Monday, January 19, 2015

6 Tips for Attending a Boat Show

The Overland Park Boat Show is this weekend and Summerset Boat Lifts is here to help you prepare!  Last week we discussed tips for purchasing a boat. Whether you're shopping at your local boat dealer or at a boat show, those tips will help you purchase the right boat for you. However, boat shows can be a little overwhelming. In addition to thinking about what type of boat you should get ahead of time, you should also think about the boat show experience and what you can do to get ready to attend. Here are 6 tips for attending a boat show.

1. Have a General Idea of What You're Looking For. 

Boat Shows are packed with various vendors, and not just those selling boats. In order to wade through the chaos, have an idea of what type of boat you're looking for. Are there any special features you want? How much can you afford? Check out last week's blog on Tips for Buying a Boat to help you decide what you'll want to look for when you arrive at the Overland Park Boat Show. Knowing the details ahead of time will help you compare options with careful consideration. Otherwise, the show can get very overwhelming, fast!

2. Check Out the Show Guide Before Arriving. 

Many boat shows will have their complete show guide listed online so you can read it before arriving. The Overland Park Boat Show has all the exhibitors and vendors listed on the website for you to check out. Go through the list and pick out who you want to talk to based on the decision you made for boat options. With so many things going on, you can get easily distracted. With a plan in place, you can stay focused and ensure that you don't miss any of the exhibitors or venders that you really wanted to talk to!

3. Spend Time Talking with Dealers. 

As we mentioned in our previous blog, you're not only buying the boat, you're also buying the service. You want to choose a dealer that is easy to work with and has your best interest in mind. Some dealers can be very committed to customer service, while others are large enough to offer nice discounts. Some will offer continued service, while others may not.

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4. Plan for the Show to Take Up the Entire Day. 

With so much to see, you're going to need to leave yourself plenty of time to not only look at everything you want to, but also to process it. Use the first half of the day to tour the boats and take notes as you go. When it's time for lunch, go somewhere quiet and review everything that you've looked at. Boats have a tendency to blend together when you look at a buch all at once. By taking time to process what you've seen, you'll end up remembering something you want to take a second look at. In addition to taking notes, try to take some pictures. These will be helpful when you and your spouse are arguing over which feature was on what boat!

5. Speak to the Dealers a Second Time. 

Once you have narrowed down your choices, go speak to the dealers again. This time you'll want to ask specific questions about discounts, rebates, warranties, delivery dates, service, training and other value-added services. Ask each of your top choices to give you a final deal, while being open and honest about which other boats you're considering. If any of them have a positive reaction to what you're considering instead of theirs, ask them why. Is the other model built stronger? Does it have a better long-term reputation? These are questions you want answered before making such a big decision.

6. Make Some Calculations. 

Be sure to think about everything involved with purchasing a boat before you make a decision. Talk to other vendors such as a boat lift dealer at the Lake of the Ozarks. You need to consider the cost of a lift, dock, winter storage and accessories when deciding if you can afford a particular option. You'll also want to factor in maintenance and the amount you'll spend on fuel. When you are finally content with the choices you've made and the amount of money you can afford to spend, go back to the dealer and make a deal!

Be sure to stop by and see Summerset Boat Lifts at the Overland Park Boat Show this weekend! Doors open at 5 PM this Thursday, January 22. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 & under. For more information on this spectacular event, contact the Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association at 573-480-2300 or visit

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

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