Get The Best Deal On A Used Boat

January 13, 2024
2 mins read

Get The Best Deal On A Used Boat

By Features Desk

Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

Owning a boat is one of those things that a lot of people dream of, but few of us ever follow through. After all, it’s a pretty big investment, and you usually can’t use it to get to work or go shopping! However, if you’ve got the capital to spare and you’re still interested in buying a used boat, my advice is to go ahead! Like any big purchase, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Here’s some important tips for buying a used boat.

You’ve probably done the very first step already: looking for used boats that are within your budget, and will suit your needs. The next step is talking to the owner or dealer, and grilling them about the boat. One of the most important things to find out is the year and make of the hull and engine.

If the engine is significantly younger than the hull, then it’s probably been replaced a few times, which generally means you’re in for a higher-quality vessel.

However, if the motor’s fairly old, then it may be worth getting some fresh parts from a company like Solas Props. See if the seller is the original owner, and how much they know about the boat. Has it been sailed in salt water? How has it been stored in winter? Are there any major damages which have been repaired? You may feel a little invasive, but it’s important to find out as much as you can before buying any used boat.

The next step in the process is going out to see the vessel in person. This is where you’ll be able to answer any of the questions which the dealer couldn’t over the phone. Scour every last part of the boat, and look for signs of neglect or disrepair. Obviously there are going to be a few scratches and dents in any used boat. However, you should be able to tell how well it’s been cared for. It might be worth noting down some of the details you talked about on the phone. If anything you see and anything the dealer said doesn’t match up, then they could be holding back many other details.

Finally, ask to take it out on the water to see how it actually runs. If they refuse or make poor excuses, walk away. Visit Soundings for a post on common damages.

If everything seems in working order, and you feel ready to make an offer, be sure to ask one last question: “why are you selling?” If you can figure this out, it puts you in a much stronger position as a buyer. They may be paying off a debt, or moving far away from the quay. If this is the case, the dealer will usually be prepared to accept a lower offer. However, if they’re planning to buy a better boat, they’ll be much tougher to talk down. Just remember that every defect you can identify on the vessel can be used in your favour.

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