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Old 02-03-2005, 07:08 AM
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Default Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

Since I new to boat shopping and I am sure there are many others lurking around this board who are in the same proverbial boat that I am. I would like to draw the massive amount of boating knowledge among all of the users of this forum to develop a list of questions that you should ask when you are looking at a used boat. I am sure there are things that many of you have learned through years of boating that a first time buyer will not know to ask. If there is an answer that you are looking for, include that too, like in the servicing of the motors question below.

1) How many hours to the motor(s) have on them?
2) How often do you have them serviced? (Annually by Cert. Mechanic is Ideal)
3) Has the boat been stored in the water or on a trailer?
4) etc etc etc

Thank you for your input.

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Old 02-03-2005, 07:27 AM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

I'd be sure to ask if the hull has a transferable remaining warranty. My Scout was only three years old when I bought it used, and the five year warranty was not transferable. (I believe Scout does allow this now...)

Anyway, there are some issues with the weight of the electronics in the box in the t-top and the console cracked, the lagre screws in the deck do not tighten the t-top anymore, and needless to say all this will cost some bucks to fix...

warranties are nice
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:30 AM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

Is the boat/motor/electronics stolen?
Is there water in the transom?
Are the hubs/bearings on the trailer rusted and ready to seize up?
When's the last time the seals on the trailer axle were serviced?
What size hitch ball is required?
What type of electric plug is required by my rig for trailering?

You might ask how I know to ask these things?????
Bitter experience is an excellent instructor.
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:46 AM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

Always have a boat surveyed! Ask for service records. We have our boat serviced and stored by a MerCruiser dealer, so if we were going to sell it, the buyer could get the service history from the dealer. Always ride the boat before you make the purchase. Have the engine checked out by a certified marine machanic. Even if you can pay cash for the boat, take a boat loan, so that a bank gets involved in the purchase. The bank will usually do a title search on the boat before they loan you the money, and a rep from the bank will usually be at the closing if it is a large amount of money. The bank wants the certificate of title. You can easily pay off the note after making a few payments.
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Old 02-03-2005, 08:10 AM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

I guess the first question you have to ask is of yourself. Why am I not hiring a professional surveyor? I donít mean anything derogatory, but if you donít know the questions to ask you are certainly behind the eight ball from the get go. The old adage ďbelieve half of what you hear and most of what you seeĒ certainly would apply here but unfortunately in the case of boats you canít believe half of what you see either. My best advise you be to get a professional surveyor. It will save you money in the long run.
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Old 02-03-2005, 08:33 AM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

Yes,

I completely agree that you should hire a professional surveyor, but If I have found 30 boats in my area that I am interested in, I am not going to hire a surveyor to do a survey of all 30 boats. You should have a list of questions that you want answered in oder to weed out those Boats that are undesirable. Then, when have come to one boat that you would like to purchase, you can get the survey done to be sure that everything is up to snuff with the boat. These are questions that should be asked while shopping.

Beyond that I have grown up with boats and have been on the water my entire life. In my teenage years I was a deckhand on a 36 Hatteras on the Texas coast and we ran 70 charters a summer (June/Jul/Aug). I have a lot of boating knowledge but unlike some of you who believe that they Know Everything there is to know about boating, I feel that there is always more to learn. So by asking the question, "What Questions to Ask When Buying A Used Boat" I am hoping to create nice long list of questions that are 90% what everyone would already ask and 10 % something new that you did not think to ask. In the end this WILL help the many people who vary in their knowledge of Boats and Boating to be better informed and more educated when making a boat purchase.

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Old 02-03-2005, 08:34 AM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

"Why aren't my surveyor and engine specialist here yet?"

and, after a clean bill of health from them,

"Would you be willing to knock a couple of thousand off for the condition of the gel coat?"

You will hire these professional inspectors I trust.
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Old 02-03-2005, 08:43 AM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

No better advice than given above to hire a surveyor, especially if the boat is significant in size and cost. Perhaps some of these questions will help:

In addition to the above ask for the service receipts for work claimed to have been done.

Is the motor the original that came with the boat?

Was the boat and/or motor used in salt water?

If so, how was it taken care of to remove the salt?

How frequently was the motor serviced and where, by whom?

Where and how was the boat and motor stored during the winters?

Was there any accident that involved the boat & motor?

If so what was the extent of damage and who effected the repairs?

Carefully look at damaged/repaired areas to determine the quality of repair.

Sight along the hull to see if there is a hook in the hull?

What kind of use has the boat/motor experienced; WOT vs. trolling?

Are all the rails, cleats, etc. through bolted with backing plates, or are these items screwed on?

How many bilge pumps are there?

Are they automatic using float switches?

Check the float switches for plugging?

What is the bilge pump(s) rated at?

If scuppers are involved, what size are they?

Are they above water level where they exit the boat?

If electronics are included, what condition are they in?

Any transferable warranties on any of the items?

Covers included?

Trailer included?

Galvanized or painted trailer?

Condition of wiring on trailer?

Condition of boat accessories: running lights, PFDs, line, anchor chain & rode, etc?



Enough for now. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:39 PM
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Default RE: Questions to ask when buying a used boat.

I like to throw in a few questions of a non-technical nature to give me an idea of what kind of seller I'm dealing with, such as:

- Why are you selling the boat?
- What do you really like about the boat?
- What do you really NOT like about the boat?
- What's the worst problem you ever had with this boat?

Watch for lame or evasive answers. Most sellers have already thought about what to say if the first question comes up, so you might want to ask a few related follow-up questions to make sure they're being honest, ie "Oh, you're getting a bigger boat? What are you buying, when will you close on the deal, why was this boat too small," etc.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:10 PM
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I really like all these questions. Is it really necessary to hire a surveyor if I am spending under 4500 for a 20+ year old boat?
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackendabocs View Post
I really like all these questions. Is it really necessary to hire a surveyor if I am spending under 4500 for a 20+ year old boat?
$500 may save you $4000.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:19 PM
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The older the boat the greater the potential formajor problems

ASSUME that owner and broker are not telling you the full story

I looked for 18 months before I got my current boat . . . I never imagined that I would meet so many liars in so short a period of time and so few honest people.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:14 PM
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There are lots of boats for sale, that's true. But narrowing down the huge list by condition is the wrong approach, I think. You should narrow your list down to one or two models based on features and capabilities. Say boat layout--center console--for example. Then, by size and mfg. I don't know, pick one you like based on build quality, known for helm ergonomics. Then narrow your choice more by engine mfg--maybe mercury. Then by HP and, maybe, color. (if that matters). NOW once you have your REQUIREMENTS you can look for that particular boat for sale. You might find a few. That's when you start asking the questions and perhaps hire the surveyor to sort out the final selection.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:34 PM
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Last edited by alligatorgar; 08-10-2011 at 06:39 PM.
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