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What are some things you should consider? These are some suggestions to help you get started.
- Read reviews. For safety and reliability, research the boat model. Check the reviews of boat dealers before you buy.
- Have the boat checked and tested before you purchase. Take a qualified boater, mechanic, or marine surveyor along if you’re new to boating. How does the boat perform? Are they (or you?) comfortable at the helm of the boat?
- To make an accurate assessment of the boat’s condition, take a walk around it. You can inspect the hull, gel coat (more easily done at dry land), deck, engines, and other mechanical equipment. Cracks, nicks, and ripped seams are all signs of other issues, especially if you’re buying a used boat.
- Ask to speak with the previous owner of a boat you are interested in purchasing. Ask them why they are selling it. Ask for maintenance records and the contact information of any mechanic who worked on it.
- Hours are not the same as miles. Ask about how long the boat has been in the water. This can impact future maintenance costs and the transfer of any remaining warranties.
Even if you’ve done a quick inspection, you should still have the boat checked by a mechanic before you buy it.