It's springtime. The water is warming up, the sun angle is climbing, and our boating genes are stirring again. It's been a long cold winter, and you want to get on the water again. So if you don't already own a boat (with a maintenance list to keep you busy right up until launch day), you're probably out hunting for one. It's kind of like mating season, only it involves sniffing around boat yards.

wooden fishing skiff at rest

Are you ready to own a used boat like this skiff? Take this quiz to find out.

And chances are, you're looking at used boats, because their price is right. Such a deal, you think, your mind already leaping ahead to picnics on the lake or evening jaunts around the harbor. I'll rename her after my wife/sister/girlfriend, and we'll go out every single day. It's gonna be a great summer.

But into this frivolous, joyous season of boat lust, we're here to inflict a little reality: Are you actually ready to own a used boat? Will you regret your impulsive spring purchase as soon as the weather turns cool again?

Previously there was no way to know for sure, except through the bitter and hard-won experience of springs and summers past. But now there's a simple test, prepared by boat-owning expert Brett Becker over on BoatTrader, that will help you decide. Brett's six questions cut to the heart of the matter. My personal favorite is: Are you a perfectionist? If the answer is yes, you might want to consider new instead.

That's right, I'm not trying to talk you out of buying a boat. 'Tis the season, after all. (And it would be highly hypocritical.) But take Brett's boat buying quiz before you commit to used. You'll be glad you did, once the boat mating season is over.