Frequently Asked Questions when buying a boat

Posted by Carolien Henn on Mar 6, 2024 3:52:33 PM


What will the boat cost me a year?

From upfront costs to annual maintenance, there are several factors to consider before taking the leap. But don’t let that deter you from pursuing your dream! With careful planning and preparation, you can make your dream a reality. 

Just remember that safety should always be your top priority. 

By completing a skipper license, obtaining your COF and VHF, and purchasing the necessary safety gear, you'll be ready to boat with confidence. 

And if you're a first-time buyer, don't be discouraged. By purchasing from a reputable Suzuki Marine dealership known for selling reliable boats, you can ensure that you're making a smart investment that will bring you joy for years to come.


Should I insure my boat?

If you won't be financing your boat, it may not be a requirement for you to insure your boat; however, it is still a wise decision. 

Boat insurance allows you to enjoy the freedom of the open water without worrying about the potential risks. With the assurance of financial protection for any accidents or theft, you can fully embrace the adventure and excitement that boating has to offer.


Can I get boat finance? 

South Africa has a variety of institutions that provide finance options for those interested in leisure or boat activities. It's important to note that while many institutions offer these services, they do have requirements for their clients. Specifically, several of these institutions look at the age of the boat or require that the skipper of the boat hold a valid skippers license. So, if you're considering getting boat finance in South Africa, it's important to have your license in order to ensure you can take advantage of these opportunities.


Should I buy a pre-owned or a new boat?

Used boats are a good choice for those on a tight budget. The price is lower, and much of the depreciation has already occurred. However, used boats come with risks. You need to inspect all important components to avoid being stuck with a faulty vessel.


New boats offer the advantage of customizability and reliability, with the backing of a manufacturer's warranty. However, they tend to be more expensive than used boats, and may depreciate in value.


How often do I need renew my skipper license and COF?

To ensure that your vessel meets the necessary safety standards, it is essential to renew the COF annually. Most clubs have a designated member who is authorized to conduct the inspection and issue the certificate. Alternatively, you can avail the service from SAMSA, which also offers this facility. Don't compromise on safety and get your COF renewed in a timely manner.


Your Skipper license is valid and does not need to be renewed. However, if you wish to upgrade your license type to operate a larger or more powerful vessel, you will need to fulfil additional requirements, such as attending advanced courses and passing a practical test. These additional courses will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to safely operate more complex vessels and navigate challenging waters.


Do I need a VHF License?

Since 2016, all seafaring vessels must have a type of VHF radio that is equipped with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) capability. Although the old RT license is still valid for operating non-DSC VHF radios and the old radio system with a frequency of 29Mhz, you will have to take an exam to operate the new DSC-enabled SRC radio. Regardless of your past experience, obtaining this license is almost mandatory as DSC-enabled VHF radios are required on most seafaring vessels. A one-day course is available to properly train you in operating VHF radio equipment and to prepare for the exam. We highly recommend taking this course to ensure you understand and comply with the regulations.


If you are unsure about anything, do not hesitate to contact your trusted advisor, your nearest Suzuki Marine Dealer!


Topics: Start Boating