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What to Know Before Buying a Boat

Buying a boat can be very intricate and grueling, but after deciding which type of boat appears, the next step is to decide if you want it new or used. The negative aspects of buying a new boat and that the initial cost is much higher, a rapid loss of value and equipment generally lower than a used one.

Inspect the Boat Before Buying

At the moment, anyone can call themselves a marine surveyor, so it is important to make sure that yours is accredited by the competent register.

Using an appraiser will give you security, both the bank and the insurance company could insist on this point. Don’t trust old appraisals; new problems may have occurred since then.

If you have enough experience and expertise, you might even do the exporting.

Here are some things to check:

  • Has the boat been maintained well? Start with the obvious things like gel patinas, wood finishes, and upholstery.
  • Check the wooden floors and interior decorations for soft parts.
  • Are there any parts of the exterior paint with colors that do not match? This could indicate a previous accident which, in itself, might not be enough for the disposal of the boat, but if the owner has not mentioned it, what else could he not have told you?
  • Check that the wiring, rudder, accelerator is in good condition. The rudder and transmissions must move freely.
  • Check the presence of water lines inside or in the engine. These may indicate possible flooding in the past.
  • Open and close all the hatches and sea cocks and make sure they are in good order. If there are traces of water, this indicates that they are no longer waterproof.
  • Check all the systems like a bilge pump, winches, fresh water system, lights, heating, and air conditioning, generator, kitchen.
  • Make sure the equipment is well secured, and that the electrical parts and sockets are free from rust.
  • Examine the hull carefully, take note of the general conditions and look for dents, cracks or cracks in the coating. Lightly tap the resin hull with a rubber mallet, trying to feel the empty areas, it can help reveal air pockets or delamination. Whichever fitting crosses the hull must be checked and make sure it is well fixed and that it does not lose water.
  • Look for the frame number of the hull, make sure it is present, that it does not appear to have been altered and that it matches the number in the boat’s documents. The lack or the presence of an altered number could indicate a stolen boat. It is crucial to make sure not to buy a used boat; if it happens, you run the risk of losing both the boat and the money. Check the list of stolen boats.
  • It may not be practicable to see the boat out of the water, but if possible it would allow you to check the immersed hull part. You could also check that the keel runs straight from stern to bow and that the propeller anodes, shaft, and rudder are straight, that they do not swing.

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