Buying a used boat can be an affordable way for you to start sailing on the ocean, but if you buy the wrong one, you could end up spending more time on land than you planned. To avoid problems, be sure to ask about the following things before you make your purchase.
Because boats are so large and a seller may have their boat set up on blocks, it may seem unreasonable to ask to take it out on the water before you buy it. However, just like any other vehicle, you need to be able to drive the boat yourself before you make a decision about whether to buy it. Schedule a test drive before purchasing the boat so you can get a feel for how responsive the steering is and to know how you will feel while handling it.
In addition to looking at the interior of the boat you want to buy, make sure that you get a good look at the boat's engine. This may seem strange, but looking for mineral deposits and grime around the engine's seals and gaskets will give you some idea of whether the boat has been getting serviced regularly. Make sure you also check the boat's oil supply; if it has a milky appearance, that could mean water has gotten in there, which is a problem that needs to be addressed.
If you have set up a test drive with a particular boat, it is also a good idea that you ask the dealership or seller to have the boat turned off when you get there. That way, you can listen for any strange start-up sounds that could indicate a problem with the boat's engine.
The Servicing History
Looking at the history of service can be a way to help you feel confident that the boat has been taken care of and that all the parts are in good working condition. A seller should be able to easily get a printout from the marine mechanic they use.
If a seller balks at providing a history for you to look at, that could mean that they have not kept up with maintenance. You may want to think twice before buying a boat like that, as you cannot be sure that it is in good shape or that parts aren't already starting to fail.
Use the information in this article to be confident that the used boat you are purchasing is in good condition. Talk to a number of local individual sellers and boat dealerships like Captain's Village Marina to find the right boat for your family.