How to buy a used boat
Buying a used boat is a good way to save a bit of coin when you're looking for your next craft. Hunts Marine has a number of used fishing boats for sale, as well as boats for watersports and transportation. But where do you start when looking to buy a new boat?
What do you want the boat for?
Knowing what you want to use the boat for will determine what features you think are important.
For example, if you want to spend long days out on the water fishing, then something like the Haines Hunter 525 Pro Fish would be the boat for you.
It's a spacious craft, featuring a bimini top that can shade you from the summer sun. It also has a variety of features like front and side clears, a rocket launcher, a bait board, a live bait board and rod racks - perfect for the busy fisher.
If instead, you're after something a little more sporty, you could go for the Glastron GTS205.
It's a 2013 model, with a beastly 260hp, V8 sterndrive engine. The package also include a bimini top, depth gauge, stereo and bunk infill.
Conducting a pre-purchase inspection
Once you know what kind of boat you're looking for (and you've found one you think might be a good fit), you'll need to do an inspection to ensure it's in good condition.
The first thing to do is check the hull - is there any damage, chips or cracks?
That said, all of Hunts Marine's used boats undergo a comprehensive check before we purchase them. The motor is given a compression test of all the cylinders, an inspection of gearbox oil (to test for water) is made and the steering systems are checked too. A report is also made on the condition of the hull, fittings and accessories.
Finally, a full '12 month' service is conducted, including a changing of the water pump. Fittings and accessories are checked again and repairs are made. You can trust the guys at Hunts Marine have done their jobs, but it's still sound practice to inspect a used boat for yourself.
The first thing to do is check the hull - is there any damage, chips or cracks? Aluminium boats can absorb light bumps and scrapes as the metal can simply bend (and subsequently be panel-beaten back into shape). Fiberglass is a little less forgiving, as it's liable to simply crack. Check around fittings too for signs of stress.
You'll want to check that the motor has been properly serviced throughout its life and is in good working order. Less powerful engines suffer more wear and tear, due to the fact that they need to work closer to their maximum output more often, so keep this in mind when buying an older boat.
Then comes the little things: what's the upholstery like? Do all the electronics work? Is the paint job faded? These are all factors that might not be deal-breakers, but you should take them into account if they'll add to your overall bill.
Finally, if and when you can, you should always try and take the boat for a test run. You wouldn't buy a car without test-driving it first - the same applies to a boat. There are certain intangible elements that can't be discovered with descriptions and on-land inspections; how does it tackle rougher water, what is the throttle response like, is it comfortable to ride in - all things you can find out with a test-drive.
If you're looking for a used boat, get in touch with the team at Hunts Marine today to hear all about the models they currently have in stock.