they were allowed to space them further apart it would take less materials costing less. This is what boat builders do to save money by using less crossmember supports under the flooring. Another common difference in the two pontoons is in vinyl thickness/quality, they use thinner materials that still look good at purchase time but do not hold up as they age. Now lets look at electrical, the less expensive model typically uses crimped butt connectors connecting the wiring. The more expensive pontoon uses gasket sealed connections like in your car. All the above things might seem minor or not worth the extra expense until you do have an issue. Boats in general are exposed to some of the harshest conditions. When you are buying a boat you should consider how it will hold up not just today, but 10 years from now. Many boat buyers finance their purchase, considering the better constructed boat would only equate to $10-$20 more each month and see a return on your investment when the boat is sold in the future.
Why is one 22' pontoon the same price as another brands 24' model?
Each manufacturer identifies their boats differently in their model numbers. Some base it on size inside the fence others on the deck length. So in the listed question, those two boats actually can be the same size even though the manufacturers model numbers are not. Take a Sylvan 8522 that classifies as a 22' pontoon, it's deck length is just shy of 24' so some manufacturers would classify this as a 24' in their model listing.
Do I need the full 3rd log on my tri-toon or is the "Sport Toon" adequate?
Many pontoon manufacturers offer a "Sport Tune" option as a less expensive tri-toon. The purpose of the 3rd pontoon on a tri-toon setup is to provide more lift to get the pontoon out of the water giving it the speed and handling needed to meet the customer's needs. The Sport toon is a short center log that does not come all the way to the rear of the boat. The most important time you need the 3rd log is a speed. As a boat goes faster it has less and less of the boat in the water where only the back 25% is in the water at speed. So the Sport Toon not going all the way to the back actually does not help you at speed because it does not cover the last 25% of the boat. So if your purchasing a tri-toon to maximize speed and performance, a Sport Toon will not give you those things as it does not cover the right part of the boat where you need it.
What are the steps in purchasing a boat from a dealership?
Buying a boat is a completely different process than buying a car. Boats do not come from the manufacturer ready to hit the lake. Boats have to be assembled and tested prior to their delivery to the customer. Depending on the type of boat this can take a few hours to a few days.
most common process from most dealerships us the following:
1. Introduction to the dealership,
2. Determine which boat is best for your family,
3. Walk through where the salesperson discusses features and benefits of the boat
4. On the water demo when possible,
5. Placing a deposit on the boat you like,
6. Discuss finance options,
7. Complete a credit app,
8. Meet the staff and key contacts,
9. Dealership has to rig and prep boat ***
10.Sign financing paperwork
11.Shop for accessories,
12.Delivery with on the water orientation,
13.Follow up from salesperson.
*** Most boats are not “ready” to take off the lot that day as they need to be prepped to your exact specifications from specific engine horsepower, added electronics, with our without trailer.
What kind of deposit is needed?
Boats that are in stock require a $500 deposit that is refundable up to 3 day, special ordered boats require a 10% deposit that is refundable up to 3 days.
What is the maintenance on a boat?
Storage, winterization, 20hour service, 100 hour service, oil and gear lube changes, replace water pump, cleaning inside and out. The following links provide some other points of reference to this question
How many hours are a lot for a boat?
That depends on how the boat was used and maintained, service done regularly, 20 hours a year is an average use of a boat. Most boaters are anchored for much of their time on the water not adding running hours to the engine.
How fast will a boat go?
That varies a lot depending on the type of boat, water conditions, amount of people onboard, type/HP of engine, wind speed and other weather conditions, dirty pontoons, prop size. As a rule of thumb here is a quick range by boat type
• Pontoon- 10-30MPH
• Tri-toon- 25-50MPH
• Runabout- 35-55MPH
Do boats hold their value?
That depends on the boat brand, type, conditions and consumer need. A coastal style boat will have less value in the midwest, and vis versa. Overall a boat holds their value well as to why banks loan on boats for 10-15 years unlike cars.
Why buy a USED boat from a local dealer vs a private seller?
A dealer will go through and inspect the boat before it goes up for sale to make sure that the boat is safe and that there are no mechanical issues….i.e. Peace of mind. Each season we have boats that come in for service that ultimately have expensive needed repairs that the customer declines. Later in the season we see the same boat come back into the service department with a new owner informing us they just bought this boat and it is not running right. Unfortunately we have to explain to the customer we know right what is wrong with their boat. For some families this is their first experience in boating. So for many it ultimately leads to them leaving the boating lifestyle due to this bad experience. It is very important when buying a used boat to have a trained marine technician inspect the boat prior to purchase. We 20-30 calls a year from a customer that has just purchased a used boat now wanting us to perform an inspection to make sure it is ready for their family to use. This needs to be done prior to purchase to avoid unexpected expenses.
Why buy a NEW boat from a local dealer vs a dealer outside your area
Marine dealers are not like car dealers. Boat dealers are given a territory of about 150-300 mile radius of their store separating them from competing dealers. When you need warranty work the local dealer can assist in these repairs but due to the large volume of service work of customers who purchased directly from them you could expect a delay in service of 4-6 weeks on top of the actual repair time itself. The boating season is short so missing a big part of your Summer with a broken boat or the time to drive back to the selling dealer is a big hassle. Money saved initially does not always equal money/time saved down the road. Dealers sometimes offer lower prices to customers who are outside their selling area as they will not have any after the sale costs. Manufacturer's warranty does not cover all expenses to a dealer in doing a warranty repair. A dealer has to cover hundreds of dollars on each warranty repair they perform. This practice by outside market dealers ultimately hurts the customer requiring them to wait to get warranty work completed locally and possibly spending money out of pocket. It was mentioned above about each boat having to be assembled by the dealer before delivery. Any work done in this process that is not correct is the responsibility of the selling dealer and is not considered warranty.
FAQ FOR BOAT FINANCING /BUSINESS OFFICE
WHAT IS A MANUFACTURER WARRANTY?
Each manufacturer has their own warranty to cover certain problems with your boat/ engine/trailer. The warranty is typically valid over a certain period or hours, these are provided with a new purchase of each brand we carry. These manufacturer warranties are included in the price. The Manufacturer decides what is covered and the Marine Dealer facilitates what they tell them. Many consumers assume the selling dealer controls warranty, a dealer only can perform work under warranty that is approved by the manufacturer. A warranty is an agreement between the boat owner and the manufacturer. The boat, motor, and trailer all have separate warranties. The boat itself is made up of components used from 10-20 different manufacturers. Each one of these components has their own warranty, No boat has a "bumper to bumper" or "bow to stern" warranty that covers everything for the same amount of time.
HOW LONG IS THE MANUFACTURER WARRANTY?
This depends entirely on the manufacturer. Every manufacturer is different. They will range from 90 days year to lifetime depending on the part of the boat, motor or trailer.
WHAT DOES THE MANUFACTURER WARRANTY COVER?
A manufacturer guarantee usually promises to repair or replace faulty goods, if something goes wrong within a fixed period. A boat is made up of many different manufacturer’s, so the warranty will be based on the manufacturer of the issue. A marine dealer does not determine what is or is not covered on the manufacturer warranty, this is between the boat owner and the manufacturer.
HOW MUCH MONEY DOWN WILL I NEED?
There is no standard down payment on anything, there are various circumstances that come into play when you purchase anything with a lender. Such as; total amount of the loan, financial institutions vary, trade value, credit score, etc. Recreational Loans are not the same as car loans, they are a luxury, a wanted item not a need, so they may want zero down payment or sometimes 10% or more.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT RATES ON BOATS? WHAT TYPE OF SCORE DO I NEED?
This seems to be our top question, and there is no exact answer. However, we have seen them as low as 4% and sometimes as much as 16%. A lot of factors go into this. 95% of our customers finance with us and for good reason. The lenders we go through specialize in recreation lending. Other places may not have a complete understanding and do these loans as an afterthought, making their terms on a higher range. We truly have the best
likelihood of obtaining you the best rates and terms the market has to offer. Please take the time to click on the link and see what we can do for you! We can get you an exact answer for that question.
WHY WOULD I NEED EXTRA WARRANTY FOR A NEW BOAT? The manufacturer warranties only cover certain things. As you know some repairs can be very costly, and the extended warranties will cover those accidents vs. manufacturer covering only the defects they deem as their fault. This is a wonderful investment and can be used for many, many years to come. Wouldn’t you want to protect unforeseen accidents? Bonus when you bring the boat back to the selling dealer that deductible can be cut in half as well. Most used boats do not have any warranty, we highly recommend all extra warranties for your used purchase.
Call/text Traci @816-229-3366 for more information on what options we have for you.
HOW MUCH DO EXTENDED WARRANTIES COST?
A warranty can cost $300 and up depending on the average range by year, term of warranty, and deductible you wish to take. Please contact Traci in our Business office to get a quote today 816-229-3366
DO YOU HAVE A PRE-PAID MAINTENANCE AND WHY WOULD I WANT IT?
Yes, we do! We offer a pre-paid maintenance plan here at Blue Springs Marine for all types of engines and boats. This is a 3-year plan that will cover routine expenses AND winterization for 3 years. The plan will save you an average amount of 25%. This is better than paying for each service due to the savings and the price increase that incurs each year.
CAN YOU TRANSFER OR CANCEL EXTENDED WARRANTIES?
Yes, you need to call the warranty company and they will do this for you and disburse any unused portion monies appropriately. Sometimes there is a fee involved as well.
CAN YOU TRANSFER MANUFACTURER WARRANTIES?
Many manufacturers offer transferrable warranties. For any warranties that are transferrable it is done by contacting the manufacturer and typically has a transfer fee of $50-$400.
HOW LONG WILL MY BOAT BE IN FOR SERVICE?
After a boat is dropped off for service it will be diagnosed the following day. An estimate will be created and forwarded to the customer for approval. If parts are in-stock the work will be completed at that time. If parts need to be ordered that adds 4-7 days as boat engine manufacturers do not offer standard fast shipping. The biggest delay in repairing a boat is waiting for approvals and parts shipments from manufacturers.
WHY IS THERE A BACKLOG TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR SERVICE?
In the peak months March thru August there are more boats needing repair than technicians to repair them. Since boating is a seasonal business boat dealers have to balance this with the lack of work in the winter. There is a shortage Marine technicians nationwide.
WHY DOES WARRANTY WORK TAKE SO LONG TO COMPLETE?
The actual repair does not take that long. Boat manufacturers require every claim to be submitted to them with proper photos showing the issues. During peak times it can take 4-7 business days before we get a response of approval. Once the repair is approved we then have to order the required parts. Most manufacturers don’t stock the parts and build them to order causing further delays. To keep you on the water longer, we are now having the customer submit photos to us so we can get pre-approval and parts shipped prior to scheduling the repair.
HOW MUCH IS BOAT MAINTENANCE GOING TO COST ME A YEAR?
Annual maintenance is roughly 1%-3% percent of the cost of the boat, this is a national average. With that said it all depends on how well your boat was taken care and any accidents that have happened over the boats life. It will range from $200-$600 annually for most boats.
DOES MY ENGINE NEED TO BE WINTERIZED
Winterization is not all about COLD, it is about sitting for 4-7 months. The steps taken in winterization in KC are the same steps taken in South Florida for the snow birds’s boats when they go home. Heated garage, climate controlled storage or cave, all need winterization. You are protecting your fuel system, as gas goes bad in 45-60 days. You are protecting your block of your motor by removing lake water. You are changing your gear lube to remove any water contamination. Insurance DOES NOT cover damages from lack of winterization.
WHAT AM I LOOKING AT FOR BASIC 100 HOUR SERVICE
Oil and oil filter, gear lube, spark plugs, fuel filter adjusting all engine components back to factory spec.
I DON’T USE MY BOAT MUCH SO I CAN SKIP ANNUAL MAINTENANCE?
The less you use your boat the more important maintenance is. Many engine components are made of rubber, when they sit and are not used they breakdown leading to failure. It is like a car tire, if you don’t drive a car and it sits the tires dry rot and fail.
DO I NEED TO REMOVE MY BATTERIES FOR WINTER OR DO YOU RECOMMEND A
TRICKLE CHARGER IN THE WINTER ?
Batteries rely on chemical reactions to work, and freezing temperatures slow or stop those reactions causing it to drain. A trickle chargers' primary purpose is to slowly charge a battery and prevent overcharging. So yes they are a good idea in the winter months.
HOW DOES A BATTERY SWITCH WORK?
A battery switch has two purposes, it can cut power completely to your boat keeping things from slowly draining the charge of your battery. the second thing it allows is for you to use one battery to start your boat and then if switched it then uses the other battery for on-board components. This gives you a good battery to start your boat if the other is dead
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE GEAR LUBE?
This is considered annual maintenance even with low usage. Your gear case is below the water when in use, so changing it guarantees that it has no water in it during cold winter months.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO CHANGE SPARK PLUGS?
Most 4-stroke motors need them changed every 3-4 years. 2-stroke motors due to the oil and gas mix need them changed every 2-3 years.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED AN OIL CHANGE?
This is recommended typically each season for anyone running their engine 30 or more hours in a season.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO REPLACE MY WATERPUMP?
This is recommended every 2-3 years regardless of use as the water pump is made of rubber and lack of use causes even more damages to this part.