More than 60 percent of first-time boat buyers purchase used boats rather than new ones off of the show room floor. For many, this is a practical solution to save money, especially when you're not sure how well you are going to take to boating or how often you will feel like devoting time to your new leisure pursuit.
While buying a used boat has many advantages, it is also important to make sure that you are getting a good buy for your money and not unloading a faulty vehicle off of someone else's hands. For first-time buyers this is often the most difficult task because they lack the knowledge that only years of boating experience can bring.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a boat for the first time is exactly how you are going to use the boat and how many people you will be transporting on it. Different boats have different uses and different weight specifications, be sure that the boat you purchase is compatible with your needs.
Once you find a boat that meets your particular needs, you need to inspect the mechanics of it to make sure that it is operational and in good condition. It is better to take someone with you who has knowledge of boats, but if no one is available, you should be able to do a fairly decent job of sizing the boat up on your own if you follow a few pointers.
You can easily tell if a boat has been properly maintained by taking a quick look at the appearance of the boat. If the boat looks shabby, chances are that the owner did not take much time or effort to maintain the mechanical aspects of the boat as well. Lift up any objects on the boat to check for discoloration or moss.
Also look at the metal and wooden surfaces to see if they show any signs of corrosion or improper maintenance. Check the riggings to see if they appear strong and in good condition. And look to see if the bulk heads are secured with a laminate. If the bulk heads are loose, do not purchase the boat.
Once you inspect the initial appearance of the boat, it is time to get into the engine compartment. Check to make sure the engine is clean and rust free. Check the oil, the batteries and make sure the bilge pump is in working order.
After you have looked the used boat over thoroughly, have the owner take you out on the water for a test spin. Do not worry about inconveniencing the owner. If they truly want to sell the boat, they will not mind to take a little time to show off its performance. After all, they would likely not buy a used boat without seeing it in action either.
Buying a used boat can be a great experience if you take the time to select the boat that is perfect for you. Be sure to take that time and to consider all of your prospects. After all, buying a boat is not something that you do everyday so invest wisely.
About the author:
By Adam Lenk with Boating Pro Shop
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