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Did you know that you can not only find cheap boats but also get a boat for free? You may have spent years looking for a low-cost boat in good shape, but you’re in for a pleasant surprise. There are a number of sites available via which you can obtain a free watercraft.

Undeniably, visiting the richest countries and staying in luxurious skyscrapers has its perks. The pleasure of sailing into deep, tranquil waters with your family or by yourself, on the other hand, is unrivaled. The finest thing to encounter is the serene and pristine air infused with the aroma of nature.

However, the cost of purchasing or even renting a boat is so prohibitively expensive that any aspirations of witnessing the aforementioned are dashed. But did you know that you could find boats at cheaper prices? In fact, you can even get them for free. Yes, you read that right.

In this article, we shall answer all your questions regarding boats and also advise you on where to find the cheapest (or even free) gems.

Nonetheless, before we find out the best ways and places to purchase a cheap boat or get a free one, we must understand what we want to use the boat for. You can’t use a typical fishing boat for water skiing, can you? 

Below are the main types of boats

What are the types of boats?

These amazing watercraft serve various purposes. Hence, their strength and carrying capacity vary, depending mainly upon the type and the power source. Primarily, there are three kinds of boats which further contain different types of boats.

  1. Man-powered boats

These are vessels set in motion with the help of human effort (the traditional way). An individual usually sets the boat to work using either oars, poles,  and paddles (with the help of their hands) or a treadle or pedals and crank (with their feet). 

These are mostly used for near-shore recreational purposes or fishing (small scale). They include kayaks, surf skis, pedal boats, rowboats, and canoes.

  1. Engine-powered boats

These are contemporary watercraft fitted with an inboard/outboard engine. Clearly, these vessels are stronger, speedier, and have a larger capacity than man-powered boats or sailboats. Due to these qualities, these boats are mostly used offshore and on rough seas (for both recreational and commercial gains). 

The best examples of these are the lifeboats and inflatable recreational boats. You also see them often being used during water sports and small cruising trips. Other boats that fall within this category include dinghy, deck boats, cuddy cabins, cruisers, bowriders, houseboats, jet boats, and PWCs. 

  1. Sailboats

These are also conventional boats that have found their way into the modern era. Basically, their motion is wind and sail aided (as the name suggests). Of course, technological advancements have improved its speed and robustness. You often see them in international sailing competitions

These are multipurpose vessels that can be used for entertainment, fishing, and even transportation. The most common ones include sloop, cutter, ketch, and schooner.

Now that you are clear on the type of boats and know exactly what you require, here comes the section you have been waiting for:

Where do I buy a cheap boat?

Unlike cars, boats do not become obsolete as they age. You will find that most of them cost you a fortune. But who says you need a brand new boat for a wonderful day at the lakeside in the first place?

Just like you, there are numerous people out there obsessed with this watercraft. Perhaps they are even more obsessed than yourself because they might be so desperate to get a new boat that they will even be willing to give you the old one for free

Hence, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a new one. Just have a look at the method we have set out below and find yourself a reasonably priced or a free one.

Generally, there are two ways of going about the situation – physical or virtual.

In the physical method, you will use the conventional modes of finding the boat, such as auctions, marinas, and direct purchases from manufacturers. Usually, everyone will jump on to the internet to find a boat, so you never know there might be a gem in a marina that no one else noticed. The virtual method utilizes various online stores and social media pages. 

In this article, we shall discuss a combination of both methods below:

  1. Facebook pages

Despite the introduction of various competing social sites, Facebook remains the king. This is because it is a one-stop shop for all needs of the public. From news to entertainment to formal engagement, everything can be done through the platform. 

Amidst all these, Facebook also acts as a wonderful intermediator between buyers and sellers. There are various pages such as the ‘Free, Cheap or Project boats’ page. On this page, you will not only find reasonably priced boats but also get boat parts. Bone Yard Boats is another great option.

  1.  Online boat buying and selling platforms

Apart from social media, there are uncountable websites on the internet that are solely developed for the purpose of buying and selling used boats. Some of the most reliable ones include Boat 24, Scan Boat, Boats.com, Budget boats, Boat Angel, Yachtworld, Boat Trader, Free-boat.com, Gumtree.

  1. Amazon and eBay

Also, giants like Amazon and eBay offer a variety of chives when it comes to cheap boats. On eBay, there is even a chance that you might find a cheap boat well below the price of $5000 in amazing condition.

  1. Magazines

Numerous people find the best deals on a variety of products through magazines. And many people claim that they found their ideal cheap boats through them. Wooden Boat, Good Old Boat, and Small Boat usually feature free or cheap boats in every issue.

  1. Conventional ways to find cheap boats

While technology boasts numerous advantages, conventional methods still hold the place of gold mines. However, you never know what hidden gem you will find through traditional boat dealerships and marinas. This is because today, everyone rushes to the internet to purchase everything. The chances that you will find a cheap or free boat in these places are quite high.

Additionally, auctions and boat shows also unveil a variety of boats at varying prices. You are most likely to find a boat in a suitable condition through these. When it comes to price relaxation and no compromise on quality, then you may also consider purchasing directly from the manufacturer such as the ‘Made-in-China’. 

When is the best time to look for a cheap/free boat?

The selling and buying of boats is seasonal and the peak seasons are summer and spring. Hence, the boats will be highly priced at that time.  Hence, it will not be a good idea to look for one at that time. The best time therefore, are:


The demand for boats declines in fall. Therefore, this is the time manufacturers and dealers will be offering high price cuts and discounts. Hence, fall is the best season to find a cheap boat in a great condition. 


Winter is the boatshow season. During this time of the year, boat show organizers bring forth a variety of boats of different sizes and prices. Through these shows, there is a high chance that you will land on a fairly priced boat.

January,teh divorce month

According to various researches, most divorces in the US occur in January. Undeniably, boat trips are the most romantic adventures amongst couples, However, after the split up, people do not want anything that reminds them of the time spent together. Hence, they would be ready to sell off their boats at extremely low prices. Well, this is your chance.

What should I look out for when purchasing a second-hand boat?

Now that you know where to find the ideal reasonably priced boat, it is time to make a decision. However, before you lay out your money, you must ensure you haven’t missed anything. One slight slip and all your money goes down the drain.

Reliability of the seller

No one wants to fall prey to scammers. So the first thing you must check out is whether you are dealing with an authentic seller. Whether the deal is online or face to face, the chances of being deceived remain imminent. Hence, if the purchase is online, firstly, ensure that the website is authentic. 

Usually, authentic websites only allow reliable sellers and buyers on their websites. And if the purchase is physical, carry out some bit of research before finalizing a deal with any person.

The purpose of the purchase

Why are you buying the boat? IS it for your whole family or just you? Are you going to use it simply for near-shore fishing or rough sea sporting activity? Answers to these questions will determine the size of the boat and the strength of its power source.

Your budget

You need to have a clear idea of exactly how much you can spend on the bat. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you finalized a deal but your bank account does not allow you to proceed.

The condition of the boat

This is in conjunction with the point above. The condition in which the boat is will determine the extra repairing cost you will have to lay forth. If you don’t have much, consider buying a boat that doesn’t require a lot of work.

Mode of transportation

As mentioned earlier, the owner will often request that you arrange the transportation. Therefore, you need to make a prior arrangement in this regard.

Transportation costs

You are also paying for the transportation. So, ensure that you have included the transport costs in your budget.

The paperwork

Perhaps this is one of the most important aspects of purchasing a boat. You need to have proof that you actually bought it and didn’t steal it. So ensure that the seller hands over all the necessary papers.

Why would people give me their boat for free?

Because money is not an issue for them, and the boat has been in their backyard for a while. They might not want to go through the heading of repairing it and simply want it off their shoulders and get a new one. 

to be honest, you can not expect someone to give you a free boat when it is in great functionality, can you? So, the free boat may require some work from your side before you set it in motion with the waves. However, please keep in mind that because the boat is free, the owner will almost certainly ask you to pay and organize transportation.

Should I get a boat through a boat loan?

Just like a car loan or a personal loan, you can also get a boat loan. However, would you want to do that when you can get one for free? Of course, many of you will argue that a brand new boat is a worthwhile investment. So, if you can afford to advance a boat loan, go for it. 

Physiological welfares of boating

Why do people go camping or visit lonely beaches when taking a break from work? Simply because there is a primal impulse to flee the city noise. Despite the extravagance of city motels and hotels, nothing compares to nature’s restorative essence.

 According to Cision, boating has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Boating relaxes the disturbed and overworked brain.
  • Also, it improves artistic skills and opens up the mind.
  • Apart from the brain, a boat trip is also proven to relax the whole body.
  • Lastly, it releases stress.

Bonus: What is the difference between a boat and a ship?

The two are often used interchangeably during casual conversations, but there is a huge difference between a boat and a ship. Here is a simple explanation of the two. 

The huge watercraft called the Titanic in James Cameron’s movie was a ship, and the vessels in which the passengers were placed to be rescued when the ship began to sink were boats. 

That means, vessels that travel internationally, transport massive numbers of passengers and carry heavy cargo, are manufactured using advanced engineering techniques, and are handled by a large crew, are ships. In contrast, the smaller ones we often use for family entertainment and fishing activities are boats.

All in all, if you can not afford a spanking new boat, there are a few options available to you. You have a 50 percent likelihood of catching a suitable boat well within your budget. Surprisingly, a variety of websites and physical locations provide low-priced or even free boats. These, however, will not be in the healthiest of states and may require some upkeep. Nevertheless, once you’re in the water, the exhilaration will rival that of a brand new boat.