August 12, 2019

What to Look for When Buying a Used Boat

Summer is here and a boat would make days in the hot Florida sun a lot more refreshing. You already know boats can get really expensive, easily costing as much or more than a car, depending on the style of boat you’re looking for and the upgrades that you want. Checking out used boats for sale in Stuart, Florida, might be the answer. Used boats, like used cars, can be a smarter financial purchase. Here are just a few things to look for if you’re considering buying a used boat in Stuart. 

Decide on a Boat Type

Before you can even start kicking the tires, you need to decide what kind of boat you’re looking for. A key component of this is to figure out what activities you’ll be doing the most in the boat. Are you looking for a slick ski boat, a dependable fishing boat, a roomy pontoon boat, a boat capable of heading offshore where the big fish live, or some other kind of boat? Once you make this main decision, then you can start learning about the various brands that make the kind of boat you’re shopping for, and filtering your searches for used boats for sale in Stuart, Florida. 

Decide on What Kind of Features You Want

When shopping for a used boat, you might not be able to get everything you want in a boat since you’ll be limited to which boats are for resale on the market. However, it’s still smart to familiarize yourself with the common and wish-list features that you can find on boats to determine what your must-haves are. Remember, the more accessories and features on a boat, the higher the price tag will be. 

Check Maintenance Records

If you’ve narrowed down the kind of boat you’re looking for, and you’ve found one for sale with the features and accessories you were hoping to have, the real work starts to ensure you make a smart buy. When you see the boat in person, if possible, ask to check the boat’s maintenance records. 

These records will show you how well cared for, or not, the boat has been. A well cared for boat is a smart purchase. A boat that’s been neglected is not. If the seller doesn’t have any maintenance records to show you, that could be a red flag too. 

Check Trailer for Rust and Boat for Moisture

As you walk around and inspect the boat, pay close attention to several parts. If the boat comes with a trailer, look closely on it for rust. Look for any cracks on the boat which could be cause for alarm, or at least a reason for further questioning. Check for any signs of moisture or leaking, and that the upholstery on the boat is in good shape. There are plenty of inspection lists online that you can use to make sure you remember to look at everything important before you finalize a purchase. 

Have an Inspection Done

Most reputable boat dealers and current boat owners would suggest having an inspection done of the boat. There are plenty of marine inspectors around and they work just like the one you hired to look at your house before you bought it. These professionals are trained to look for the good and bad in boats. After their inspection, they will draft a report that tells you about the overall condition of the boat, and what repairs might need to be made sooner or later.  

Take It for a Test Drive

Finally, before you shake on the deal, take the boat out for a test drive or sea trial if possible. This will allow you to feel if the boat is a good fit for you, to see how it performs on the water, and offer another opportunity to spot any problems the vessel might have while in motion. The sea trial should be a long enough ride that the boat has a chance to warm up. Expect to reimburse the boat owner for any significant fuel you use during the trial. If you’re ready to start looking for a used boat for fun this summer, look no further than Riverwatch for the best selection.

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