You have just been to the boat show, you are all excited and ready to plunge into the deep end and buy a boat.
Buying a boat can be one of life’s great experiences, but can turn into a minefield for the uninitiated.
Apart from the motivation to buy a boat you do need to consider how you will use the boat, where will it be moored, should it be trailerable, will it stay at a marina and most importantly, is it the right boat for the job.
As each waterway has its own attributes, you need to do some research and some serious soul searching. For example, a boat used exclusively in the Sandy Straits will require attributes like a shoaldraft, be big enough to stay comfortably overnight and have enough power to get home safely if the weather turns nasty.
If the owner has dreams of going further afield then a boat with more draft or an offshore catamaran, could be a better option. There are some boats that can do both well.
Now that you have worked out the type of boat you need and the amount of money you wish to spend, its time for some serious fender bashing.
Purchasing from an accredited broker can make the whole process a lot easier. Most good brokers will spend some time discussing the buyer’s requirements, their experience and where they intend to use the boat. This ensures that they fit the right buyers with the right owners.
Brokers normally recommend that the boat be surveyed and a test sail be done. They also ensure that the boat is unencumbered, put you in touch with good surveyors and even arrange finance. A survey and test sail become qualifications to the sale of the boat. An independent surveyor will report to the buyer informing them of any problems and is a requirement for Insurance purposes. A test sail makes it quickly obvious that it is the right boat for you.
The buyer pays the cost of a survey and lift on the travel lift or slipway to check the bottom of the boat. The price paid for the surveyor (from $20 per foot), is well worth the satisfaction of knowing you have purchased a good boat.
Purchasing a boat privately can have pitfalls to the uninitiated. The lack of proof of ownership, REV’s check, bill of sale check, survey and test sails requirements all can turn the process into a nightmare.
Brokers have their own listings, although they can also be used to assist the buyer in buying any boat privately or through another brokerage.
Buy the right boat for the area or your future aspirations, have the boat surveyed and go for a test sail. Use an accredited broker, to help make this purchase a rewarding experience.
Remember, “There is nothing- absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” (Quote from the Water Rat, Wind in the Willows: Kenneth Grahame )