Tough time to buy a boat, but …

I’m not going to kid you – this is a tough time to buy a bass boat.

The exception would be if you plan to pay with cash rather than financing. But man, not many people can do that.

The problem for most anglers is interest rates are higher now than they’ve been for 20 years. Government programs and the economy are dragging things down. The feds are trying to slow inflation with rising interest rates, but that sure makes it difficult for the bass boat buyer.

However, that doesn’t mean you should disregard thoughts of buying a new boat right now. It actually is a great time because dealers – who are feeling the pinch of interest rates as well – are more than willing to make you a good deal.

And like I said, if you’ve got the cash and don’t have to finance, you’re in a great negotiating situation.

You also can shop for the best financing rates. These interest rates eventually will fall, so you might consider buying now and then refinancing to reduce your payment when interest rates come down.

I know a lending source that has 6.99 interest if you have a pretty good credit score. That company also will allow you to stretch payments out to a longer term if you want to reduce your monthly payment to a reasonable level.

Modern-day electronics and electric motors are better than ever, yet they have become more expensive, but you can shop for better deals. You don’t need top-of-the-line electronics to fish effectively, and you can always upgrade when the budget allows for it.

However, put thought in your purchase and take time to examine the quality and value in the boat and accessories you’re considering. Remember, you want this boat to last a long time. If you sacrifice quality and stretch your interest payments out for several years, you might find yourself regretting the decision down the road.

As owner of Phoenix Boats, I can assure you that the cost of materials has skyrocketed the past couple of years. We’ve tried to hold prices down by managing costs without sacrificing one iota of quality.

Like most reputable boat companies, we have a limited lifetime structural warranty and offer three years on components. We take pride in treating customers right and have been very selective in whom we include in our dealer network.

We also have improved our Phoenix First Flight Package, a tournament incentive program, to make it even better than last year.

Yes, on the surface it may seem like a tough time to buy a bass boat. However, with a closer look at deals out there and the financing available, you can find a rig that works for you and makes your fishing season more enjoyable.