Let the boater beware! There are many common costly mistakes boaters make when buying a used boat. Here are the 10 most common and how to easily avoid them.
Buying A Boat In A Rush
Don’t buy in a hurry because of a short summer boating season. Buying a used boat takes time. Shop early. Take time to think, shop, compare, negotiate and carefully inspect any boat you’re considering.
Buying The Wrong Type Boat
Think carefully about whether you want power or sail, inboard, I/O or outboard,who will use the boat, and on what type of water. Do you want a “guy’s” fishing boat or one that doubles as a family boat too? Are you using it on the ocean, a bay or a lake?
Buying A Boat That’s Too Big
Too many people buy big boats not realizing they’re difficult or impossible to handle alone. Will you have a guaranteed “crew” every time you set sail?
Buying a Boat You Can’t Afford To Operate
Boats are holes in the water you throw money in. Get the gas mileage and operating costs from the owner. Ask for receipts. Check out insurance, mooring and winter storage costs too.
Not Factoring In Post Purchase Additional Costs
Used boats usually need new canvas, plastic or hardware that can cost thousands of dollars. Remember a simple bolt for use on land costs a few cents … but a marine grade stainless steel bolt costs a few dollars!
Not Test-Driving The Boat
Get the feel … get behind the wheel. Used boats must be test driven.
Not Having A Knowledgeable Marine Mechanic Check The Boat
Get a marine mechanic to check the engine, fuel, electrical and cooling systems, bilge, propeller, propeller shaft, throttle, steering, transom, and electrical accessories such as radar, sonar, “fish finders” and autopilot mechanisms. Don’t forget the deck hardware, upholstery, cabin amenities ,and appliances including heads, stoves, refrigerators, sinks and air-conditioning too.
Buying Without A Guarantee
Don’t buy a used boat without a written guarantee on the engine. Get copies of any original manufacturer guarantees or warranties.
Not Getting Original Warranties on Marine Electronics
Get copies of manufacturers’ for radar, sonar, fish finders and other electronics. These are costly to replace and repair.
Not Buying From A Reputable Dealer
Only buy from a reputable boat dealer or marina that’s been around for a while. Be careful of purchasing from individuals you do not know.
Happy boating and be safe!