Getting Started is Easy for a First Time Boat Buyer

If you’re new to the fun and excitement of boating, we’ll make it easy to get started. You’ve got a few hundred questions, right? We created this section just for you, with loads of information and tips to get your boating lifestyle started. We’re ready to help guide your journey.
Page Position for loc1

A Boat for Every Lifestyle? Oh Yeah!

Finding the perfect boat starts with how you want to have fun. Is fishing your top priority, or is it wake surfing and tubing? This handy guide makes it easy to figure out which boat types will best meet your needs.
Page Position for loc3

Resources for New Boaters

  • Find the perfect boat for you

    Looking for a new boat but don’t know where to start? Our Boat Finder tool makes it easy to find the best boat for you based on your favorite marine activities and preferences.
  • Boat Buyers Guide

    Not sure where to begin? MarineMax has created a Boat Buyer's Guide guide to help give you everything you need to know about the exciting lifestyle of boating and how to begin the boat buying process.

  • Couple pulled up at a sand bar

    Get Your Feet Wet with These Beginner Boats

    When it comes to boat size, sometimes it's best to start out smaller rather than larger, the learning curve is shorter and managing the boat is simpler.
  • Still Not Sure What Boat to Choose?

    We've created a boat comparison resource that can help shed more light on the choices you have when choosing a boat that's right for you and your family.
Page Position for faq

Frequently Asked Questions for Beginner Boaters

Besides the availability of the boat of your interest, budget would also play a prominent factor when making this decision. While used boats may be less expensive, have upgraded parts, and be refitted with up-to-date motors, a new boat will cost more; however, you will typically get a manufacturer’s warranty and a lower down payment and monthly rate if financing. Check out our featured new, used, and brokerage boats page to get a better idea. Another great source is to download our Boat Buyers Guide.

There are many ways to answer this question, and mostly since it is things that you should ask yourself. See the list of questions below that may better guide you in your boat-finding journeys: 

  • How many people will I be boating with?
  • What activities will I be using a boat for?
  • Will I be sleeping aboard my boat?
  • Will I be trailering the boat, or will it be stored at a marina? 

Different categories of boats are made to suit specific needs. Some boats will have cabins to sleep in, while others won’t, but may have a great center console that’s perfect for an avid fisherman to move freely and get a hold of that prized fish. Wake boats for water sports are a whole different category and will have a much noticeably different shape on the outside versus a sport boat. For more guidance, check out our first-time boat buyer’s page. Two types of boats gaining more popularity are power catamarans, such as these Aquila Power Catamarans, and pontoon boats, such as the ones shown here from Harris. 

In today's boating world, pontoons are gaining popularity and are becoming much more than just your typical "party barge." Pontoons have evolved into multi-functional platforms with many luxuries that have never been seen before within this category of boats. From speakers, LED lighting, and comfortable seating to additional horsepower for water sports, there are many reasons to fall in love with this type of boat! Check out more details on our pontoon information page, see what is available online, or see exciting models from the luxury brand Harris.

Boat prices can vary greatly and depend on many factors: size, features, and types, to name some. Costs can be contingent on the boat’s condition as well and can range anywhere from under $10,000 to millions; however, an average amount for a powerboat can be around the price of a high-class luxury vehicle. If price is a factor and you need help with financing, we offer fantastic resources from top-notch experts.

Easy, with MarineMax! At MarineMax, we offer lots of resources to get you out on the water and feel confident doing so. With our exclusive Women on Water® class, Boating 101, Safe Boating courses, and many others, you can get your feet wet when pushing away from the dock for the first time. Another great resource is our Boating Tips series from our knowledgeable captains. Speaking of—you can always hire a professional captain, ask an experienced boater, or if you are brave enough to try it out for yourself, go for it!

Depending on the size of the boat, location, and if it is an ideal environment, many boat owners will store their vessel on their property. If that is not an option, MarineMax offers storage options and marinas in many locations across the U.S. and beyond. Find a marina close by on our MarineMax Marinas page. 

Have no fear if something else goes wrong on the water—MarineMax is here to help! Our service experts are easily accessible via the phone, or a service call can be scheduled from almost anywhere online or via the MarineMax App. Even pre-planned maintenance is simple to set up to prevent any problems in the future from arising. For Boating Made Easy™, download the MarineMax App today! 

Fishing and boating licenses vary by state and by activity. Some locations don’t require a boating license, while others do, and the type of license needed for fishing can also vary. A good resource that covers purchasing a fishing license across the nation is the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website. For more details about a boating license, select your home state on the map to see if one is needed online at Be sure you understand the boating laws where you and if you are uncertain, you can always ask one of our experts at MarineMax! 

You’ve come to the right place! MarineMax offers plenty of fun boating activities and events on an ongoing basis in many different locations. From MarineMax Getaways!®, where you can join us to travel to exciting on-the-water destinations overnight, to Dayaways!, where adventures last an afternoon, or to the many other events such as boat shows, classes, and more that are constantly happening. Check out our events page online and bring a few friends along for the ride to experience the fun!

Educational and Entertaining Boating Videos

Want to Learn More About MarineMax?
Request Information

MarineMax will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways we can contact you:
Page Position for loc2

Classes to Keep You on Course

Child smiling in front of pontoon

Kids in Boating

Boating is a great way to spend time with kids. This mix of classroom and hands-on training helps your honorary first mates get comfortable with boating.
Search for Kids in Boating Classes
Woman cruising across ocean in boat

Women on Water®

Exclusive classes especially for women ready to take the helm while gaining more confidence in the operation and care of their boats.
Search Women on Water® Classes
Father teaching son boating knots

Learning the Ropes

Whether you’re new to boating or need a refresher, learn the basics of boating and the rules of the water from our Coast Guard-certified captains.
Search Boating Classes

You May Also Like

Family enjoying time together on yacht

Find a Boat

Start searching for your dream boat. MarineMax carries a large selection of premium brands, perfect for every lifestyle.
Start Searching
A Galeon 680 Fly cruising through open blue water

MarineMax Yachts for Sale

With MarineMax Yachts, the world is at your fingertips. We have a large inventory of new yachts, used yachts, and brokerage yachts for sale waiting for you to explore. With premier brands including Aquila, Galeon, Azimut and more, you are sure to find the luxury yacht of your dreams.

The MarineMax Experience is with you before and after your purchase. We offer financing and insurance options, brokerage services, and maintenance and service support to keep your yacht in pristine shape. No matter where life on the water takes you, MarineMax is with you every step of the way.
Explore Yachts
A family aboard an anchored boat

Featured Boats

Fully warrantied and ready for you to take on the water. Receive a free Go Boating Kit, Owner Orientation, tank of fuel with purchase and MarineMax support!
Learn More
boat finder page one

Boat Finder - MarineMax

Learn More