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Are you raring to get on the open water this summer? After a long winter, you might look forward to fishing, water skiing, or exploring aboard a vessel. If you’re ready to join the ranks of boat owners this year but can’t afford a new one, how do you find the right used boat?
The good news is that there are plenty of quality second-hand boats out there. Some of them might need a bit of love and attention. But if you get a good deal and find a boat that it’s relatively good condition, your vessel can be a great investment. There’s an old saying that a boat is a hole in the water where people throw money into. That might be good for a laugh. But you can avoid that scenario by choosing carefully and maintaining it.
Continue reading to see what to consider when you’re in the market for a used boat.
Table of Contents
Title and Registration
When buying a used boat, you must get the title and registration. That won’t usually be an issue if you buy from a reputable retailer selling used boats. But you’ll have to be vigilant when buying from a private seller. Look at the registration and title to ensure they list the seller’s name and address. If you’re getting a boat trailer from the seller, get the pertinent documentation.
One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to show proof of the model, make, and hull ID number before you can qualify for financing for the purchase. So, don’t underestimate the importance of getting the proper documentation. Otherwise, you may end up with headaches.
Body of Deck
You also need to assess the body of the boat carefully. When looking at the hull, see if it has any damage like holes or dents. You’ll also want to look carefully to see if any fiberglass compound has been used to fix damage. Don’t buy a boat with any serious hull damage. It’s also essential that you check out the deck. Are there any holes, soft areas, or cracks? The deck should feel solid. If you’re not sure how to conduct a thorough examination, take someone with you who can. You don’t want to buy the wrong boat and then throw good money after bad to repair it.
Don’t overlook the motor. It’ll be the most costly part of the boat to replace. So, check to see that it’s been taken care of and is in good condition. If you buy a used boat from a reputable dealer, you’re more likely to get an engine in good condition — and you’ll have a warranty. You’ll still want to ensure you’re not taking home a lemon.
But you’ll have to be extra careful if buying from a private seller. If you’re not sure how to check if an engine is in good shape, have someone with small engine mechanic skills go with you. Even if you have to pay to have someone accompany you, it’ll be worth it.
If you’ve found the boat of your dreams and envision swapping the motor for something better or more modern in the future, check out the range of outboard electric boat motors available. You can give a used boat a new lease on life with a modern motor. It’s worth the investment if you plan to enjoy your used boat for years and want an engine that will stand the test of time.
You’ll want to consider these things if you plan to buy a used boat this year. It won’t be long before you can trailer your boat to a river or lake, back it up into the water, get on board with family and friends, and enjoy the sort of experience you can only get on a boat.