what to look at in a used boat?

Discussion in 'Boating' started by msucatfish, May 29, 2009.

  1. msucatfish

    msucatfish New Member

    I don't have a lot of experience owning boats, ok so I have no experience owning a boat, always just got to fishing with a buddy and their boat, so I am looking into getting a used boat to fish with, will probably wait til the winter when people are selling more, so I just wanted to know what areas/qualities/structure/build/equipment should i check when looking at a used boat to make sure everything is in tip top shape?:confused2:
  2. snakeman76

    snakeman76 New Member

    Tallahassee, Fl
    I purchased my first boat in april it is a 14 foot alum with a 15 horse evinrude.The reason for this type was my budget,the kind of fishing I do and where I fish at which is small lakes rivers and streams. When making a purchase look the boat over top too bottom see if any structual repairs have been made and why make the owner operate all the equipment and the motor to show its in good repair finally I would git the owner to take you out on the water in the boat for a test drive. have a friend or relative who is knowledgable in boats help you find and make a purchase.I hope this helps you this was my first post so good luck and good fishing

  3. Pip

    Pip New Member

    I'd say if your really unfamiliar with boats and what to look for. The first thing would be to get with somebody that is familiar with boats.

    ---person mechanically inclined that has been around them and somebody you trust.

    Some things to look at....

    ---structural integrity. Not rotted out. welds cracked. pay close attention to the transom. a lot of older boats used wood in the transon. wood and water don't mix well. rotting is common, but not a death sentence.

    --- have the motor gone over good, compression testing is a good idea. ask for a history of repairs, just like when your looking for a car. when is the last time the water pump was replaced. Don't be afraid to ask for a test drive. Kick the tires, so to speak.

    --- A lot of times the trailer is overlooked but just as important. Check the frame out good, rusting, wheel bearings, winch, tires, Lighting can always be a problem,The hitch, etc.

    Keep in mind that, not all but a lot of people don't like to keep good maintenance on boats. Some have the attitude, "well I only run it a little every year, so there shouldn't be anything wrong"". Neglect is very common with boats and especially trailers. Ask the tough questions. If you get the run around, maybe something is being hidden that you will only find out after the purchase when your on the water planning to have fun.

    I can't stress enough the importance of having somebody with a knowledge of boats that you trust go along and help you. Don't let pride stand in the way of asking for help. I've seen in many times when somebody wants to get that first boat and relies on the seller for honesty. Even the dealers, they want to sell a boat, and get it off their inventory. don't be fooled by smooth talking salespersons. Have it checked out independently.

    I'm sure others will be along to give you some advice. Hopefully your first purchase will be a good one. Good Luck. :)
  4. Iowa_Josh

    Iowa_Josh New Member

    Central Iowa
    Pip is right but I think he just touched one important part. Most people selling boats will seem sincere. They mean well but they just don't know and they'll sell a lot of unknown problems to you. They all ran great before they spent 10 years in the shed or the basement! There's lots of question and answer places all over the net and they'll give you some idea of how many people sink a lot of money into a boat that is supposed to "run great."
  5. pphillips

    pphillips New Member

    i bought my 1st boat(used) in march. i also had no experience w/ buying, owning, or operating a boat. prior to my boat search, i subscribed to the boating forum on this website (it would email me anytime someone would post something in the boating thread), & i read alot of the boating threads that had 2 do w/ the gadgets that go on the boat. by doing that, i learned what gadgets i needed, & what i didnt. for instance, i learned that power tilt & trim, & an onboard charger are good little items 2 have.

    when i started my search, i wrote down everything that i needed to look 4 on the boat, & things that i might possible have 2 add. i looked up the "blue book" value for any boat i was interested in on the internet. for every boat i looked at, i wrote down what it had & what it needed so that i could compare them all. by doing that, i was also able to tell the salesman/seller what the other boats that i was looking at had & that helped me w/ haggling the price down. i was able to get them to come down 1300 off the price, & throw in a new gps(a close out model), rod holders, custom cover, & bimini.

    the mechanic @ the place where i bought it went w/me 4 a test drive (had to coz i had no idea how to drive it). it didnt start, so back it went. it was a disconnected wire, we went out again, ran great.

    a side story about that gps i mentioned earlier: being a newbie, i thought i should baby that gps & never let it sit outside so i took it on & off the boat. i was getting it ready to go 2 the lake, brought the gps out to hook up, set it on the side becoz somebody distracted me, took off 4 the lake, gps falls onto the highway, gets smashed flat. i still hav it in a walmart bag in the garage--i cant bring myself to dispose of the remains.
  6. fishstick

    fishstick New Member

    Fouke, Arkansas
    my advice is to not be in a big hurry to purchase a boat. take your time and shop around. there are some great bargains to be had if you'll be patient and not buy the first boat that u come across in your price range. i looked for a year before the boat i wanted came along but i got it at about half of the blue book value. the fellow who sold it to me had too many toys and didnt have the room to keep this boat and he wanted to get rid of it real bad.so he and i were both happy.
  7. centexcop

    centexcop Well-Known Member

    I bought my first boat when I was 17, (a long time ago). I knew a little about boats,and shopped around quite a bit. I looked at some older boats from private sellers and some from dealers. I ultimately bought one from a dealer. I bought a one year old galaxy that looked to be in immaculate condition. I was told my the marine dealership that it was a great boat with no problems. I took it for a test drive, and it seemed fine.

    For the first few times I took it to the lake everything was fine. Then one day I was fishing on Lake Georgetown the boat wouldn't start. I had to be towed back in to the ramp. It turned out that the alternator was bad, and had been since day one. No big deal, I replaced it and everything was fine.... so i thought.

    I took it to the coast and we were doing a some bay fishing. We were out in the bay and all of a sudden there was a huge amount of steam coming out of the engine compartment. We opened the lid and water was pouring out of one of the exhaust manifolds. Thats also when I found out that the bilge pump wasn't working. It was a close call, but we barely made it back to the shore.

    I took it back to the dealership and they told me that it wasn't their boat. They said they were selling it on consignment for someone. This was the first time that I had heard this. The dealer said that the previous owner didn't winterize it and one of the manifolds had froze and cracked. They had put JB Weld on it. It was on the bottom side and not visible. The sad thing about this is that they knew it and didn't tell me.

    I kept that boat for about 5 years and had to replace the tilt motor, the knuckles on the lower unit, and countless other small problems.

    If you're going to buy this from a dealership, make sure they're reputable. You might even want to take it to a marine mechanic that doesn't work at the dealership to have it checked out. I thought I was getting a good deal and was being smart..... Lessons learned.
  8. coach

    coach New Member

    Greenville , Ms
    msucatfish . my only advice is ,ALWAYS BUY A RIG THAT HAS THE HP ON THE BACK TO MATCH THE MAX. ON THE STICKER .............
  9. msucatfish

    msucatfish New Member

    thanks for all the information it will surely be helpful when i go to looking:big_smile: