New Boat Buying Process

We pride ourselves on how uncomplicated we have made the process. We work hard to make it that way because, remember, you're buying a new sailboat! You are not buying a riding mower, or a dishwasher. This is something that will bring hours of enjoyment and countless memories for you and your loved ones. You’re supposed to be excited and happy during this time. Our job is to help you navigate the process, and to handle all of the details.

Choosing your boat is a big decision. You want a boat that sails well, appeals to you, tugs at your heart, but also one that offers what you are looking for. During the selection process, you get to decide what your needs and wants are for this boat. How will you be sailing it? Will you be living on it for extended periods of time, or day-sailing after work and on weekends? Will you be sailing with lots of family and friends, just you and a spouse/significant other, or both? Identifying how you will most use your boat is the first step in selecting the right boat for you.

Once you have decided on a model, the hardest part is over. Next is the selection of options and accessories. Most new boats come with numerous standard features and items, and additional options are offered to further customize your boat.


Many new boat purchases happen at boat showsIf a boat that is in stock is available with the options you want, then we're ready for the next step. If not, then we’ll be ordering a boat from the factory. We order our stock boats with the most popular options already installed. Factory-ordered boats allow you to choose from all the options available to design the boat to your specifications. Factory-ordered boats will also take some time to be built and delivered (1 to 5 months, depending on the time of year). Stock boats are almost always a faster way to get you sailing your new boat. After deciding whether yours is a stock boat or an ordered boat, an earnest deposit of 10% is required to either secure the boat that is in stock, or to place an order with the factory.

Next is the decision of how to pay for the boat. Some people pay with savings or a home-equity line of credit, but the majority of our customers will finance their boats. We work with Key Bank as an indirect lender, meaning simply that we have access to the same , or sometimes better, rates that many marine lenders. Low interest rates, and tax advantages, make financing an attractive option (your boat will most likely qualify as a second home—it's got a bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom—so you can write-off the loan's interest).

The closing date for factory-ordered boats is scheduled to take place prior to the boat leaving the factory. Stock boat closings take place within 30 days of deposit. Commissioning (which on average takes one to two weeks) begins soon after closing. All boats arrive with many items not yet installed. Our full-time service staff will install these items and any additional accessories you may have chosen during the commissioning process. It takes anywhere from 100 to 160 labor hours to prepare each boat for her maiden journey.

Click here to view the Commissioning Process

Once commissioning is complete and the boat is in the water, tests are performed to ensure that all parts and systems are in working order. Then we set up a systems walk-thru and a commissioning sail to introduce you to your new boat. We also offer three hours of free sailing instruction on your new boat. An ASA-certified instructor gives this lesson, customized to your level of sailing experience.

Our relationship does not end here. We will be in contact with you to ensure everything is going well. We also may send you our newsletter, or inform you of any social events or gatherings happening in the area, or we may just call to say hello and ensure that all is going well. A key element to our success is your happiness. We have not succeeded until you are happy with your new boat and the service you have received.

It is not meant to sound like a slogan, but we want you to sail away with a smile. We all win when that happens.

Buying Resources:

Registraton or Documentation of your Vessel. NOTE:  One of the benefits of working with a full-service dealership such as Karma Yacht Sales as that we work with you in the documentation/titling and registration of your new or preowned boat. 

  1. Illinois Registered Watercraft Information
    1. Illinois Department of Natural Resources (ILDNR) Watercraft Registration/Title Application
  2. Michigan Watercraft Information
    1. Application for Michigan Watercraft Title
  3. Minnesota Watercraft Information
    1. Minnesota Watercraft Registration Form
  4. Wisconsin Watercraft Information
    1. Wisconsin Watercraft Registration Form
  5. United Stages Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Center Info