People who have little or no experience with boats may find that buying one is a challenge. If you aren’t certain about what you are looking for, determining whether a boat is sound can be difficult. There are four principal tips for buying a boat that every neophyte should know.
1) What Type of Boat to Buy
In order to determine what boat will best fit your needs, you must consider the body of water you will boat on most often. The larger the body of water, the more options you have. Smaller bodies of water generally eliminate sailboats, speed boats, house boats, zodiacs and catamarans.
If you only have access to small bodies of water, you might want to consider a row boat or a raft because motoring around a small lake or pond is overkill. But if you live near the ocean or a large freshwater lake, a motor or sail is almost a necessity.
2) Searching for Damage on a Boat
Inspecting a boat for signs of damage requires an understanding of boat material types. Boats can be made of metal, fiberglass, wood, plastic, hypalon and PVC.
Regardless of the type of material, the first thing to look at when inspecting a boat is the seams. The condition of the seams connecting two portions of a boat is a very good indication of the overall condition of a boat. Along the seams, look for cracks, rot, loose sets, peeling, stripped bolts, mildew and so on.
In addition to the seams, inspect the hull of the boat in its entirety. While some damage is not necessarily a problem, major damage on the hull of any type of boat is a serious issue. While it is possible to repair almost any damage on the hull of a boat, hull damage is a reason for concern.
If a boat has a motor, start it, allow it to idle, then raise the RPM to a level comparable to what you expect to run the boat at on a regular basis. Listen to the motor for knocks, air leaks, rattles and variations in sound. If a motor is difficult to start, does not idle, struggles to maintain a consistent sound at high RPM or smokes excessively, you should be concerned about its condition.
Belts, Oil and Electronics
Look at all the belts and check for cracking and wear if the engine sounds solid. Check the oil. If it is gritty or milky, those are indications that the motor may have issues. Check any electronics on the boat. Is everything in working order?
Service Records and Major Problems or Accidents
Ask the sellers to provide all service records and inquire about major problems or accidents involving the boat. Ask the owners if they are aware of any recurring problems or issues that you may have to contend with.
3) Pricing a Boat
Even if you do not know a great deal about boats, by comparing prices, you can get a pretty good idea of a boat’s value. If you believe you’ve found a good boat for a reasonable price, make sure you add the cost of repairs you know you’re going to have to make to the price of the boat.
4) Where to Buy a Boat
If you are in the market for a boat and are interested in a large selection, ClassifiedAds.com is the place for you find exactly the boat you’re looking for.