With the summer season steadily approaching, it’s definitely the right time to get prepared for cruising, snorkelling, fishing and sailing adventures. Buying a boat is an occasion worthy of remembrance, and a dream for many at some stage during their lives. If you are intending to purchase your first boat, you need to do your background research first to ensure your dream adventure of a lifetime doesn’t turn into a complete disaster.
Buying a second-hand boat is a great solution for ocean lovers seeking sailing adventures on a budget. Unless you’re a boat builder or broker, it can be difficult to assess whether your selected boat of choice will be a worthwhile buy or a purchase you will regret. However tempting it may be to buy the first boat you see in your excitement and eagerness to go cruising on the wild blue, take a step back and take into consideration some important tips before you complete your purchase.
While the online ad listing you selected looked fantastic, professional and visually stunning… keep in mind that all online ads are converted and altered in ways to make them appear more presentable. Sometimes, what you see isn’t actually what you get. From photoshop programs to exaggerating boat specifications and details, does your boat match up to what the seller is claiming? Check that the seller is genuine, and verify their ownership of the boat. Legitimate sellers are comfortable handing over this information, whereas dishonest sellers will panic and give off a flashing neon warning sign you need to be wary of.
When buying any used car, new car owners prefer to know the history of the car, usage and warranty details. The same should apply to boat sales. Some sellers attempt to sell boats that still have a hefty amount of finance owing on them, and it’s common for second-hand sellers to try to sell their boat due to faults. Ask them why they are selling the boat. What condition is the engine in? How is the steering system? It might be worth organising an independent check of the boat before making the investment. This provides peace of mind, not to mention a more concise overall view of the boat’s current condition and advice on possible maintenance or repair requirements before purchase.
Get peace of mind for yourself. Investigate conditions such as the hull, upholstery, engine and steering. Check the hour meter on the boat – anything over 500 hours will usually require maintenance. Remember to check the storage systems and propellors too. Getting an overall view of the boat yourself before committing to the purchase can avoid disappointment later down the line.
When in doubt, test the waters
Still not sure about your second-hand boat? Why not take it for a test drive? This is a surefire way of assessing the boat’s capabilities and performance, and to take note of vibrations, reverse gears, steering response and shifting. Try before you buy so you are comfortable with the operations.
Happy with your selected choice? Has it passed all the required tests? The only thing left to arrange is financials. Where will your store your boat when not in use? Marinas charge a hefty fee for boat docking and if you decide to keep the boat at your residence, you will need to invest in a suitable trailer. Consider adding extra expenses before you make your purchase.
Happy sailing ahead
Purchased your second-hand boat? Excellent. Now the only decision left is deciding where to go sailing next.