This should be the first question to ask yourself before buying a boat. There are pros and cons to each.
A new boat is generally more expensive than a used one of the same size and type. The new boat has higher associated costs i.e., Excise tax, sales tax, insurance costs, etc. When you buy a new boat, however, you are also getting a warranty which will cover certain failures should they occur. New boats are often not totally fitted out and it may be necessary to purchase and install additional gear and electronics. You typically can then outfit your boat with the equipment you want. Once this is done, the boat is ready for you and your family to enjoy instantly with no additional preparation necessary.
The used boat is essentially that – used. Where a marine survey is generally unnecessary with a new boat, having a survey done for a used boat is your best protection with regards to determining its true value and condition. The survey doesn’t guaranty that everything is perfect, but indicates the level of maintenance and care that the boat has experienced and may highlight certain conditions that have failed or are close to failure. On the plus side, the used boat is often stocked with additional gear and non-standard creature comforts that the prior owner installed. But with the lower cost comes a certain degree of risk that is inherent in buying any used item.