Buying A Used Boat

Who wouldn’t want to be the proud owner of a new boat, sailing the ocean wave on a gleaming machine? Unfortunately though, if you want a brand new boat then you had better have deep pockets. New boats are extremely expensive, and like cars, lose their original value within the first year. Used boats, on the other hand, allow you to buy a better boat for your budget, and still represent an investment. So read on for how to go about buying a boat without ending up all at sea….without a paddle.

Type of Boat

Knowing what you want is always a good thing, but if you’re having trouble with deciding on the type of boat you need, then ask yourself these basic questions beforehand.

  • Where will you be using the boat? Lake? Ocean? River?
  • Who will be using the boat with you? Family? Just friends?
  • What will you be using the boat for? Fishing? Cruising? Day Sailing?
  • How often will you use the boat?
  • How experienced are you?

Whatever you decide on will depend on these basic questions, so don’t waste time buy looking at boats that are unsuitable for your needs.

Where to Buy

Private sales are useful if you’re an experienced boater or yachtsperson, but boat brokers offer an excellent service for rookie sailors as well as those who are more experienced. A good ABYA registered yacht broker such as can advise you on the best type of boat for you, as well as take you through the entire buying process from surveying to conveyance. Boat brokers typically have hundreds of used boats available, and it’s the seller who pays for the service, not the buyer. They can guide you through the entire process to find the boat that’s the perfect fit for you, without you having to pay for the privilege. They will also help negotiate the price to save any awkwardness over money.

How to Buy

It’s vital that you properly test the water, so try out the boat before buying and organise a sea trial first. Bear in mind that it’s a big investment, so take a notebook and record every observation you make while out on the water. Once you’re satisfied the boat is for you, you or your yacht broker would normally commission a survey after you’ve made your offer, as the yacht buying process is to make an offer ‘subject to survey.’ It’s then normal to pay a 10% deposit to hold the boat and protect the buyer against any potential damage caused by a survey or lift out fees.

Boat Survey

A marine surveyor is an invaluable addition to the buying process, so always commission a survey to make sure the boat is safe and without any significant problems. A marine surveyor can even accompany you on a pre-purchase sea trial. However, a marine surveyor won’t be checking the engine, so you should also appoint a marine engineer to check over the engine in the case of buying a used boat.

Harry Price is a freelance writer and personal trainer. He left his career as an interior designer to pursue his own business endeavers.