What to Look for When Buying Used Boats for Sale

Do you love water sporting activities? Or, are you looking for a boat for sale? The U.S has an estimated 15 million boats, which are in use. Buying a water sports boat is a big and exciting idea. It’s a decision that is as big as buying your first racing dirt bikes for dirt biking adventures. But it may be an overbearing idea if you’ve never purchased a boat.

But buying a used boat for sale is indeed more affordable and manageable than purchasing a new sports boat. Read on to get insightful tips on what you should look out for when looking for a boat for sale. When purchasing a used boat, you need to know some of the boat features that you need, and your budgetary limits. Here is a checklist that will guide you and some of the special considerations that you’ll need to make.

1. Test drive the boat for sale.

It is not wise to buy any vehicle without performing a test drive. The same holds for sports boats. It’s advisable to find a boat technician to take you through the test. If possible, you should also come along with a few people to add weight on to the boat. The extra weight will help you in gauging the performance of the boat. While on the test drive, here are things that you should check:

  • Instruments and gauges: You should check whether the speedometer, R.P.M, fuel gauge, and temperature gauges are in proper function.
  • Gear shifting: Is gear shifting easy to engage, or does it cause jumpy starts
  • Steering response: You should make rapid steers in both directions to determine how long the boat’s steering takes to respond.
  • Reverse motion and gear: Check to ensure that the boat can engage the reverse gear and move. Reversing is vital during the docking of your boat.
  • You should also seek for the help of a marine mechanic to check the boat’s components such as the alternator, spark plugs, belts, engine alignment, shift cables, blowers, and filters.

2. Ask for the boat’s maintenance history

A boat maintenance and repair history will help you to know the type of repairs made on the boat. If the boat for sale has undergone many repairs and part replacements, then it’s likely that there is more to come. You should also inquire whether the boat still has a warranty.

3. Hours of operation of the boat for sale

The mileage of a vehicle determines its usage, and the hours of sailing determine a sports boat usage. If the boat you plan to buy has worked for more than 500 hours, you should expect to pay more for maintenance and upgrade.

4. The Inspection of the hull

You should walk around the sports boat and assess the condition of its hull. You can tap on it using some heavy object to ensure that it is stable and consistent. Also, check whether the painting on the hull and deck are matching. Mismatched paint indicates that the boat may have been in an accident. The floors of sports boats are also prone to dry rot and gel coat blister problems. You should thus check the floor for signs of these problems.

5. Ask a marine surveyor or boat technician to inspect the boat

It’s prudent to ask a qualified boat technician or marine mechanic to conduct a thorough inspection of the boat before you can conclude a sale. You can call or visit the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) for help.

6. Check the boat’s upholstery

Ideal pre-owned boats for sale should have proper upholstery. The storage of the boat determines how well its padding holds up. Fading of its colors may be a result of exposure to sunlight. You should check for fading and ripped parts to know how well it has held up.

If all is well with the highlighted elements of this guide, you can go ahead and check the paperwork, which includes licenses and insurance covers, among others. But don’t forget to involve a pro boat technician or marine mechanic.

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