There are a lot of reasons why people choose to purchase a used boat instead of a new boat. The first and most obvious reason is that the used model has been tried and tested, hopefully working out all the bugs by the person who purchased it brand new. The second reason is the money that you will save. Just like buying a new car, buying a used boat can save you a significant amount of money compared to purchasing a boat brand new. If you are in the market for a used boat you are not alone. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), over 60 percent of first time boat buyers end up buying a used boat.
What You Need to Know About Boat Ownership
If this is your very first boat, there are somethings that you need to know about boat ownership. The first is that there are local, state and Coast Guard regulations about the type of boat that you can use and how it can be used. Personal watercraft insurance is a must, whether you choose a simple cruising boat, a beautiful sailboat or an all-around recreational vessel. Make sure to get your boating insurance policy from a reputable agent, such as your local Fall River insurance agency. Check into boating insurance before you get set on buying a used boat or any type of watercraft to make sure you know what you are getting into.
Before you decide what type of boat is right for you and the way that you plan on using it, check out the recommendations of the actual boat manufacturer. Check out weight limits, the maximum number of occupants, the type of engine that came standard – and compare that to the engine that is in the vessel now. A brand new upgraded engine might give you more power and speed, but it could affect the maximum weight of the craft, making it impractical for the number of people in your party or the amount of gear and things that you want to bring on board.
Risks Associated with Buying a Used Boat
If you do decide to purchase a used boat instead of a brand new one, there are some things that you need to find out. The first, is how the boat was maintained. If the current owners did not do regular maintenance or protect the boat properly from weather conditions, etc. you may end up buying something that will cost you even more than you saved in repairs and renovations. A used boat – or any boat for that matter – should be inspected carefully before purchasing. If possible, bring along a marine mechanic with a lot of experience and never ever sign on the dotted line without taking it out with the owner for a test drive.
Tips for Buying a Used Boat
It is important to take a look at the appearance of the boat and check it out as thoroughly as possible. While it is still recommended for you to bring an experienced marine mechanic before you purchase the boat, there are some things you can do on your own to determine whether or not it is worth it to call your mechanic out for a look.
- Go With Your Gut – If the boat looks bad, chances are it was not maintained properly. A fixer-upper is one thing, but a boat that wasn’t cleaned or maintained will not be a good situation – especially for a first time boat owner.
- Lift objects on the boat, such as coiled ropes, rugs and equipment to look for moss or discoloration. These are signs of neglect and poor maintenance habits.
- Check wood and metal surfaces for corrosion. An aluminum boat will pit after exposure to salt water if not properly maintained and teak wood will start to look horrible if not treated regularly with oil. Look for cracks or weak spots as well.
- Check the rigging as well. If they are frayed, dirty or weak-looking, this is another sure sign of neglect.
- Take a look at the Gel-Coat to see if it has been waxed properly or if it has a dull appearance. If the finish is chalky you might have to paint the boat or just deal with a dull coating. Check the Gel-Coat on the hull as well. If there is a discoloration you will know that the hull has been repaired. Make sure that the repair was done properly.
- Check out the bulk heads to make sure that they are secured in with a laminate. The bulk heads can become loose over time if the laminate separates from the hull. Do not buy a boat in this condition.
Where to Get Personal Watercraft Insurance in Fall River
If you are buying a used boat and need to get a boating insurance policy in Southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, visit your local Fall River insurance agency. Sullivan Insurance has been serving boat owners, homeowners and car owners in the South Coast region since 1956. Find out more about personal watercraft insurance and what you need to do to protect your new investment.