Buying A Used Boat Checklist

buying a used boat guide to choosing a used boat

There’s a big market for used boats in Queensland, and it’s a great way to get a bargain. But you have to make sure that your safety, and your investment, aren’t things to be bargained for. Most used boats are in pretty reasonable condition, but you can never be sure. That’s why a careful inspection is always the first step to buying a used boat. So what do you need to look for? As experts, we have some experience in buying used boats – here’s our checklist for doing so!

Trailer checklist: buying a used boat means buying a trailer as well – here’s what to look for

There’s lots to cover when you’re buying a used boat, so why not start from the ground up? Unless you’re buying a luxury cruiser with its own berth, or a tiny tinny for the roof of your car, buying a used boat normally includes buying a trailer. And trailers are generally susceptible to rust. In addition to that, trailer electrics are famously unreliable in older trailers. Before you buy a used boat, make sure you carefully inspect every component of the trailer. Ask the vendor to turn on the brake lights, tail lights, and indicators. See if you can jack the trailer up and test the wheel bearings. If it’s safe, get underneath the trailer and have a look for rust or damage. It’s also worth taking the trailer for a test ride, not just the boat!

Outboard checklist: buying a used boat with a broken outboard is a costly mistake – here’s how to avoid it

Outboards: they’re the most expensive component of most boats. And short of the boat itself, they’re also the most important. As a result, when you walk away with a used boat you want to be completely sure its outboard is working well. But they’re complex machines – how can you tell if they’re in sound shape from a layperson’s perspective? In most cases, you can’t. Taking them for a test run will reveal any immediate issues. But beneath that, you will need an outboard mechanic to give it the once-over. It might seem like a big step, but it is well worth it.

Safety gear checklist: save some money by buying a used boat with the necessary safety accessories

Safety gear is both expensive, and compulsory. So that’s something to consider when you’re buying a new boat; add it to the checklist! Start by considering the size of the boat, what you want to do with it, and where you want to take it. Once you have worked that out, you can research the safety gear you need, and compare that to the safety gear included in the sale. That’s a great opportunity to save some money, and get you one step closer to the water.

Marine accessories checklist: are you buying a used boat for immediate use? Here’s why you need

They may not be compulsory according to the law, but your boat is going to need things like anchors and storage. Carefully going through all the marine accessories that come with a used boat can give you some leverage. If it’s missing a few basic things that you would expect to be included in the sale, politely mention it. It may just save you a bit of money, and a few unwelcome surprises later!

Finally, don’t forget to give the hull a close inspection when you’re buying a used boat

It wouldn’t be a used boat buying checklist without some mention of the boat itself! Always check the hull for damage when you’re buying a used boat. That is especially important in fibreglass boats, which are expensive to repair and prone to cracking. But it’s also useful in aluminium boats, which can also crack, and which react adversely to lead.
For more great tips, contact us.

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