Used Motor Boat Buyer’s Guide

Buying a Motor Boat from a Private Seller

Many people are tempted to buy a second hand boat through private sellers, as often these will appear to be the “best” deals on offer. Despite a low price tag, you should think carefully before making a purchase; private sellers are unlikely to allow potential buyers to take the boat for a test drive, and won’t offer any sort of guarantee or mechanical support if a problem arises.

If you’re going to buy a boat from a private seller then take your time to make your mind up. Inspect the boat carefully; look for scratches, cracks, dents and other damage. Test the cables and the steering. You could even consider hiring a professional boat surveyor to carry out a complete certified inspection. It might seem costly at the time but it can give you the peace of mind of knowing you got a great deal, and haven’t been sold down the Suwannee.

Even when the boat passes inspection, you should still try to get some background information about the boat and the seller. The first step is to ask the owner – when did they acquire the boat? How much did it cost them? and how much have they used it? How did they find it? What’s their reason for getting rid of it? There are some great deals out there, with owners looking to make a quick sale at a low price, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch; fraud and the sale of stolen property is still rife.

Buying a Boat from a Dealer

For all of these reasons it’s best to avoid buying from anyone who is a long distance away. The best way to ensure that you are not being mis-sold a boat is to buy from a well-known seller or dealer who has a reputation to protect.

Purchasing a boat from a registered dealer can alleviate. A lot of the worry and stress involved in buying from a private seller. For a start they will usually allow you to take a boat for a test drive.

Look for highly-regarded and trusted local dealers who inspect their boats and offer servicing and after-sales maintenance and tune-ups. Dealers and brokers should be able to “stand by” their boats as they had them inspected themselves.

When buying a second-hand boat there are advantages and disadvantages to buying from private sellers and dealers. Ensure that you are comfortable with your seller or dealer. That you trust them and that they have a reputation to uphold. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is

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