When you set off to shop this year for your next boat or first boat for that matter try to keep a focus on the boat in front of you as opposed to any barriers you may have mentally put up. We hear initially from buyers a very strict criteria “I only want to look at boats 2006 or newer”, or “I won’t look at boats older then 2000 model year”. We know from doing this every day that its the care and maintenance the current owner has given the boat that makes this difference between a diamond and a dog.
While you do need to have search criteria, putting up a model year barrier before deciding which boat model you find the most appealing can be a mistake. Why? SImply put because we see many times a 2002 boat that is so well kept that it out shows and outshines the same 2004 or 2005 boat. Assuming the boat is older then 1 or 2 years neglect knows no model year. A 2006 boat with canvas that was never put up or never cleaned will have more wear and tear then a 2002 boat that was shed kept and babied by it’s owner.
Until you figure out which exact boat is the boat you want DO NOT restrict your model years to a barrier. Once you do however determine that a 340 Sea Ray for example is the correct boat then by all means approach it in the following manner.
Determine the model year ranges where the manafactorer made significant changes. You may find that in 1998 cherry interior was not an option but that in 1999-2002 the boat was built the exact same way. If you decide “I won’t look at boats older then 2000″ you may miss the best deal or cleanest boat which in this case a 1999 would be the exact same boat as the 2000-2002.
In closing pay close attention to the one or two models of boat you determine is right for you and once you do focus less on the model year and more on the specific boats you look at.