Viewing boats to buy – It’s important to understand that buying a boat is not about finding one you like and then leaving it up to a surveyor to tell you if it’s good or not! Even if you’re not a seasoned boat person it’s imperative that you do your own inspection before making further commitments.
If you don’t dig into the details it’s very possible that unbeknown to you, you’ll buy a boat that needs $$$$’s of work right from the start!
The objectives of using this Boat Buying: Viewing Boats to Buy guide are to:
- determine if you, and any other stakeholder, like the boat
- ensure the boat meets as many of your requirements as possible
- pre-inspect the boat ensuring there are no deal breakers negating the need for a professional survey
- look for problematic areas that might warrant further investigation and/or a reduction on the price of the boat
Here’s a sample of what you’ll find in the Boat Buying: Viewing Boats to Buy guide:
Helpful things to bring with you to the viewing
- Magnet (if a magnet sticks to stainless steel hardware it isn’t marine grade stainless… it’s a cheap alternative)
- Inspection mirror (helpful to look around the engine)…plus 8 more
What to look at on the hull
- Drive shaft. Look at the drive shaft – make sure there are no areas of pink or copper colored discoloration. If there is, it’s a sign of dezincification. Dezincification is where zinc is removed from the alloy, leaving behind a porous, copper-rich structure that has little mechanical strength.
- Gelcoat. Look for any cracks and/or blemishes. Star shaped cracks indicate an impact, parallel lines indicate stress and spider cracks (very common) signify the gel coat was laid too thick…plus 5 more things
How to inspect the upper deck
- Winches. Rotate the winches to make sure they spin freely. Also wiggle them to make sure they don’t move or wobble.
- Sails. Look for the areas that see the most sun and scratch the threads with your fingernail. If they break, the sail might be in poor condition. Same goes for any canvas items. New sails are very costly…plus 10 more
What to look for down below
- Berths. Take pictures, note layout, headroom, storage space, etc. Test the beds – can you fit in them, are they comfortable? Are there lee cloths (fabric panels that hold you in during stormy seas) under the mattresses?
- Underside of the Deck. If possible, look above the headlining’s to check out any through-deck bolts. If you see brown drips or stains dripping from the bolts it’s a sign of a rotting deck. (Note: it’s often not easy to get the headlining’s off so only do this if it’s inappropriate. Open some cupboards or closets to look for bolts first)… plus 14 more
Questions to ask an outsider
- When bad weather was forecasted did the boat owner, or a helper, visit the boat to ensure more lines were put out?
- Did you hear of any problems the boat owner had with the boat?…plus 3 more
Don’t leave home without these checklists!
Over 50 things to consider, ask and investigate while viewing a boat!
Before spending money on a professional survey it’s important to determine if there are any deal breakers. Why spend money if you don’t have to?
Consider the price you’ll pay for a professional survey when you didn’t have to…and then consider the cost of this guide. Which one would you rather pay for?
As with all my guides if you don’t find that the information provided highly valuable, I will happily refund your money. No questions asked.
Total pages: 17 US Letter pages. Includes: helpful things to bring the viewing, viewing the boat checklist for hull, deck, down below, questions to ask outsiders (perhaps in the marina/boatyard), boat visual diagrams to make notes.
At the very least save yourself the cost of a professional surveyor if the boat is not up to par! Get this money-saving boat viewing guide today.