Buying a used boat can help cut your costs, but it is important to follow a careful checklist before you make your purchase. If you are considering buying a used boat, make sure that the seller allows you to take a test drive. After all, you would not purchase a car without driving it first. Used boats are no different. When you test-drive the used boat, watch for vibration. Vibration can indicate that the used boat has a bent propeller or other major damage that is not noticeable when the boat is on land.
Also, test the response of the used boat. Try out the steering from one direction to another to see how the used boat will respond to your bearing. Notice how long it takes the used boat to plane after taking off. Take note of whether or not the boat boat slides smoothly into gear. Pay attention to the gauges and instruments during your used boat test drive. Make sure they function properly.
Inspect the used boat thoroughly off of the water. Check the floor for rot, damage or mildewing. These problems are hard to repair and can shorten the life of the used boat. Take a look at the hull and make sure it is in good condition. You can tap on the hull all the way around the used boat to make sure that it is solid throughout. Inspect the propeller for warping and nicks, which can throw off the performance of the boat.
After your test drive, ask for a maintenance history on the used boat. Make sure the owner can provide proof of all the repairs made to the boat. If a lot has been done, then opportunities are buying this used boat will cost you more in repairs down the road. Check if the boat is still under warranty. The used boat owner should also be able to provide you with information on how many hours the used boat has been run. If the boat has logged more than 500 hours, you'll need to spend money on upgrades and additional maintenance. Also ask how long the used boat has been in storage and what the conditions were. All these factors will help you determine the true value of the used boat.