When is the Best Time to Buy a Sailboat?

When is the Best Time to Buy a Sailboat? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

June 15, 2022

Shopping for a sailboat is a thrilling time. Whether it's about fulfilling a lifelong dream or the anticipation of adventure that having a boat brings, getting a bargain or finding the best deal should surely be on your mind.

Buying a sailboat is a great decision but also a big one. You've probably been doing your research and looking for ideas on how to get the best deals before you make the final decision and sign on the dotted line. Because buying a boat is a significant investment, it's good to know when it's the best time to buy a sailboat.

The best time to buy a sailboat is when the price is right for your budget, and you're ready to handle the responsibility that owning a sailboat requires. Truth be told, there's never a bad time to buy a sailboat.

Each season has its advantages and disadvantages, so understanding what each season presents can be of great help in finding a better deal. Again, there are other variables that you should consider if you want to get a better deal while also improving the overall shopping and purchasing experience.

With that in mind, this guide is all about helping you decide if it's the best time to buy a sailboat.


Table of contents

Factors to Consider When Looking at the Best Time to Buy a Sailboat

Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

  • Whether you want a new boat or a used model
  • When the new models are introduced in the market
  • Where you are planning to boat and the boating season of that area
  • The right time for the buyer's market
  • When dealers and manufacturers offer incentives
  • When the local boat shows are in town
  • When you find an ideal boat at the right time

Best Time To Buy a Sailboat

As we noted earlier, each season has its advantages as far as buying a boat is concerned. As such, it's essential to understand what each season presents and you might stand a chance of finding a better deal. It doesn't matter whether you want to buy in the summer or winter, knowing how different seasons affect boat sales might help you get the best deal.

Spring and Summer

From a boat owner's perspective, spring and summer are generally considered the worst times to purchase a boat. The reasoning behind this is quite clear and straightforward: the boating season is just around the corner. For this reason, many people are buying boats in anticipation of having fun and becoming adventurous. This high demand will most likely drive the prices up and you may find yourself paying over the roof for a vessel that you may otherwise get at a better deal during other seasons.

In essence, there's always an increased demand for boats during spring and summer as many people are shopping for their next vessel. This may lead to high prices, so you can consider avoiding spring and summer if you want to avoid falling victim to high prices. On the contrary, buying a boat during spring can be ideal if you want to prepare for the upcoming summer, which is always a boating season. Similarly, you can choose to buy your boat during summer and get to enjoy the adventures right away.

You also have to keep in mind that new model boats do come out during summer. For this reason, many dealerships are always willing to cut prices in the spring as an incentive to get more buyers and to clear out space in anticipation of new boat arrivals. So if you want to buy a new boat, you shouldn't wait until late June or July because chances are you might not be able to find the time of boat that you had planned to buy. That being said, you can buy a new boat in spring but do not wait until August when sales are booming as you may be priced out of a new boat.

A notable disadvantage of buying a boat in spring or summer is that manufacturers and dealers are often overwhelmed with business and they may take quite some time to rig and get your boat delivered. And if you buy in summer but still want the boat fitted with some extras, you may not find enough time to enjoy your new toy and may have to wait until the next boating season, which can be very frustrating.


Many boaters often believe that fall is the best time to buy a boat. This is because the boating season is over and many manufacturers and dealerships will start offering discounts in September and October as a way of clearing the previous year's models. In other words, the previous models, which are still new and available, need to be sold so the prices might be a little flexible, especially when compared to spring or summer.

Again, the demand for the previous models is declining during fall, so manufacturers and dealers will provide discounts and incentives while also lowering prices to attract buyers. As such, you can find some of the best boat deals if you plan on purchasing your ideal boat during fall. Better still, you can choose to buy a boat during fall and use the offseason to install the right equipment and accessories on the boat. By buying a boat in the fall, you get plenty of time to get it ready and to soup it up to your required standards before the next boating season.

A Buyer's market for boats - We have to note that fall might be the best time to buy a boat if you're less concerned with seasonality but more concerned with finding the ideal buyer's market for boats. This is the slowest-selling season for most dealers and manufacturers and they're generally looking to clear older models off their showrooms in anticipation of new models. As such, it's a more advantageous time for buyers and it's an excellent time to negotiate for a better deal.

Similarly, this can be the best time to buy a used boat from owners who want to sell their boats simply because they do not want to incur winter storage costs and fall slips. Fall may not be an ideal boating season, but it can be a great time to get some of the best boat deals. You definitely want to buy a boat when the owners are paying for other things like storage but not using the boat and not at the start of the boating season during summer. Remember; owners will be more willing to sell at a discount when they're broke and have several months to wait before going back to the water.


Also known as the boat show season, winter often seems like an odd time to buy a boat since it's off boating season but it's probably one of the best seasons to buy a boat. Well, this is the boat show season, which brings together a large selection of boats from some of the best manufacturers from across the world. As a buyer, this can be a great time to buy a sailboat as it gives you the chance to explore various boat models, compare prices, styles, sizes, and many other features.

Generally, exhibitors will display some of the latest boat models and features. Better still; you do not have to move from one location to another in search of your ideal boat. Instead, you get the chance to look at very many different boats in the same location at the same time. Keep in mind that manufacturers often offer some of the best special deals and incentives as a way of introducing their new models to the market. The boat shows also give you the chance of shopping for a vessel that is within your budget.

In most cases, boat show season starts at the height of winter in January and may last until March. You can find some of the best boat deals at these events, so it would be wise to consider buying your boat during winter, especially if the boat shows come to a town near you. And even if you live in warmer climates where winter might not be much of an issue, dealers and manufacturers tend to sell their end-year inventories at this time, so it offers you an excellent opportunity to find an ideal sailboat at a great price. All you have to do is mark the boat show calendar and arrive at the boat show fully prepared.

If you want to buy a brand new boat, you can target late winter and early spring as the best time to make a purchase. This is because many manufacturers often introduce their latest boat models in late summer or fall but introduce them to the public during the winter boat shows.

In conclusion, the urge to buy and own a boat is always high but it's always advisable to do some research and figure out exactly what you want as well as your needs. Before signing on the dotted lines, make sure that the boat is ideal for your needs and your boating location.

More importantly, keep in mind that there's never a bad time to buy a boat. If the boat is ideal for you, the price is right, and you're ready to have some fun on the water, then the time should be less of a concern!

When is the Best Time to Buy a Sailboat?
Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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