Pre-owned boats are obviously more affordable than new ones, and they offer just as much enjoyment and relaxation if you know what to look for when buying. Finding the best deal that suits your budget can mean more years of fun out on the water for the entire family, so you’ll want a boat that is still in a good shape. Though you’ll be hiring a surveyor for the transaction, it pays to take a good look at the boat yourself first to decide whether it’s worth pursuing. Here are some things to check when evaluating boats for sale in Nebraska.
- Hull fix-ups. Observe the hull. Are there cracks on the fiber glass? Does the gel coat finish still look acceptable to you? Does the surface appear straight and not discolored due to patch-ups for existing holes?
- Engine. You actually need a mechanic for this, though serious signs of problems may be quite noticeable even to the untrained eye. In the spot where the engine connects with the boat, there should be no signs of wear, cracks, or leaks. For power boats, pay particular attention to the transom and check for signs of rotting.
- Propeller. A severely worn and thinned propeller will need replacement, but you should also check for other parts in this lower unit area, especially the oil. If the color ranges from white to cream, you’ll need to have the seals replaced. If it’s black, it’s time to change the oil itself. If there are traces of metals, you may have to rebuild.
- Flooring. The floor supports most of the traffic on the boat so it has to be sturdy and flat. If the floor is wavy, it may be poorly constructed. Feel every area for softness, because this is a sure sign of rot, which can be very costly to fix.
A Note from Marine Law
Marine law does not require sellers to disclose any knowledge of damage to the boat, but if you inquire, they have to tell the truth so it’s in your best interest to ask the right questions. Ask the seller or dealer whether the boat has been flooded, sank, or if it has ever been involved in a collision or fire. Even if the boat passes your initial inspection, make sure you still hire a qualified and experienced surveyor since his findings can give you negotiating power on the boat’s price or a confirmation that you should back out.
Ready to shop for a boat now? Boat dealers, such as White’s Marine Center, which serve buyers in Nebraska and nearby states have extensive inventories of used boats. Take note of the tips above when checking a boat so as to get the most out of your investment.
8 tips for buying a used boat, CottageLife.com
How to Buy a Boat, NOLO.com