Activities The Great Outdoors The Best Time to Buy a Boat Share PINTEREST Email Print Dan Marsh / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 The Great Outdoors Sailing Navigation & Seamanship Gear Types of Sailboats Hiking Climbing Skiing Snowboarding Surfing Paddling Fishing Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Learn More By Ericka Watson Ericka Watson is a certified U.S. Coast Guard coxswain and captain. As a Coast Guard officer, she led crews in search and rescue missions. our editorial process Ericka Watson Updated July 20, 2018 The best time to buy a boat is during the off-season, according to experts across the boating industry. Conversely, the best time to sell a boat is at the beginning of boating season when demand is high. Winter Boat Show Season According to Thom Dammrich, the president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the winter boat show season is the time to get a good price on a new boat. The height of the boat show season is typically January, February, and March, and boaters who live in colder climates can sometimes find good deals at these boat shows. For boaters in areas of California and the Gulf Coast, there is no off-season, but dealers are trying to sell their end of the year models to make room for the coming year's flotilla of new boats. Where to Buy a Boat While most people in the boating industry agree that the off-season is the best time to buy a boat, there is some disagreement about whether it is best to buy a boat at a boat show or from a dealer. Done well, boat shopping will be a rewarding experience as you learn to use both avenues to find the best deal and the best long-term solutions after the initial purchase.