June 16, 2024

Things You Should Check Out When Purchasing a Used Boat

We’re sure you can’t wait to feel the water pouring on your face and the wind flowing through your hair now that you’ve decided on the type of boat you want. Boating provides us with freedom, discovery, and adventure, all of which we lacked during the epidemic.

Inventory is limited, with new boat sales at an all-time high. As a result, used boats are an excellent choice. But before you go out and buy one, here’s what you should know.

Registration & Title

Marinas are reputable enterprises that will provide registration and title for any secondhand boat they sell. If you’re buying from a private seller, insist on seeing a registration card and title with their name and address. The same holds true for a boat trailer.

Check that the registration numbers correspond to the make, model, and hull identification number (HIN). These are also required if you intend to finance the transaction. Also, seek and maintain a bill of sale signed by the boat’s owner. Finally, if a warranty is given, be sure it is fully described.


The hull is the most critical portion of a boat. Therefore, inspect it thoroughly. Examine it for flaws, dents, gouges, holes (whether fixed or not), and other anomalies, such as apparent fibreglass repairs. Also, check below the water line, which might be damaged by colliding with rocks, debris, or other boats.


Perform a thorough examination of the deck. Allow yourself plenty of time to examine for decay, cracks, dents, holes, and soft places. Then, when you press down on the deck with your hands, it should not feel squishy.

Signs of decay or plywood delamination may indicate hidden deterioration. Examine the seats for signs of excessive wear, mould, and mildew. If the hull and deck are in good condition, thoroughly investigate the remainder of the boat.


Many jurisdictions require boat trailers to be inspected for safety yearly. Check that the inspection sticker or placard is current. Inspect the suspension and braking systems for rot, damage, twisting, or extreme corrosion. Look for dry rot, bubbles, and gouges in the tyres.


The engine is the most expensive component of the boat. Therefore, check it thoroughly as well. First, inspect the engine cover for corrosion. Then, start the engine for a test run. Request that the owner runs it for at least 10 seconds at full power. If the engine is loose, smoking, running rough, or noisy, there is a problem.


Batteries have a lifespan of roughly five years. Examine the terminals of the battery(s) for corrosion and search for a broken or leaky casing. Also, ensure that the battery(s) are properly fixed in the tray. A faulty battery might short circuit, resulting in a fire or explosion.

Starter Motor

A faulty starter motor prevents the engine from starting. When starting the engine, listen for clanging, grinding, or loud spinning/whizzing sounds. Water that enters the starter and cannot drain out causes internal components to rust and fail.


It is relatively uncommon for a yacht to experience electrical troubles. Most are easily repairable. However, problems with electronic components — radios, GPS, radar, flickering lights, electronic shifter/throttle — all point to a wiring or electrical system problem.

Examine wires for melted or broken insulation, corroded electrical connections, or overly spliced areas where wires have been repaired. These can be indicators of more significant problems.

Hardware and Cables

Many systems aboard a boat may be controlled using cables. Check that all cables and controls for the shifting, steering, and throttle systems are free of corrosion and fraying.

Repairing or replacing deck gear may be costly. Shake the seats and tug on the hinges, rigging, and cleats to check they are correctly fastened. Loose or stripped screws can produce wobbly components, which are readily repaired. Corrosion or loose hardware, on the other hand, might suggest concealed rot or other deterioration.