Tips for buying a second-hand boat

It’s very common for Aussie boat lovers to choose second hand when buying a boat. There are plenty of good quality second-hand boats on the market, if you know where to look and what questions to ask.

Here are our top tips for buying a second-hand boat.

  1. Work out how you’ll use your second-hand boat

Will you be using your boat to fish? Will you be towing a water ski? Are you interested in taking it into the deep ocean, or is the river likely to be your location of choice? Knowing how you will use your boat will help you choose the appropriate second-hand vessel.

Boats with more horsepower tend to cost more. So if you’re not going to be towing or carrying heavy loads, go for something with less power. The general rule of thumb is ‘the lower the power, the lower the price tag’.

  1. Test before you buy

There is literally zero excuse for not testing a boat before making a purchase. Australia is surrounded by water, and there are plenty of lakes and rivers to take advantage of. On top of this, try different boats to see what you like.

Hiring a boat similar to one you think you’d be interested in will give you an idea of whether it’s actually the right vessel for you. Also, ask around. Sea farers love to share their knowledge and experience, so don’t be shy about asking for opinions on different vessels.

  1. Check the boat out

This one may sound obvious, but it is so important to check the boat out first hand. If you don’t feel confident, ask a more seasoned boatie to come along with you. When you’re viewing a boat, ask for its history.

Find out how many past owners it’s had, and get your hands on maintenance or service records. If the boat has had multiple owners, there may be a good reason why it’s been sold so many times.

  1. Key checks

There are many different inspections to make, so we’ll mention the important ones. Are there areas of the boat that look like they’ve been quickly or poorly fixed? If it’s an aluminium boat, check for cracks or corrosion around joints.

Fibreglass boats often have crack around impact areas, so make sure there are no areas starting to fracture. If you’re not 100% sure what to look for, bring a more seasoned friend with you, or ask a marine surveyor for help.

  1. Hidden costs

Does the vessel come with the gear you’ll need to safely operate? Safety equipment is expensive, and if there’s nothing on board, you’ll need to factor this in, on top of the initial cost of purchasing the boat.

Don’t forget that you may also need a trailer, if you’re planning to store the vessel at home. If you’re berthing in a marine, find out what the monthly rent is. If you’re unsure of what all the hidden costs are, ask someone who owns a boat to get a better idea.

Need cover for your second hand boat?

We provide affordable insurance options for second hand boats, and new ones. Contact us for a free quote, and we’ll let you know the costs involved. Having comprehensive cover for your boat is so important, and provides you with the peace of mind you deserve.

Head here to get started.