Any new boat - whether a fishing boat or luxury yacht - is a major purchase. Below, are some tips recommended to maximize your purchase.

Shop local, but always shop around

Just as with any major purchase, don't go with the first dealer you meet, and don't take the first boat you see in the local classified ads. You will spend a lot of time using your boat, so do your homework. Discover Boating explains, "Shopping around gives you an opportunity to compare and contrast prices, models and more. Finding the right dealer always works wonders in the long run, for your pocket and your fun." If you're new to the process of buying a boat, I recommend that you shop with a nearby brokerage. "That way you get the best service possible,". "Deal with someone who's been in the business a long time." The right boat for you will depend on what you're going to do with it. A local dealer can talk with you about where and how you want to do your boating, and point you in the right direction.

For some boat purchases, you need a reputable broker on your side

"The more expensive the boat you are considering, the more essential it is to have a good broker," advises Forbes magazine. "A broker will bring a huge body of knowledge to the process, understanding about different makes and models of boats, and a network of other brokers to draw upon for information." Much like a car broker, the right boat broker saves you time and worry. A broker can act as your voice of experience and reason, conduct thorough market research, and make sure you're getting the right boat at the best price possible. In some cases, you never even have to set foot in a dealership at all.

Timing can make or break you

So when is the best time to buy a boat? For most buyers, winter is prime deal time. According to Boating magazine, "Late fall is pretty good too, when everyone wants to move inventory." However, the answer is a bit more complicated. "If you live in California, the best time to buy is 24 hours a day, all year long." But if you're located in the Northeast, where there are definite on and off seasons, you should always aim for the off season.