Inspecting pre-owned boats for sale in Texas before buying one is similar to buying a used car in many aspects – looking for visual damage, assessing the engine performance, checking its history, etc. Matthew Pioro reports on the warning signs that used boat buyers need to be aware of before closing the deal:
Small cracks, such as spiderwebs in localized areas, are mostly cosmetic. They tend to appear near screws that haven’t been countersunk properly around handles, gunwales, and wind-shields. No biggie —but they may get worse if not fixed.
Cracks greater than 2” long suggest larger problems underneath. Ask whether the boat’s been in a collision and look for signs, such as gelcoat patches, that indicate extensive repairs. Get an expert to inspect.
The condition of the seats, interior finishing, and even the accessories such as life vests and life preservers can give you some idea of how the boat was maintained. If the previous owner took time to polish the trimmings, then that’s a good sign that the rest of the boat was treated with care as well. Inversely, a well-maintained exterior could be hiding a dark secret.
Now comes the essential step in buying any vehicle – listening to the engine. You will need to listen to how it fires up as well as its idling. In addition, note if all the instrument lights and gauges are functioning, otherwise these need to be repaired at the owner’s cost.
Does the engine start rough or slip, make excessive noise, vibrate, or smoke? Old gas or too much oil are easily fixed during your first tune-up. However, these symptoms can indicate a bigger problem, such as low compression in the cylinders, requiring a costly engine overhaul.
This is where it gets a bit messy. You will have to feel the texture of the engine oil. If it feels gritty, those are probably metal filings which point to serious engine wear. If the oil has a milky texture, this means water contamination. In either case, if the findings are confirmed by a skilled mechanic from a shop like White’s Marine Center, walk away from this one. There are many other used boats for sale in Texas to look at.
(Article Excerpt and Image from “8 tips for buying a used boat”, Cottage Life)