It’s good to keep your expectations realistic. With boats, there are so many choices from which to choose and the prices seem to range from cheap to “not gonna happen.” For this reason, you’ll want to do as much research as you can before signing anything. It helps to attend sport and boat shows, or visit your local dealer so you can compare brands and ballpark pricing based on display models. This also allows you to physically check out potential boats. Look around at the price tags and see which boats fit your budget. If you’re going to finance one, try to have a solid idea of what you can afford in terms of a down payment and monthly loan payments. It’s very easy to get caught up in the flyers and sales pitches when you’re looking at anything, let alone something as serious as a boat. To keep your frustration and stress low, though, just stick with your budget and do plenty of research before reaching for your checkbook.

Another tip I like to give to boat buyers is this: consult people who are familiar with your prospective boats. Once narrow your search down to a specific brand, talk to others who own that same brand. Be sure to ask for opinions on necessary options or upgrades. Trust me, you’ll learn a lot about the features and benefits of boats if you simply seek advice from those who use their boats hard.

Finally, while professional anglers may get a new boat every season, most of us end up owning our boats for a while. With that in mind, plan on using the boat for a while. Put some thought into finding the right seating choices, boat size, and motor you think you’ll need. Also, consider how many trips you’ll need to take with the boat and whether or not it is easy to transport on the road.

Some people care about what their boat looks like, while others only consider storage. The tips outlined above are subtle considerations that many people completely overlook when they’re in the market for a new bass boat. Keep them in mind and you’ll be in better shape to make the right purchase when the time comes.