Boating Tips

Boating Tips: Long Distance Purchase Pitfalls

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What spurred this article to life was an email from one of our readers asking if he should pay a deposit on a boat that he was about to purchase “at an excellent price” long distance. Our answer to his question was a categorical NO!

Buying a boat is not an easy process, but buying it long distance is even more challenging and is often very disappointing, not to mention a waste of precious time. All too often, boat buyers will travel long distances to purchase a boat, only to find it is far from the “perfect” condition described in the advertisement.


Always remember that the seller has a vested interest in getting the best price for the boat. If this means taking a picture of the boat in the best possible light, at the correct angle to eliminate possible hull cracks and blistering, then it is understandable why simply viewing the pictures of the boat in a print or online ad is not failsafe.

The seller’s “excellent condition” could well be your “bad condition” so beware, pictures can be very misleading. The tendency is for the seller is to paint the best possible picture of the boat and skirt any problem areas.


Formulating a variety of questions that pertain to the boat’s condition, before phoning the buyer, will allow you to narrow down the real problems and hopefully, highlight any major flaws. No seller is going to respond to a general question about the boat’s condition by saying it’s a heap of rust waiting to sink.


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