Dreaming of summer fun? Why winter is one of the best times to buy a boat

(BPT) – Post-holiday sales aren’t the only deals to be found during the winter months. Starting in January, and running all winter-long, boat shows take place across the country. They offer some of the best pricing and incentives of the year – a major draw for the 83 million Americans who take to the water each year. For those ready to plan their summer fun, boat shows are often the place to start.

Boat shows create a unique shopping experience since hundreds of boats are under one roof to board, browse and buy, however, most people don’t know about the additional perks these events offer. Discover Boating, the national awareness program to help get people on the water, offers the following tips to make those boating dreams a reality:

* Do that nautical homework. Before attending a local boat show, do a little research and have a plan. Spend time on DiscoverBoating.com to research different types of boats that fit your budget and lifestyle with a new boat selector tool or use the loan calculator to estimate monthly payments. There’s even a boat show finder to locate a boat show in your area.

* Warm up with hot deals. Unlike auto shows, boat shows are the place to buy. Hundreds of new-year models are available to buy right at the show often at some of the best prices of the year as exhibitors generally offer special show pricing or other incentives. Plus, it’s the perfect time to order a new boat to ensure it arrives ready to launch in spring.

* Try out the boating lifestyle.Boat shows are a great place for beginners looking to learn not only about the boat buying process, but also the boating lifestyle. Find a show with a “Welcome to the Water Center” that offers unbiased advice on finding a boat that best suits your lifestyle and budget. Many also offer boater education – from getting a captain’s license to learning how to dock a boat, as well as displays of boats that can be financed for $250 a month or less.

* Get your feet wet. Boat shows bring the great outdoors indoors, creating an environment to enjoy the sights and sounds of summer. With affordable admission prices, anyone can take advantage of an array of activities (often at no additional cost) including: scuba diving, fishing for kids, paddle sports, seminars, antique boats, giveaways and more. Plus, it’s a great place to meet other boaters as many make their local boat show a winter rendezvous.

* Look for the seal of approval.Keep an eye out for a few key “seals of approval” when shopping the show. Marine Five Star Certified Dealers are retailers who have made a commitment to making the buying and maintenance of a boat both pleasant experiences. Boats marked NMMA Certified have met strict industry product quality standards.

Winter boat shows are an easy way to learn how to get on the water, plus a chance to enjoy a taste of summer during the coldest months of the year. Visit DiscoverBoating.com to find a boat show near you, a list of certified dealers and manufacturers, and unbiased advice for getting started in boating.

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