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Used boat buying guide: questions to ask the seller

If you’re planning on buying a used boat, don’t make the common mistakes that could end up costing you thousands. Here’s a helpful guide to ensure you make the right choice.

Why are they selling the boat?

It’s always a good idea to ask the seller why they’re selling the boat. If they say they’re just wanting to upgrade to a larger boat or downgrade to a smaller one, then go a little further and ask them what brand/model/size of boat they are shopping for.

Pay attention to how they answer. If they hesitate and say they’re not really sure yet, this could be a red flag. It could mean that something is wrong with the boat and they are looking to offload it to an unsuspecting buyer before it breaks down.

Has the boat’s engine had any major repairs?

A boat’s engine is usually the most expensive part of the boat and also the most-costly to repair or replace. It’s essential to ask the seller if they have had any issues with it. You’ll also want to look at all service records. If they can’t provide actual records, then make sure they can provide you with the name of the business where the boat was serviced. If the business doesn’t have any record of servicing the boat, then move on, there are plenty of other boats for sale.

Also make sure you check the hours on a boat’s motor. It’s similar to the kilometers on a car. The lower the better. You don’t want to be stuck with a boat engine that has been worked to near death.

What about a warranty?

It’s best to shop for a used boat that comes with a transferrable warranty. Knowing that you are covered if something happens to the boat can really give you peace of mind. In this case a certified boat dealer is the best place to start. And make sure you ask them exactly what is covered by the warranty.

Was the boat used in saltwater?

One of the most destructive things to an outboard engine is saltwater. This is especially true if you don’t flush the engine thoroughly after each and every use in the ocean. Ask the seller if they have flushed the engine using ‘fresh water.’ This would extend the life of the engine.

How has the boat been stored?

A boat that’s been kept inside a garage or under a canopy is much better protected from the elements than a boat that has been stored on a lift by the owner’s dock, or even parked outside in their driveway. You need to be cautious if the boat you are buying has been kept in the water, especially saltwater. Not only can salt water cause harm to the engine, it can cause rust to accumulate on some metal pieces, as well as destroy your boat’s fabrics.

How about a test ride?

This is an absolute must! If the seller is not willing to do a sea trial, forget about it. If they do let you take it out, pay attention the little things and see if it feels right, out on the water. You can usually tell if everything is running smoothly.

Still not sure? Then come and speak to the experts at Wyld About Boats – Arundel. They have been in business for years and have a variety of quality used boats for sale. Call us on 07 5563 2223 and tell us what type of boat you’re shopping for.

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