Boat Buying 101

The days are getting longer, the air is warmer and the lake isn’t frigid. Finally it is summertime, and a natural extension of summertime is boating. For those who have decided to get into boating or upgrade this summer there are many things to consider when purchasing your boat.

Type and Uses

The first and most important thing to consider when buying a boat is what will be its primary use. Whether it is for cruising, entertaining, or for waterskiing choosing the boat that fits your needs is crucial. Can’t decide what your needs are? Try the boat selector tool from Establishing your primary uses will allow you to narrow your boat search. Further, round up when it comes to boat size. While a six-seater may be great for your family, adding two or three friends to the mix will instantly fill the boat. Not only will be the boat be full, but the extra weight will significantly change the handling and displacement of the boat. Simply put, an overweighed boat of any size is much harder to dock and control than a properly weighted larger boat.

Buying Local

There is something to be said about the bargains on boats south of the border. However, if you are new to boating or want to avoid potential hassles, buying your boat locally will ease some stress. Boat licensing in the United States differs from Canada. Standards for navigation lights, hull design and fume ventilation are different and it may be costly to properly adhere to Transport Canada guidelines. As well, there are capacity guideline differences which may leave some people at the dock. Buying locally provides many advantages. Notably the ability to inspect and test drive the boat without travelling a great distance. Inspecting the boat gives an indication of its build quality. Look for the National Marine Manufacturers Association certification (typically a blue sticker). This certification assesses:

  • Steering Systems
  • Electrics
  • Fuel Systems
  • Ventilation
  • Batteries

Furthermore, the ability to take the boat for a test drive is crucial. The ability to see how the boat handles, get a sense of the power and pick up on any flaws is worth waiting for the ice to come out of the lake and pass on any winter bargains. Buying a boat is much like purchasing any asset, the more research and investigation prior to your purchase the more satisfied you will be.  



Did you know that you don’t have to have boat insurance? However, without insurance you are taking a significant risk, specifically in the case of a liability claim, on one of your most enjoyed assets. There are many things to consider when shopping for coverage. First and foremost, a boat policy separate from your homeowner’s policy offers advantages and additional features. These include:

  • Wreck Removal
  • Coverage for Pollution Spillage

Insurance companies also look at your history on land prior to insuring you on the water. For instance, if you have been charged with a DUI you may or may not be provided coverage. Another thing to consider is that boat insurance covers the boat and not its occupants, this is one of the reasons it is far cheaper than auto insurance. Taking advantage of low rates and appropriate coverage is most suitable in protecting an asset such as your new boat.  

Since the 1900's...

Born under the name George Hutcheson, Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. began providing insurance policies in Muskoka since the early 1900s. Bernard Reynolds joined the firm in the 1940s and purchased the firm from George Hutcheson in 1967. Finally, in 1980, David Caswell joined the company's ranks to complete Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell. We have grown along with our name and provide the same dedication to superior customer service and top-notch insurance coverage that George Hutcheson was famous for over 100 years ago.