As a boat owner myself I am here to help the first time buyer avoid some of the mistakes when buying a used boat. There are ten mistakes to make sure you avoid and there are some that so many people do everyday and get left with a clunker. Things like ask to hear the engine, or check the hull for spots are to name just a few.
Check for wood rot
Check the boat for wood rot. Wood rot will look dry or falling apart and is very expensive to fix. Do not buy a boat that has wood rot unless you are willing to put in the money to get it fixed.
Ask to hear the engine
Always ask to hear the engine run. This will require either the engine to run it the water or to run with the engine using a tool called water muffs. The engine is water cooled and is bad for the engine if it does not have water running through it. So if they tell you the can not run the engine walk away.
Check the throttle linkage
Check to make sure when you throttle up the linkage is working. The last thing you want is not get out and use a boat the does not move.
Check to make sure it comes with a good battery
Check the battery. If the battery is junk then offer a lower price because you will need to get a new battery. The battery controls the lights and in some engines starts it.
Check the trolling motor
Check the trolling motor if it comes with one and make sure it works. Try forward and reverse. If it is suppose to come with a trolling motor and it does not work offer a lower price.
Check the gas tank
Check the gas tank. If you have a metal gas tank check the tank for rust. If there is rust then offer a lower price and buy a new plastic tank.
Check the hull for spots
Check the hull for spots. In an aluminum boat if there are spots then there is corrosion going on off the hull and this could lead to holes over time.
Check the lights. You need working lights if you plan on being on the water anytime after the sun goes down.
Check the trailer
Check the trailer. Make sure the lights work, the tires are good, etc.
Check boat registration
Lastly ask to see the boat registration. The last thing you want is the be buying a boat that does not belong to the person that is showing you.
These are just a few things to do when you are going to buy a used boat. have fun and enjoy the exciting process of buying a new used boat.