Set Sail With These Top Tips

buying a used boat

I’m On a Boat!: Set Sail With These Top Tips for Buying a Used Boat

Did you know that being near water has a big impact on your happiness and quality of life?

If you want to reap the benefits of a relaxing day at the beach or lake but can’t stand lounging around, a boat can add more excitement to your outings.

Not ready to take on a hefty loan but feel unsure about looking at a used boat for sale? Don’t worry. Plenty of used boats can feel like new if the previous owner took good care of it.

Keep reading to learn the top 5 tips for buying a used boat that’s in beautiful condition.

1. Buying a Used Boat Checklist: Look for Serious Damage

When shopping for used boats, it’s important to know the difference between cosmetic damage and structural damage.

Over the years, it’s normal for every boat to accumulate some wear and tear, including cracks. To the untrained eye, these small damages may look concerning.

You should walk around the boat and look at every angle to ensure there are no cracks longer than a few inches. If the boat is docked, try to arrange a way to look at the underside of the boat with the owner. 

2. Make Sure All the Gear Works

Boats come with a lot of electronics to keep the passengers safe. Never buy a boat without checking if all of the electronics and other functions work.

Be sure to take a peek at all of the wiring so you can feel confident that nothing is frayed. It’s also possible that wires may be melted due to engine issues that need to be addressed.

3. Always Listen to the Engine When Buying a Used Boat

The engine is the heart of a boat, so you need to spend some time listening to it to ensure it’s still going strong.

The most important part about checking the engine is the startup. When you turn the engine on, it should respond immediately. If it sputters, sounds weak, shakes too much, or smokes, this could indicate big problems.

4. What to Look for When Buying a Used Boat: Inspect the Engine Oil and Belts

One thing inexperienced buyers may neglect to check is the boat’s engine oil. This step requires getting a little dirty.

Dab some of the oil on your fingers to feel for a smooth texture and look for a dark color. If you notice any hard bits, this indicates that the engine is old and needs replacing. If you notice any light oil, this indicates a compromise in the boat’s structure that’s allowing water inside.

While you’re digging around the engine, don’t forget to look closely at the belts. One responsibility of owning a boat is replacing the belts on a regular basis. If you notice damaged or worn-out belts, you have to question if the owner took care of the rest of the boat, too.

5. Check All the Nooks and Crannies for Mold Growth

The last step of your boat inspection should be looking around the interior of the boat. Look within the seats, under the flooring, and any other contained space. Mold thrives in wet, dark places, which means you need to scrutinize any space that doesn’t have access to sunlight.

Mold isn’t just unsightly. Mold can cause harmful health effects and damage the boat’s structural integrity. Mold within the seats can be cleaned without major problems. However, if you notice any mold growth on the floorspace, you should pass on buying.

Want to Check Out the Best Boats for Sale?

Now that you know the best tips for buying a used boat, you’ll never have to abandon ship too soon.

Do you want to make the shopping process stress-free? Carben Automotive can give you a wide selection of the best used boats and cars. Since we do thorough inspections before buying from sellers, you can feel good about any purchase.

Contact us so you can learn more about how we can help you find the boat of your dreams.

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