5 Things to Consider When Buying a Used Boat

Baltimore is a nice place to live or visit if you love to have fun on the water. The city’s waterfront location offers a range of water activities like boating, kayaking, and even harbor cruises.

Are you in the market for a used boat? Whether you own a cottage and want to do some fishing or simply enjoy sailing and enjoying some watersports, a used boat can be a good investment. 

But you need to know what to look for to get the right type of vessel for your needs. A good used boat could run you at least several thousand dollars. In these times of inflation and increasing costs of consumer products, you can throw money away. Knowing what to look for will help.

Keep reading to see five things to consider when buying a used boat to enjoy the waterfront.

1. How Much Can You Afford?

The first thing you need to do is figure out a budget. You can often get a used boat for up to 50% less than you’d pay to buy a comparable new model. And considering that boats can go for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, you can appreciate the potential savings. 

Do some research to determine what used boats go for in the Baltimore region and then set a budget. You can buy one outright or get a loan and finance the purchase.

Ensure you consider the costs for storing, mooring, insuring, and fueling a boat. You need to consider all the costs of owning a boat so you don’t regret the experience.

2. What Kind of Boat Do You Need?

It’s also vital that you determine what type of boat you want. Do you want a boat with a motor or are you okay with a boat that requires paddles or oars to navigate the waterways? Do you typically go boating alone or with family or friends? Check out some used boats in person to see the variety. And jot down what you want in a boat. That’ll make it easier to find what you want.

If you have questions, talk to a subject-matter expert at a used boat retailer. Don’t be shy. Ask whatever questions you need answers to. How else will you be able to make informed decisions on something that will constitute a significant investment? There are likely various boats that will fit your needs. The more you know, the easier it’ll be for you to decide.

3. Does the Seller Have Documentation for Title and Registration?

Whether you’re buying from a company or a private seller, you need to ensure you get the title and registration for any used boat you purchase. Don’t purchase a used vessel if the seller doesn’t have this information. The title and registration should include the seller’s name and address. Also, ensure the registration number matches the hull identification number. If you plan to finance your purchase, you’ll need the right documention. Get the title, registration, and bill of sale.

4. What Type of Condition Is it in?

When you go to check out a used boat, focus on the condition of the boat. Does it pass the eye test? Look at the deck and the hull. Look at the engine component to see if there’s anything to be mindful of. If you can get a reasonably priced used boat, you can invest some of the savings into fixing it up or making it even better than it was when it was first manufactured. That might mean looking at outboard electric boat motors, swapping out the seating, or painting the exterior.

5. Do You Need an Inspection?

If you’re buying a new boat, you don’t need an inspection. But you should definitely get one if you’re buying a used boat either from a dealer or a private buyer. Get a marine surveyor to give the boat you want to buy a once-over. The professional will be able to give you the thumbs up or the thumbs down in terms of whether the used boat you want is in good shape.

While you’ll have to get through the winter before you can use a boat, the offseason is often a great time to get one. There’ll be plenty of deals to be had from dealers and private sellers in and around the area. 

Keep these tips in mind so that you find the right boat at the right price.