Tips For Buying a Used Boat

May 05, 2020

If you spend your days dreaming about owning a boat but never taking the plunge due to the cost, it’s time to start broadening your horizons. Why not buy a used boat? Buying a brand new boat would break the bank for a lot of us. Thankfully, there are plenty of used boats for sale that you can choose from. By following a few important steps, you can turn your dreams of owning a boat into a reality!

Gordon Bay Marine has put together a list of tips below for you to follow. If you still have questions or you’re ready to check out some cheap boats, stop by our dealership in Lake Joseph, Ontario today! We also proudly serve Muskoka and Toronto.

Establish a Budget

You can enter some pretty dangerous waters if you start shopping for a used boat without establishing a budget. Don’t get pulled in by a fancy new model as soon as you walk in the door. Beware of the charismatic salesperson who will surely try to bait and hook you, too. Planning a budget before you start shopping helps to eliminate those temptations from your mind. Knowing what you can and can’t afford allows you to remain practical throughout the buying process.

Make sure that your total budget allows for more than just the sticker price. You’ll need to factor in the cost of any gear you need as well as a boat slip rental, fuel, insurance, and so on. If you’re just starting out then you’re going to need to add quite a few items to the budget so be sure to do the math before you begin shopping.

Do Research

You need to first determine what your specific needs are before you go searching for a boat. The first step is deciding what type of boat you want. Whether it’s a specialized fishing boat or a more versatile vessel that can be used for water sports, it’s important to narrow down your options so you’re not completely overwhelmed. Take the time to do research on different types of boats so you can zero in on the one that’s right for your needs.

Something else to consider is how many people you plan to bring on the boat. You should keep in mind the boat’s maximum weight and the number of occupants so you don’t choose one that is going to be too small for your crew. If you plant to take seven or eight people on the water with you, then you need a boat with that potential. While conducting your research, check to confirm that none of the models you’re considering were ever recalled.

Inspect the Boat

Once you’ve found the used boat you want to buy, it’s time to go through and inspect it. Anyone can make a boat appear captivating on the outside but that says nothing about how it runs, which is what really counts. Examine the exterior for any cracks in the gel coat that are more than two inches long as this could indicate deeper issues. Examine any metal and wood surfaces for signs of corrosion. There are some exterior issues that are simply cosmetic but at times, it can also suggest a lack of maintenance and more problems hiding beneath the surface.

Be sure to inspect the boat’s interior. Check underneath the flooring materials for any discoloration or moss because this can indicate lack of maintenance. You should check all of the electronic equipment make sure it’s running smoothly and functioning properly. Mechanical issues on boats are not like the ones you’ve dealt with in a car. These types of issues can be much more expensive to fix, so be as thorough as possible with your inspection. If you really want to have all your bases covered, then consider hiring a surveyor to inspect any used boats you're considering buying. They bring an unparalleled level of knowledge and expertise to the table that’s invaluable. This could save you from buying a used boat that needs major repairs later on.

Go For a Test Drive

Last but not least, you need to take the boat for a test drive. It can look like a catch when docked but don’t forget that looks can be deceiving. Never buy a boat without taking it out on the water first. Get behind the wheel to see how it handles and feels, and be sure to test the brakes. Run a few extra tests, like driving it at different speeds including idling. Be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary with how the boat runs such as delays, odd sounds, or odd vibrations. If the used boat runs well and is within your price range, then you may have found the one!

Time to find the used boat of your dreams! Visit us at Gordon Bay Marine in Lake Joseph, Ontario today. We also proudly serve Muskoka and Toronto.