Where to Buy a Bass Boat (To Get the Best Prices!)


The common sense and shallow pockets that most of us have, encourage us to always look for the best deal when purchasing anything. Especially when purchasing something as exciting as a bass boat, we want the best deal for the best price. There are many places that can provide us this great deal for the great dream of getting out on the water and reeling in the bass.

There are endless places that sell bass boats from online boat trading businesses, to local dealers, to even directly from bass boat brands. The best option for you will depend on what you’re looking for. What’s important is to do extensive research and comparing prices and boats before making a final purchase.

Here are the most common resources you will use to find the right boat for you.

Local Dealers/Listings

One of the first places to check is with local dealers or listings of boats for sale. These places will often be the cheapest as they are right in your own back yard. No shipping, delivering or waiting! And you can see your boat up close and personal before making the final decision. In some situations, you may even be able to take it out for a test drive!

Even with local boats for sale, there are many options and places to find a bass boat for sale. There are several places that you’ll need to keep your eye on.

Newspaper and Magazines

One option, although it may be viewed as old fashioned in this high-tech world, is classified ads in the newspaper. Many items for sale will end up in the classified ads. This is a great option as the bass boats for sale here will be local and often will be selling for a great price. The problem with the classified ads is that often it may be rare to find a bass boat for sale at all, let alone the exact bass boat you have in mind.

Again, similar to the newspaper, there are many bass fishing magazines such as the Bass Angler, the Bassmaster and the American Angler. Magazines like these have a lot better of a chance of having the boat that you want to be listed for sale, but it also runs the risk of that dream boat not being anywhere near you. It’s always a good idea to check out both options though.

Auctions and Dealers

There are many auctions and sales that go on very often in very many places. One example is bank repo. When someone can’t pay their bills or payments on anything that they have a loan with the bank for, the bank can then repossess that boat. They then sell at bank repo to the lucky highest bidder. While this may not be the best way to get the best deal on a boat, it is beneficial as you get to see the boat in person before paying for it.

Another way you can see a boat before purchasing it is going to a local boat dealer. Often these dealers are personable and willing to work on prices with you. This allows for a chance to get a better deal on the boat you want. There is also a better chance that you’ll find the boat that you truly want. Local boat dealers often have many options, brands, and prices.

For example, near my local area, there is a boat dealer that lists their boats online on their website as well as has their boats set up for display in their showrooms so that potential buyers can take a closer look. This is the best of both worlds. Buyers can choose to take a close look or they can choose to skim through the listings online until they fall in love with it, and then go visit it in person. It is very much specialized for the individual customer.

Boat Trading Websites

In this world of technology and internet, even local dealers have an online version of their dealerships. Even magazines and newspapers have their online versions. That being said, there are endless options for boats to be bought online. The internet has made it very easy to find and locate your dream ship. Even if it isn’t possible to physically see and touch the boat before you buy it, when you buy a boat online you have endless options of makes, models, prices, and locations.

Some people may worry that buying from the internet may feel and seem impersonal. They may want a more personable experience when buying a boat. But rest assured, many of these boat websites require and/or allow for buyers and sellers to work closely with each other. Many websites just list prices and details out on the listing, but others may require that you call the seller for the price and details

Boat Trader allows you to browse through all of the boats they have for sale but also lets you choose the make, type, and location in order to narrow down your search. At this time they have 7,005 listings of bass boats for sale of all brands and all locations in the United States.

Another reputable boat trading website, Boats has nearly 6,000 bass boats available on their website. They have boats available everywhere from Spain to Florida. Along with selling boats from individual sellers. they also sell brand name boats such as Nitro and Tracker.

One last example of online boat trading websites is Bass Boat Ads. This website is easy to use and has great deals on their boats. Their public prices and details allow for an easier experience on the buyer. Not only that, but they provide free basic ads for those who want to sell. You can then pay $20 to have your ad featured. This website through and through is a simple people-oriented service for those wanting to trade bass boats.

Buying from the Brand

If you’ve decided that a used boat isn’t what you want, and you have enough budgeted to look into a new boat, a great option is to buy those boats directly from those individual brands. There are many well-known bass boat brands that craft incredible boats. While each brand has a normal price range compared to the others, there are some averagely cheaper and more expensive brands.

One of the unique things about buying directly from the brand that you can’t get anywhere else is many brand websites allow you to have the option of building your own boat with your own specifications and preferences.

BrandPrice RangeBuild Your Own?
Nitro$24,995 – $66,815Yes
Tracker$11,695 – $25,695 No
Ranger$20,595 – $50,095Yes
Bass CatN/AYes
SkeeterN/AYes

Each of these boat brands has specific boat models and special features, so it will require some personal research to find what you want. But that’s also the nice thing about buying boats right from the brand. They are focused on building and providing you with your dream bass boat. In fact, it’s impossible to find a price range average for Bass Cat and Skeeter bass boats. Each boat requires the buyer to make their specifications before presenting a price.

Each brand is known for different things, so to get your research started out, here is a brief summary of what each one is known for. And these brands are far from all of the bass boat brand options out there. But this is a start.

  • Nitro is known for its good prices for a good size. They have larger boats while keeping the price reasonable.
  • Tracker has some cheaper options but it also has some smaller boats. Their boats also can’t be customized as much as some other brands.
  • Ranger is known for their versatility as well as their boats that provide power specified features.
  • Bass Cat is known for its power. You also have to request a quote for each boat because they are built to specification. They aim to provide specified power and ability to each individual angler.
  • Skeeter is known for their sleek elegant design. Their boats are the Lamborghinis of boats.

What To Know Before You Buy

Before you buy it’s important to understand what exactly you’re getting into. Whether a long time angler and boat owner or this is your first boat, there are a few things that must be in order before going out and looking for a bass boat.

Budget

Many average-Joe anglers aren’t going to be able to pay in full for a bass boat on day one. These boats can be quite pricey. So the first thing to be done is to figure out a reasonable and logical budget for you and your needs. Bass boats can range anywhere from $20,000 (on the low end) up to $100,000.

Luckily these high prices don’t completely hinder people who don’t have an extra pile of tens of thousands of dollars lying around the house from purchasing their dream boat. With boat financing, these payments can be made over time. But, just as with other loans it’s important that you research thoroughly and can afford the monthly payments.

If a no-go price limit is set it assures that you won’t be caught up on one boat and end up in quicksand. After looking at your budget, decide on a reasonable price. This price can be adjusted and tweaked while doing research. The important thing is to have a price set before going and actually looking at potential purchases.

Account for Necessary Accessories

Bass fishing is a very equipment-oriented sport, which means that it’s important to take into account that there might be more than just the boat that needs to be budgeted for. There are several necessary things needs in order to own a bass boat.

  • Towing Vehicle. It is important that you have or acquire a vehicle that has the capability to pull the boat trailer and boat. These things can be quite heavy so it is crucial that the proper towing vehicle is available to move around the boat.
  • Boat Trailer. A boat trailer is also very much needed in order to tow your boat from the lake to home and then back again.
  • Storage Space. When your boat is not on the water, it needs somewhere that it can be stored safely. It’s important to have an idea of whether you’re going to store the boat at home or whether you’re going to store it elsewhere.

Research

The last thing that must be done before going out and finding your dream ship is doing some proper research. You may have an idea of the make or model bass boat you want, but it’s important that you really see what all of your options are before heading out to find the boat that calls your name. T

There are countless resources that help provide different perspectives on what boat to buy. There are forums where anglers can share their experience and opinion such as Bass Resource, Bass Boat Central, or Western Bass.

There are also anglers who want to share their knowledge and experience with all who care to hear it such as Dean Sault and Don Wirth. Both of these anglers have great advice about purchasing a bass boat.

Tips and Tricks for Finding the Best Deal

Now that you’re ready to do all the steps required to purchase your dream bass boat there are still a few tips that can help you on your journey.

One thing that can help buyers to narrow down the kind of boat they want is deciding what size of the boat they should get. It may be obvious, but it is suggested that if you’ll only be boating on smaller bodies of water don’t waste money on a bigger boat (and then, of course, a bigger trailer, storage, etc.). But, if you’ll be boating on large bodies of water, a bigger boat will be necessary.

Another thing, when deciding between an aluminum bass boat and a fiberglass bass boat, aluminum will almost always be less expensive than fiberglass.

Dean Sault of Western Bass wrote an article about buying a used bass boat and he gives lots of wonderfully helpful information and tips concerning purchasing a bass boat.

“Lots of guys upgrade their boats in the spring so you can expect to find a better selection then. Of course, you also might find prices a little higher due to greater demand.”

Dean Sault

This means that depending on your priority (price or selection) you may want to either plan on or avoid buying in the springtime. It’s always a good idea to watch current trends and sales throughout the year as your doing research and thinking about buying a boat.

Dean Sault also explains how it’s a good idea to make a “Features List” for each boat that you go to check out. Then you can easily compare the features of each boat you’ve seen. As well as this, it can be beneficial to make a features list for your dream boat. Then you can see which boat most closely lines up with that fantasy list.

Along with that, Don Wirth with the Bass Pro Shops 1 Source writes of tips when buying a bass boat. He writes many helpful tips and ideas for saving money while finding the best deal. He especially has one line that really is pertinent.

“Do your homework, shop carefully, and get a boat you can afford, not just a boat you want.”

Don Wirth

Following this advice, and all of the other advice about looking for the best deal and knowing where to look will hopefully help you to find your dream bass boat and get out on the water while avoiding going majorly in debt or making a purchase you regret. Happy fishing folks!

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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