In the market for a new boat? Try buying a used one. Plenty of enthusiasts sell beautiful boats in great shape because they upgraded to a bigger model. But remain vigilant during the shopping process, and don’t buy the first boat you see without testing it out first. Here are a few things to look for when buying a used boat; keep this list in your pocket as you browse.
A Solid Hull
The hull is the foundation of a boat. Walk around the entirety of the boat and inspect the hull for cracks or blisters. Occasionally, moisture will seep into the hull and create pockets between the fiberglass and gel coat layers. And while visible repairs may be a sign that the previous owner maintained the boat, those irregularities may compromise the integrity of the hull.
A Working Engine
Don’t buy a boat without testing it on the water first. The engine is the most expensive part of the boat, and the seller shouldn’t be trying to sell you a boat with an engine that “needs repairs.” When you take it for a spin, watch for smoke and listen for rattling. If you’re still not sure, bring a boat mechanic to take a closer look at the engine and perform a fluid test.
When you board the boat, inspect the flooring, upholstery, and appliances. Are those appliances securely in place? Check the floor to see if any mold or mildew has seeped in. The same goes for the upholstery! If it’s seen better days, you can easily buy new boat upholstery material from All Vinyl Fabrics and replace it yourself. But the current condition of the interior does tell a story about how much maintenance the current owner performed. If it’s dingy and smells of mildew, you’ll need to overhaul it if you buy the boat.
Does the boat come with a fire extinguisher? What about the condition of the bilge pump and anchor? All boats need the bare minimum number of safety items on board, and everything should be fully functional. Even if you plan on replacing any life jackets or life preserver rings, take a look at the current ones. Much like the upholstery, you can tell by their condition whether the current owner has taken good care of their gear.
When you start shopping for used boats, make sure to conduct a thorough inspection of every contender. Whichever one you buy, you’ll probably spruce it up with new boat upholstery material and sturdier life jackets, but make sure it’s in good condition on the whole. Remember these things to look for when buying a used boat and take your time making the decision.