How to Deal with Boat Buyer’s Remorse

How You Can Avoid Buyer’s Remorse When Buying a Boat

A boat can be an amazing purchase, but many boat owners end up with some form of buyer’s remorse. In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, buyer’s remorse is any set of lingering negative feelings about what you’ve recently purchased; after buying a boat, a small number of people feel emotions like regret, anxiety, or guilt about their purchase.

Where do these feelings come from? And what can you do about them?

First Things First: Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse as a Boater

First, let's establish the fact that buyer’s remorse is completely avoidable. These are some of the best strategies for avoiding buyer’s remorse as a boater:

  • Know your goals and priorities. You should understand your goals and priorities before you enter the market. Too often, people buy a boat out of an impulsive desire to be on the water, without really realising what they want out of the experience. If you buy a boat that doesn't fit your lifestyle or needs, you may end up regretting it. But you won't buy a boat that doesn't fit if you know what you want in the first place.
  • Shop around. There are a lot of different types of boats that you can buy, so if you buy the first vessel you come across, you might end up regretting it. Spend some time shopping around and getting to know different types of boats and different models so you can make a better decision for your needs.
  • Understand the full costs. Boats can be expensive, not just because of the initial price but because of the ongoing costs of boat ownership. Some people have buyer’s remorse because they end up spending far more money than they originally anticipated on things like fuel, insurance, docking, storage, maintenance, and supplies. Make sure you understand the full costs of boat ownership before pulling the trigger.
  • Talk to your family. You should also talk to your family about this decision. If you have a spouse or a partner, see what they think about purchasing a boat and if they would get as much value out of it as you do.
  • Take a trial run. Don't just assume that you love boating. Get some practical experience before you make a purchase. That could mean taking a friend's boat on the water, renting a boat, or just spending more time taking boats for test drives at a local dealership.
  • Sleep on it. This is a big decision, so don't rush it. Take your time and think this through.

Root Causes of Boat Buyer’s Remorse

Most often, buyer’s remorse manifests because of one or more of the following:

  • High costs. High costs are a leading cause of boat buyer’s remorse. If the boat is more expensive or time-consuming than you expected, it's only natural that you would come to regret or rethink your decision.
  • Limited use. Some people don't use their boats nearly as often as they thought they would. If you only take it out once a month, you may wonder how you could justify spending so much money on it in the first place.
  • Interpersonal conflicts. Buying a boat without the knowledge or consent of your partner could lead to a fracture in your relationship. Overuse or misuse of the boat could also lead to interpersonal conflicts.
  • A poor fit. Sometimes, a boat is just a bad fit for your lifestyle and needs. If the boat is too small to entertain the guests you want or too slow to accommodate your favourite water sports, you may be left with lingering feelings of regret.
  • Less enjoyment than expected. Sometimes, the root cause is difficult to pinpoint. If you simply enjoy the boat less than you expected, you might still have some feelings of remorse. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for human beings to predict how something in the future will make them feel. Nearly all of us have had the experience of chasing something we thought would make us happy, only to find out that it was never capable of making us happy by itself.

How to Resolve Boat Buyer’s Remorse

So, what can you do to address this remorse?

  • Identify the root causes. Before you do anything else, try to analyse the root causes. Why did this happen? What is stopping you from truly enjoying this vessel?
  • Address what you can. Often, buyer’s remorse is easy to address. Are you having interpersonal conflicts? Try to talk it out. Do you wish you had more time to boat? Consider reevaluating your priorities and freeing up your schedule. Does the boat cost more than you expected? Consider picking up a side gig to offset the costs.
  • Connect with others. Connecting with other people can make you feel more in touch with your local community, and help you appreciate your boat more. Try to network with other boating enthusiasts in your area and attend more social meetups.
  • Consider a different boat. If the problem lies with this specific boat, would a different boat be a better fit for you? Consider making an exchange – and make sure your new boat is in strong alignment with your goals and priorities.
  • Consider selling. If all your initial strategies fail, selling may be the best option. And with our innovative, intuitive selling platform, it’s easier than ever to sell your boat online! It only takes a few minutes to start a new listing.

Boat buyer’s remorse isn’t exactly common, but it’s also not rare. Oftentimes, people buy boats impulsively or without thinking their decisions through. But this doesn’t have to happen to you! The next time you’re in the market for a new boat, do your due diligence using a platform like TheYachtMarket. Here, you can find thousands of new and used boats for sale – so you can see everything that’s out there and make the right decision for your needs. Ready to get started? Browse our boat selection today!

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