Fact: buying a boat that’s second-hand could save you a fortune compared with a brand-new model.

Fact: there are risks involved.

So, how can you mitigate those risks and be sure you’re not wasting your hard-earned cash on a head-turner with hidden flaws? And, what other benefits are there in buying used apart from price?

We’re on a mission to help by offering you all the tips you need to come to an informed decision. Read on for the lowdown that’ll make buying a boat in the Redlands plain sailing for years to come.

A Second-Hand Boat Can Hold Its Value

In a similar way to setting off in a brand new car, the moment you set sail on board your shiny new boat, its value will plummet. So, if you’re buying second hand you could already be in for substantial savings.

There are used boats out there that are as good as new ones but at bargain prices. You’ll also find there are more options to choose from. That’s because there are some excellent available models out there that may not be in production anymore.

The best advice is to make a rule to keep emotions in check when prioritising your choices. Your heart will play a part but don’t let looks deceive you. What matters is what’s going on in the engine and the boat’s overall condition.

Find Your Boat’s Purpose

First up you need to decide the purpose of your boat purchase. What are you hoping to get out of it? Do you need a family, a fishing boat or a combination of both? How important are speed, extras, the number of berths and a galley where you can prepare food?

Take your time researching different boat types and models online. Arguably the most important point to consider when buying a boat is the quality, performance and age of the engine. It’s a smart move to go for an engine or outboard with a solid reputation behind it such as those made by Mercury.

Make the Professionals Work For You

One of the best ways to keep your feet firmly on the ground and get clarity is to buy through a reputable Redlands boat dealer like Mike’s Marine. They act as both a resource and a security blanket. With many years of experience behind them in buying and selling boats, they have built up a reputation that they need to maintain.

Dealers like Mike’s Marine are great places to start for browsing through online listings for Redlands boats for sale. You’ll get a feel of what’s out there, what appeals and an idea of prices. If there’s a boat that takes your fancy, you can instantly make an online enquiry for more information.

Even if in the end, you decide to buy privately, it never hurts to talk through your dreams with an expert. They might give you the steer you need that could make a huge difference in the tack you take in making any big decisions.

An Inspection and Assessment Carried Out by Professionals

The most experienced boat owners can miss an important detail. As well as inspecting a boat yourself, you should engage with a professional to get a thorough pre-purchase boat inspection.

Before you do this, ask how the previous owners have used the boat and determine how long it has spent in salt water. You should also make a judgement about how experienced the previous owners were. Probe deeply about:

  • Maintenance records
  • The boat’s reliability
  • Previous issues, damage and repairs

Detailed and accurate maintenance and servicing records are essential as they act as written evidence of the care the boat has received in the past. It’s vital any previous owners have ensured regular and professional services during the boat’s entire lifetime.

Ideally, there’ll have been an annual service carried out by a certified marine technician.

Be clear about what you expect the price to include. Fishing and safety gear are common exclusions. Electronics are likely to be expensive to replace once removed.

Checks to Carry Out Yourself

Ask about the number of engine hours the boat has completed. Start up the engine yourself and check for any unusual or excessive noise and vibrations. Look for any evidence of oil leaks or rusting.

Check the engine and gearbox oil for cloudiness that might indicate that water has made its way into the oil. If the oil is gritty, that might indicate significant engine or gearbox wear and tear or damage.

Check the working order of the electrical systems and accessories. This can sometimes throw up an issue that the current owner may not have been aware of or considered a problem.

Not All Problems Are Straightforward

When you’ve honed in on your dream purchase, that’s the moment to bring in the professionals, such as Mike’s Marine, to carry out a more detailed and thorough boat inspection on your behalf.

Damage is not always visible. A professional marine technician has the experience to know what to look for. In older boats, mildew and mould can cause serious issues, particularly around the deck coring or transom.

Cracks in the transom are a cause for concern as are watermarks within the cabin that might be evidence of a leaking hull. Electrical systems, pumps, stringers, and joints will all be part of a professional inspection.

Seek Professional Assistance When Buying a Boat

If you fail to engage with experts, you’ll be making a false economy when buying a boat. Their experience, expertise and knowledge can be invaluable and could even prevent you from making a costly error or taking a foolish risk.

If you are not 100 per cent confident in your ability to check every component on board any of the diverse makes and models of Redlands boats for sale, it is vital to get an independent inspection.

In return, you’ll get a detailed checkpoint report on all aspects of the boat such as the engine, hull, electrical system and trailer.

Make Mike’s Marine your first port of call for a comprehensive boat inspection. Get in touch with one of the team today to set one up if you’re buying a boat in the Redlands.