Like buying a used car, looking over used boat listings requires every buyer to be cautious. While the boat you're considering may look like you've stumbled upon a hidden treasure there is always the possibility that you could also be picking up someone else's problem. We all have the hidden fear and anxiety often associated with purchasing something used but those nervous thoughts can be eased when you know what signs to look for that could be a warning of trouble down the road.
Where To Look?
One of the first things you want to do is seek out several sources for used boat listings. There are lots of places to look into including newspapers, magazines, online resources, and even bulletin boards in your local community. You might find a sign on a boat parked somewhere in your neighborhood that offers you a great deal. Ideally, look for someone you know who has a boat for sale. You might even have some knowledge of the boat itself or at least someone who knows about its true condition. If this is the case, then many of the worries associated with buying used boats can be eliminated. But if you can't find someone you know to sell you the boat, then its time to start looking in other places for a boat to buy.
Finding A Dealer:
Finding a reputable dealer should be your next option. One of the advantages of buying a used boat from a dealer is that they will have a wider range of used boat listings to choose from. You could probably look over and compare twenty different boats in the time it will take you to see one from a private seller. They also usually have qualified boat experts who can answer all your questions on the different types of boats they offer and could help you to hone in on a specific boat to meet your needs. Dealers usually have a short-term warranty so if you have problems after you bought the boat you won't have any trouble getting your issues addressed. This is highly unlikely when you're buying from a private owner.
Once you've found a deal you can live with, you want to make sure that you're getting a fair price. Just like cars have the Blue Book to provide you with an idea of pricing, boats also have a book you can refer to. The prices may not be exact but they will give you a ballpark figure that can be used to start negotiations.
Whether you get a used boat from a private party or a dealership, it pays to carefully examine the boat before purchasing. Make sure you walk around it and closely examine its condition. Its outward appearance can tell a lot about how well it has been cared for. If it has a lot of scratches, is dirty and unkempt, imagine what problems might be lurking out of sight. There are plenty of good deals for boats to be found but there are probably just as many pitfalls you need to be watchful for. Just as when purchasing a used car, always use extreme caution and take your time before making a decision. This way, you'll have a better chance at finding a boat that you and your whole family will be able to enjoy.