If you're looking to learn how to buy a ski boat, you're in the right spot. Ski boats, with their fast engines, can be a blast to own but you need to be aware of some pitfalls before jumping in to make the purchase.
- Decide on the purpose of the boat. Do you want to buy a ski boat to strictly pull one skier or will multiple skiers be an option? Will you be pulling water toys, such as tubes or banana boats or knee-boards?
- Decide on the engine type. Ski boats come with inboard, outboard, or inboard/outboard engine combinations. If you're going to have a lot of loose rope in the water, an outboard engine can easily get tangled so consider an inboard instead.
- Know where you'll use the ski boat. If you're going to be on a bay or ocean where water will be choppy, you're going to need a more stable bottomed boat with a closed bow. You do not want chop coming into an open bow boat. However, if your ski boat will be used on a lake or large pond, an open center console boat might fit the bill.
- Know your budget. Before you even go looking at ski boats, know what you can reasonably afford to spend. Factor in insurance, gas (some of the faster boats go through a lot of gas an hour), maintenance, slip fees (if kept in a marina) or the cost of a trailer if trailerable.
- Research, research, research. A lot of boaters will tell you that the happiest days of their lives are the days they buy a boat and the days they sell a boat. Boats are a large investment, but, with enough research and knowledge under your belt, you can be anchors aweigh on the boat of your dreams.