For Love or Money... Or Maybe Both?
When it came time to turn my leased Optra in three years ago, my husband and I entered into that age-old debate regarding its replacement: new or used? Actually, maybe the latter is not the appropriate descriptor anymore… it seems there has been a proliferation of euphemisms for the word “used” – pre-owned, gently loved – the list goes on.
Growing up in the city, my first vehicle was the bus. I went away to school and was too broke to buy a car, so I took the train back and forth on long weekends, then I travelled for a couple of years before returning to school. It was at this point – a 25-year-old journalism student riding a bus in the wee hours of the morning – that I decided I needed to acquire a vehicle. This became especially true after landing my first job as a reporter. Still relatively broke, I opted for a lease. The price was right.
Skip forward four years and we’re back to the deliberation. Now that I was a more established professional, a married woman and a home owner, I wanted to buy. But should I buy new or used? My husband had driven many “previously loved” vehicles (and, at the time, still did) so he had a far different perspective on the topic. For me, the thought of getting behind a wheel someone else had grasped for years, not knowing how they express “love” for a vehicle, made me rather nervous. So I finally opted for new, and planned to love it so much that it would never want to leave me.
But maybe if I’d had a different job or was still struggling to pay off student loans, I would have made a different choice. Perhaps I’d be out for the best deal, looking for an option that might save me a few bucks.
Well, this kind of motivation may very well be the impetus behind a growing demand in the marine marketplace for low-cost replacement engines. A trend that has seen Mercury’s remanufactured engine business go from 15 per cent of engines sold for repowering to 80 per cent in three years.
Buying a remanufacturered engine could save you a ton of cash. Not only does this make sense for your pocketbook, but it also makes sense for the value of your boat – and, by the way, it happens to make sense for the environment.
But the engine is the heart of your boat, so you must know what you need, what you’re getting and what questions to ask. Our regular contributor, Mike Milne, looks at this growing segment and how to navigate the decision-making process if you’re considering buying a remanufactured engine.
Likely due to some of the same reasons, used boat sales have also been faring much better than new boat sales over the past few years. If you’re in the market for a used boat, don’t be discouraged if you can’t find exactly what you want. You can MAKE what you want. That’s what the owners of the Rinker used boat we reviewed in this issue did. And, last summer, they invited PBTV producer Mike Gridley on board to see all the added options and customized work that made this boat truly personal and something to see.
Sure, there may be a bit of a stigma surrounding the word “used,” but I would argue there’s much more of a stigma around being foolish. And there are plenty of circumstances where buying used is the smart choice.
Either way, just remember Caveat emptor – “Let the buyer beware.” Make sure you do business with a reputable company and ask the right questions. Then you should be all set for something “new-to-you” to love.