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A Guide On How To Buy Used Boats

Buying a used boat could seem like a difficult task. It is especially so for new boat buyers that have not purchased used boats in the past. Below is an extensive guide on what you should look out for when buying a used boat. 

Choosing An Appropriate Model 

The easiest way to choose one model over the other is to assess the available features. Some essential features to look out for include: 

  1. Size of the boat. Typically, your intended use will determine the size that you need. For instance, a small boat would be ideal for solo fishing trips. You will need a larger boat if you plan to take friends and family for excursions.
  2. Type and size of the engine. Larger engines have more horsepower and can therefore attain high speeds. Decide whether you want an inboard, outboard, sterndrive or jet drive engine.
  3. Type of hull. For instance, a displacement hull allows you to carry lots of weight. On the other hand, V-shaped hulls would be ideal for powerful boats that cruise at speeds or if you will use the vessel on choppy waters.
  4. Accessories and amenities. They could include thrusters, live wells, digital speedometers, refrigerators, adequate storage space, sleeping areas, kitchens and washrooms. 

Boat Hours

The boat hours will inform you how long the boat has been used. Most people will quickly dismiss boats with a lot of hours. However, you should not fall into this trap. Instead, compare the boat hours vis-à-vis the servicing logbook and maintenance records. You are better off buying a well-maintained boat with many hours than a poorly maintained vessel with a few running hours. 

Boat Condition

Start by inspecting the boat's body and frame for damage. For instance, you could tap the body to determine if it has any filler. Minor scratches are acceptable on a used boat. However, you should be concerned about large dents on the body or underneath the boat. Take the boat to open waters to assess the functionality of its controls, engine power and manoeuvrability. When making an online purchase, ask the seller for detailed pictures and insist on a guarantee. 


Sellers will price their vessels differently. So, how would you determine the market value of your preferred boat? One of the easiest ways is to check the average of the highest and lowest priced boat. Alternatively, you could ask for a formal appraisal. Most sellers will use a variety of tactics to ensure you do not bargain their asking price. Counter this by pointing out the boat's defects and pitting one seller against the other. 

When buying a used boat, choose an appropriate model, check the boat hours, assess the condition and pricing of the vessel. 

Reach out to a local used boat dealer for more information.