If you’ve always dreamed of owning a boat, you’re not alone! But what if you want to make that dream a reality? Where do you go, and how do you know you’re buying from a reputable dealer?
That’s where we can help. We’re going to look at the 19 best places to buy a boat, whether new or used. We’ll look at online platforms and individual dealerships, and we’ll tell you what makes them great.
So if you’re ready, let’s start our tour!
Best Places to Buy a Boat (New and Used)
BoatTrader is a brilliant online resource for every kind of boat. You can sort through their database by distance from your current location. And they list a vast range of powerboats, sailboats, personal watercraft, and small boats like kayaks and canoes.
You can search by manufacturer too. And if what you’re looking for isn’t listed in the extensive drop-down menu, you can type it in.
Most of the boats listed here are from private sellers. But if you’ve found something you like the look of from a dealer, you can also search what other vessels they’re selling.
There’s a simple button to contact the seller direct to find out more. And you can save your preferred options to your own individual shortlist.
YachtWorld is a similar site to BoatTrader. And despite the name, the range on offer is far wider than yachts alone. There are some seriously enormous boats here. If you’re in the market for a cruise liner, this is a great place to start looking!
There are options here for every price point. The largest boats, though, tend to be coy about price – you’ll need to call up to get the details.
The database is easy to search, with filters for new and used, length of boat, make, and year of manufacture. You can search by region too. And there are advanced filters for hull material, fuel type and engine.
Pursuit is a manufacturer with dealerships across the USA and Canada, as well as internationally. Their website is a good place to get to know their range.
They offer no fewer than sixteen different models across four styles. There are dual console boats, offshore boats, sport boats, and one style of central console boat, the C236.
The specifications for each one are listed online, together with the long list of optional extras. And everything is clearly priced, so you can get a clear idea of overall cost.
When you’re ready to find out more, simply complete the online form to connect with a local dealer.
Start your search by selecting your chosen type, boat length and the oldest year you’re prepared to consider. Then input your maximum price.
Once you’ve done that, you can continue to narrow down your search. Choose from new or used, class and manufacturer. You can also choose your preferred location.
Both private sellers and dealers use the site, but most of the vessels here are available via dealers.
If you’re looking for small inflatable or rigid craft, West Marine are a good choice. They carry their own range of RIBs and dinghies, as well as the Sportsman fishing boat by Sun Dolphin.
It’s also a great place to find parts and accessories, as well as boating and sailing advice and how-to guides. Check out the sale and outlet sections to find some bargains.
Order online or check out a local store. There are stores in every state, and a handy online locator will tell you which is nearest to your zip code.
If you’re looking for a personal watercraft, Sea-Doo is the place to start your search. They offer 14 different models from recreation light through to sport fishing crafts.
You can view all the specifications via the website.
And if you’re not sure which is the right option for you, there’s a useful survey. Answer a few questions about your riding style, passenger numbers, riding time, water type, fishing requirements and budget. The site will then generate suggestions for you.
Choose a model, then customize it online. And if you’ve already bought a Sea-Doo, you’ll also find safety tips, operating guides and FAQs.
If you’re outside the US and want to buy an American boat, Florida-based Boat Export USA is the site for you. The models on offer vary by the day. When we visited, there were well over 13,000 boats available.
You can search by year, length, stock number and price. And if you’ve got a specific model in mind, you can search by keyword too.
Your boat can be transported with a range of different methods. These include shipping container, roll-on-roll-off, lift-on-lift-off, and float-on-float-off. Whichever approach you choose, they promise the best international shipping rates available.
Marine Max is another online platform where you can search a vast inventory of boats and yachts. Here you’ll find new and used vessels, as well as marine services and equipment.
A Boat Finder takes you through questions about what you want from your boat and your budget. And you can view all the vessels that meet your requirements, or all those at your location.
You can also view brand new models before they arrive at dealers. And there are featured boats to give you inspiration.
Boats.com offers a huge range of sailboats, powerboats, unpowered boats and personal watercraft. Both new and used vessels are available, from private sellers and dealers. When we visited, there were almost 60,000 boats on offer.
Filter your search by location (state) or by year, price, make, boat type, length, class and condition. You can also search for boats suitable for different activities, from fishing to overnight cruising.
The site also offers a range of marine services, including insurance, transportation, loans and boat documentation.
The classified ads pages of Good Old Boat magazine are a great source of boats from private sellers. And you can also search the adverts online via the website.
The filters here aren’t as sophisticated as on dedicated boat trading sites. You’ll only be able to filter the results by keyword and location. But you can look for either boats or parts.
Find your chosen boat and then contact the seller direct. You’ll find telephone and email details listed for each craft.
Beneateau operate 400 dealerships worldwide, so wherever you live there’ll be an option not too far away.
Their offering includes eleven different ranges of sailboats and powerboats. And they also offer heritage models dating back as far as 1965. Models are available for all requirements and budgets.
Premium service is available for those purchasing customized yachts over 50 feet long. And whatever boat you purchase, there’s a comprehensive after-sales service.
Florida is well known as the home of some of the world’s best boats. And Marine Connection is one of its top-rated dealerships.
They offer new and pre-owned boats, as well as a range of services and financing. Search by type, make and length. You can schedule live tours via FaceTime, or arrange a personal recorded walk-through video. And boats come with a free and comprehensive report on their history.
If you’re in the US, you can get nationwide delivery to your door. Worldwide delivery is available too.
Another highly rated Florida dealership is Regal & Nautique of Orlando. In fact, in the Boating Industry’s Top 100 list of dealers, they’re rated second.
They offer both new and used boats. And if you already own a boat, you can sell it to them or arrange a trade-in evaluation. Just fill in the online form with details of your vessel, and they’ll get back to you with an estimate.
Buyers can search for their new boat with a powerful search engine offering multiple filters. Manufacturers on offer include Sea Ray, Bayliner, Hurricane, Supra, Malibu and Axis.
Get in touch, and their team of expert staff will help you with every stage of selection and purchase.
Russell Marine are Alabama’s largest boat dealer. In fact, they offer the widest range of boats and personal watercraft in the south-east United States.
Both new and pre-owned craft are available, and you can search the inventory via their website. Alternatively, visit in person in Alexander City. Their massive 150,000 square foot warehouse is large enough to house all their pre-owned boats.
The staff includes factory-trained technicians who’ll be able to answer all your questions. And help with financing is available too.
Marine Sales have dealerships in Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio. And its Tennessee dealership is amongst the top rated in Boating Industry’s list of 100 best dealers across the US.
Choose your preferred store for information on their inventory. The search engine will let you filter by keyword, year, make, model and location. You can input details of any existing boat to receive an estimate of its trade-in value. And you can also schedule an in-person viewing.
Check out the “Steals and Deals” section of the website for some great value options.
Another of Boating Industry’s top 100 dealerships, Futrell Marine is based in three locations in Arizona and Arkansas. They’ve been in business for over 70 years.
Their website features an extensive inventory of new and used boats. And you can custom build your own Bennington, Cobalt or MasterCraft vessel.
You can also sell your existing boat, and finance options are available for purchases. Factory-trained technicians are on hand at all three stores. You can get your boat serviced by them too.
Maine’s Marina Holdings sell boats from two locations: Yarmouth Boat Yard and Moose Landing Marina. Both offer a wide selection of new and pre-owned vessels.
Start by choosing your preferred location. You’ll then be taken to a dedicated website with the opportunity to search their inventory. Search filters include year, make, model and style of boat (center console, fishing, inflatable, pontoon, etc).
They’re authorized dealers for brands including Pursuit, Montara, Cutwater, Regal and Sea Fox. And whatever boat you’re looking for, there’s an emphasis on exceptional customer service.
Riverside Marine of Maryland are another of the Boating Industry’s top 100 dealers. They offer new and used boats, as well as a good selection of motors and parts. And they can service your boat for you too.
For new craft, you’ll have a choice of Bayliner or Sportsman. They offer around 100 models at any one time.
When it comes to pre-owned vessels, there’s a wider choice of makes. Check out the inventory online to see what’s available.
The Boat Shop is located on Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania. It offers new and pre-owned craft from manufacturers including Manitou, Barletta, Cobalt and Malibu Boats. The large inventory can be searched via the website. You can also custom build your new boat to your specifications online.
If you have a boat to trade, fill in the form and provide some photos. They’ll get back to you with an estimated appraisal within 48 hours.
If you want to see what’s on offer in person, you can visit six days a week. The store is closed on Wednesdays.
Ready to Buy Your Boat?
That bring us to the end of our tour of the 19 best places to buy a boat. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new or used craft, there are plenty of great options on offer.
Platforms like BoatTrader and YachtWorld offer you direct access to private sellers and dealerships across the US. But there are also plenty of individual dealers that offer a huge range as well as expert advice.
Whichever route you choose, we hope you find the perfect boat for your needs.