Tips for Buying a Used Boat

Deciding to shop for used boats is a strategic move. You use depreciation in your favor to dramatically bring down the price of a vessel. It helps you afford a higher quality boat that you might normally be able to afford new. It helps you not max out your boat budget so that you can buy all the gear, equipment, and insurance you need. Of course, you only get these pre-owned boat benefits if you nab a good deal. There are too many seemingly good deals out there that may be a great deal upfront. But then you realize they are riddled with hidden issues that cost you a fortune in mechanic’s bills. Don’t let that happen to you! Shop smart by using our following guide. If you have any questions or are ready to look at boats, visit Naples Boat Mart. We proudly serve those in and near Naples, Florida.

Make a Budget

Anytime you make a big purchase it’s helpful to know what your limits are. It’s all too easy to fall in love with a model that’s outside your means, but buy it anyway. Setting a budget helps narrow your pre-owned boat search to only options you can afford so you can shop guilt-free. Don’t forget that a budget should include more than simply the cost of the used boat. You may need to buy gear, such as life jackets. You may need to cover the operational costs, such as boat slip rental and insurance. Used boats are also usually not covered under warranty, so any repairs would be an out of pocket cost.

Your Dream Boat

Think about what you want to get out of your boat. Are you hoping to spend the hours away fishing? Are you hoping to pull your kids behind on an inner tube? Are you wanting to chase adrenaline rushes speeding across the bay? How you use your boat will influence what type of boat you need and what features you need as well. Don’t forget to account for your ideal number of passengers. Different boats have different maximum weight capacities. If you know you want to take big parties out on the waters, make sure your boat can handle the whole group!

Inspect the Boat

Any pre-owned boat can look great online. That doesn’t mean it’s free of issues under the surface. Start by checking the exterior. Any cracks in the gel coat bigger than two inches is a red flag. Metal and wood surfaces should be free of corrosion. Next, look at the inside. Signs that the boat wasn’t properly maintained include discoloration or moss underneath the flooring. Make sure all electronic equipment works well. It never hurts to higher a surveyor. It’s their job to catch things other people miss and you can really benefit from their expertise. Their fee could save you from buying a boat with hidden (and expensive) repair issues).

Go on a Test Drive

Once you thoroughly inspect the used boat option, your final step is to take it out on the water and see how it handles. Here you are looking for two things. First, does it operate smoothly? Run it at different speeds and idle it to see how it handles. Make sure it accelerates, turns, and brakes smoothly. It should also be free of any delays, weird vibrations, or odd sounds. Second, does it fit well for you? The pre-owned boat may be free of issues, but that doesn’t mean it’s the boat for you! If you are new to boating, you don’t want to buy a boat with massive power that you can’t control. If you don’t like the aesthetic, you shouldn’t be investing so much money into it. Make sure the boat fits with your budget, ability, and lifestyle before buying. If the boat fits all these factors, you may have just found your dream used boat!