Buying a boat from a Pro Staffer can save you thousands. You will have to be willing to do some research and take the boat to a mechanic to have it checked out, but with some effort on your part you just might find a gem of a deal.
Just like with a car, tow a boat of the lot and you’ve lost a couple thousand in resale and you haven’t event put it in the water yet. So why take that hit. With dealer staff and manufacturer staff turning boats over every 9-18 months, there are great deals out there to be had. Some of these boats have very low hours on the motors.
Pro Staff members receive boats cheaper, and can sell boats cheaper. Their job is to put their boat in front of as many anglers as possible, give rides and convince people that their brand is the best. For doing this, they get a discount on the boat. This is really basic but is a general idea; some staffers have much more complex contracts.
You would think that this means these boats get a lot of abuse and a lot of hours on the motors as these staffers show off the boats. In some cases yes, in most no. A demonstration ride lasts about 10 minutes, of that usually less than a minute is at full throttle. You can’t talk to the potential customer at full throttle. So the majority of the time is spent at a cruising speed showing off the boat.
So when looking into a Staffer’s boat, take it to a trusted mechanic and have them hook it up to the computer. The computer knows ALL. Your mechanic can do some additional checks and learn a lot about the motor. After these checks, he’ll know what you can expect from it.
A good thing about buying a staffer’s boat is it will usually come with a motor warranty. Many motor manufacturers offer a 5 year warranty. I know Mercury allows that to be transferred to a second owner; it’s as simple as filling out a single form. That used to be a big factor causing anglers to buy new, the added comfort of an engine warranty. With today’s programs and a little shopping around you should be able to get at least 3 years left on a warranty program. Some staffer boats are sold as new, in which you can negotiate a brand new warranty.
Many people don’t think about the trailer when looking for a boat. If you’re going to consider a staff boat, be sure to inspect the trailer well. Staff boats see a lot of road time; probably more road time than lake time as they travel to and from shows and lakes for promotions. It may also be worth it to have the hubs and bearings inspected. Today’s trailers come with oil bath hubs, which are light years ahead of the old grease bearings but can still leak so look for seepage around the hub and brakes. You may be able to haggle over tire wear, if you’re looking at a 19 foot or longer boat it’s probably going to have a tandem axle trailer; that’s four tires when it comes time to replace them, not cheap.
There are two major issues that you will have to come to terms with in buying a Pro Staff boat. First, It will already be fitted with electronics, hope it’s your brand. Second, you can’t be picky about color. If you can get over these two factors. You can save yourself thousands. A boat is a major purchase, take your time, look at all your options, ride in as many as you can. Once you find the brand you like then check with your dealer and manufacturer about staff boats and see what’s available you never know what you might find.
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