Factors to Consider When Buying a Pre-owned Boat


If you live close to a large body of water, you know how enjoyable it is to have a boat. By default, most of the people near water masses are recreational and boat enthusiasts. However, the potential of most of the water sports enthusiasts is not realized because most of them don't have a boat. Most of them find new boats to be very expensive.

However, if you don't want to give up on the dream of owning a boat, you can consider a pre-owned boat. If you just Google, boats for sale, you are likely to find hundreds, if not thousands of pontoon boats that are significantly cheaper and affordable as compared to a new boat. However, you need to check what you are buying to avoid getting into trouble. Used boats come with several challenges, and it is always good to make sure that you have a boat that meets your needs.

Here are some important factors that you need to consider before buying a used boat.

1. Inspect for Signs of Damage

One of the most important aspects to consider when you are buying a pre-owned boat should be the signs of damage. Most of the owners sell their boats because they have been damaged beyond repair and you do not want to be the recipient of a scrap metal. Some of the damages that you should check to include moisture in wooden areas, flexing, mold, cracking, and breakdown of fiber-glass. If you notice damages that are beyond repair, you should walk away.

2. Look for Mildew

Most of the used boats for sale that you will come across are likely to have mildew and other major or minor damages. You should also consider checking the storage lockers too. Extensive mold inside the seats and other areas is a sign that boat was receiving very little or no care. If you notice that mold has spread in many parts of the boat such as wooden parts and under the carpet, there is a possibility that something is wrong underneath. However, covers and upholstery can be replaced or cleaned to look new.

3. Check the Electronics

It is essential to ensure that boats for sale have their electronics in order. Most of the electronic problems have easy and cheap solutions, which means that you don't have to worry too much about them. Burned bulbs can be replaced with ease. Faulty battery and faulty wiring are not big problems; they can be replaced by an electrician for little expense. However, peeled up wires is a sign of overheating the engine, which is enough trouble for you to walk.

4. Check the Belts

Boats for sale should at least have proper and well-maintained belts. The power-steering or the alternator should not be cracked or worn-out. Boat experts recommend that these belts be replaced after every 100 hours of boating. To avoid problems in your first ride, make sure that you take care of all the damaged belts. The owner could have been too lax in this area. Nevertheless, you should take the owner to task on the laxity shown on boat maintenance.

5. Test the Oil

Majority of boats for sale tend to have poor quality oil because they have been grounded for a long period. However, you can come across a used boat for sale that is still working. Feeling the oil between your fingers to check for metal and filings is very important. Any traces of solid substances indicate considerable engine wear which is enough reason for you to abandon the boat.

Milky oil indicates the presence of water in the engine which is bad news. Probably the oil tank has cracked, and the water is getting in. There could be a possibility that the gears are corroded as well due to the rust brought about by draining water.

6. Base Strength

This is the floor of the boat and indicates how well the boat has been maintained. Ensure that it is strong enough to carry standard weight; for an 18 to 20-foot pontoon boat, a maximum of six people. If the base of the boat is too weak, there is a probability that it is damaged or has corroded at the base.