20 Questions You Need To Ask When Buying A Used Boat

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  1. Is there a COF (certificate of fitness) with the boat?
  2. Does the boat look immaculate or is it a shoddy wreck?
  3. Does the chassis number reflected on the registration certificate of the trailer match the stamped number of the trailer?
  4. Are there any visible signs of the boat being involved in an accident?
  5. Are there any outstanding hire purchases finances on the vessel? (Usually the bank will be the title holder in such as case, but it’s advisable to check)
  6. Is the hull blistered or showing signs of separation at the hull to deck joint?
  7. Is the boat equipped with 2-Stroke or 4-Stroke engines? (The initial purchase of a 4-Stroke engine will be more expensive, but the cost of overall ownership will be less.)
  8. Does the gearbox work properly when engaging both forward or reverse?
  9. If the boat is equipped with power trim and tilt operation – is it functioning correctly?
  10. Is the steering system operating freely and smoothly, free of hydraulic fluid leaks?
  11. Is the transom intact without cracks, stress fractures or rotting?
  12. Is the deck showing signs of sagging or cracking?
  13. Is the trailer registered in the name of the seller?
  14. Is the trailer free of corrosion and do the wheel bearings need attention?
  15. Is the trailer free of corrosion and cracks, and are the wheel bearings free of play?
  16. Has the boat been through its regular service requirements and are there logs books and service books detailing work done?
  17. Is the boat being purchased in your region for reasons of recourse if things need repair by the dealer?
  18. Is your spouse aware that you are purchasing a boat? (very important!)
  19. Do the motors start easily and the impellers pump a solid stream of water?
  20. Do all your checks pan out? If not, get a marine surveyor or a marine dealer to appraise the boat for you.


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