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Lifestyle : Sydney International Boat Show 2012
1HERSA1 S004 4 July 28-29, 2012 smh.com.au KEEP ON EVEN KEEL Plan ahead and you could pick up a boat at a great price, writes David Lockwood. So many options . . . there will be plenty on offer for everyone from beginners to old sea dogs. T he Sydney International Boat Show is without peer for its collection of cool and cosmopolitan craft. They sail here from all corners of the globe and for all budgets and bents, from self-propelled kayaks and packaged tinnies to fishing- and family-oriented trailerboats and flashy water-sports rigs. Add the luxury cruisers, keel yachts and catamarans soliciting attention on the marina and it's rich pickings by any measure. With more than 75 per cent of the boats imported from Europe and the US, it's also a truly international boat show. But listen to the sales pitches from various camps and you could be in a spin, so stick to your guns and the basic principles of buying a boat: be prepared, forearmed and informed -- and implement a strategy. If not paying with cash, find the most competitive financing option before you shop. Boat loans should be paid off quickly as they're generally not tax deductible and new boats depreciate fast. Steer away from using property as security and be wary of pay- by-the-month deals, in which the effective interest rate can be as high as 15 per cent over five years. You can get a secured new-boat loan for between 10 per cent and 11 per cent interest. You should also check that the boat you buy includes registration of the hull and, if applicable, the trailer. Some advertised packages in brochures exclude delivery, boat and trailer registration, on- water costs and local statutory charges. Don't forget to factor in the cost of insurance too. Boat shows are the ideal place to drive a bargain, so push for upgrades and accessories. And to save on running costs, think sailing, four-stroke outboards, diesel power and displacement or long- range cruisers. If you have the time, you can save a motza by driving a go-slow semi-displacement or full-displacement hull. You might not need to go any further for boating holidays than the mighty Hawkesbury. But with a trailerboat in tow, it's easy to cast a wider net. Ergo, bigger isn't always better. Before you buy a boat, factor in 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the purchase price for maintenance and running costs each year. Marina fees are steep in Sydney and there are waiting lists at most clubs. As for how much boat you get for your buck, $5000-$10,000 will buy a decent open tinnie with an outboard motor and trailer. From $10,000-$20,000, you can buy an aluminium runabout, with canopy, that's better suited to pulling kids on tubes, while $20,000-$30,000 puts you in the offshore fishing or comfortable family bowrider league. With $30,000-$40,000, you can access a wealth of local and imported fibreglass boats for family and fishing, all with a more dignified ride than aluminium. Head into the $45,000-$65,000 bracket and you'll get sophistication and greater comforts and amenities, though you might also need a 4WD to tow it. Moored sportscruisers start in the low $100,000s to $200,000 for a 25-30 footer. You can buy a new 32-foot yacht for less than $200,000 sail away. Kick in $250,000 and you're into the comfortable weekender class. Double that, up to $750,000, buys a 40-foot luxury sports yacht. Above $1 million and you can cruise the coast in luxury. David Lockwood is the boating writer for The Sydney Morning Herald. SPECIAL REPORT TOP 10 BUYING TIPS Establish a budget and stick to it. Seek finances before the show. Factor in 10 per cent of the purchase price for outgoings annually. Beware of the high interest rates wrought by pay-by-the-month loan schemes. Use the economic climate to negotiate a better deal, more free kit, accessories or servicing. Consider the needs of everyone --- first mate and kids --- when making a boat-buying decision. Organise trailerboat storage, street parking, a dry stack or marina berth. Remember, established boat brands have the best resale value in the long run. Respected local boat dealers are invaluable for after-sales service and support. Sell privately or accept the fact that trade-in prices have fallen sharply in recent years.
Travel Vietnam 2012