By Traci Winkler
While used boats can be a great way to save money, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good deal before you make your purchase.
Research is essential when looking at used boats, including learning the type of boat you want, checking out average prices and used boat values in its market, and seeing what other information you can find out about its condition and past use.
Boat prices vary depending on age, size and model, so knowing what is included in a used boat dealer can help determine whether or not the price tag is representative of a true bargain.
If necessary, hire an independent surveyor to check the boat over thoroughly or bring along another expert such as a captain, mechanic or marine professional to help assess the used boat offering for sale.
Do your due diligence before deciding on your new-to-you-used boat purchase to ensure that you’re getting a good deal.
Check The Used Boat for Signs of Damage
Damage can be a deal breaker when looking for a used boat – no one wants to spend money on something that will require expensive repairs. When inspecting a used boat, make sure to look for signs of water damage, corrosion underneath the seats and false floors, and check if the motor or other important parts are damaged.
Check every part of the boat, starting from the hulls up through accessories and even seating, as damaged parts can be expensive to repair and may indicate previous neglect. A careful eye should also pay attention to electrical connections, wiring problems, tightness of mounting bolts, and damaged mooring lines as these issues all contribute to a damaged used boat.
Doing an inspection of these components is essential for preventing any surprises later on down the road.
Check for Mold and Mildew
Checking for mold and mildew on boats is important for all boat owners to do as mold problems, left undiagnosed, have the potential to cause significant damage. Boat mold can become a major issue if it isn’t dealt with in a timely manner, as mold and mildew can thrive in damp environments such as on boats stored in the water.
Visually inspecting your boat’s cabin, outer hull, and other areas of the boat are key steps to ensuring mold and mildew don’t wreak havoc. Additionally, periodic maintenance checks that examine the hidden parts of the boat’s interior are extremely important. If mold is found it’s advisable to call in an expert who can investigate further and also be able to advise on any necessary actions to take.
Don’t let mold ruin your chance of enjoying time spent out on the lake!
See How the Boat Runs
If you just bought a used boat, it’s time for what many new boat owners overlook – the boat test run! Taking your new craft out for a test drive is of critical importance before using it long-term.
A good test run will allow you to familiarize yourself with the new equipment and identify any possible issues or security risks. Most importantly, it can prevent unexpected mechanical or other failures from impacting your next voyage.
Before taking a new boat out on the open waters, make sure to check all necessary items and perform an overall check of the motor, cabin and hull. Doing so can help guarantee that your voyage will remain safe and enjoyable.
Have the Boat Inspected by a Third Party
If you’re looking to purchase a used boat, it’s important to get a third-party inspection in order to make sure everything is safe and sound. A third party can provide an unbiased opinion on the quality of the boat, its condition as well as any safety concerns that may have been overlooked.
Having this third-party insight into the condition of the boat can make sure that you are making an informed decision when it comes time to purchase your new investment.
It can also give you more bargaining power during negotiations, ensuring that you get the best deal for your money.
Is a Used Boat Right for Me?
Buying a used boat can be tricky – is it the right size for me? The right price? Is it going to live up to my expectations? Finding the answer to these questions can help you in deciding whether or not a used boat is right for you.
To start, talk to an experienced boater or boat dealer representative who can offer some insight into what type of used boat would best fit your lifestyle and budget. Also, take some time to research used boats online or consult with a marine surveyor to be sure that the used boat is structurally in good shape.
Don’t forget to look over all of the equipment that comes with the used boat, like life jackets and flares, and be certain they are within date. By taking all of this into account, you can confidently make a decision on if a used boat is right for you.