Buying a boat is one of the most exciting and fun things you’ll do in life, but you need to know what you’re getting yourself into before handing over your money. Do you know what basics to look for when buying a boat? Do you have a list of must-haves?
Before you get carried away with the excitement of getting your new boat, you need to take the time to consider all the small details. Of course, it helps if you are familiar with boats and all the things you need to look for, so it’s important to take the time to familiarize yourself with all aspects of boat ownership before you begin looking for a new boat.
Don’t go in blind when buying your next boat. Instead, take a look at these things you should never overlook when buying a boat, so you’ll be prepared to find your perfect vessel.
Engine problems are one of the most significant issues to look out for when buying a boat. However, they’re also relatively easy to spot if you know anything about boat mechanics.
Aside from taking the boat for a test run, you should take the time to give the engine a once-over. Check the oil for signs of water which could indicate a leak somewhere in the engine. Spark plugs should be free from carbon buildup, and the boat’s engine should run smoothly when the ship is running.
If you don’t know a great deal about boat engines, feel free to bring along a knowledgeable mate or even ask a boat mechanic to take a look before you sign off on the bill of sale. It’s better to know what you’re getting before handing over your money.
Obvious Signs of Repair
While a fresh coat of paint may not necessarily mean that the seller’s trying to hide something, you should be on the lookout for any signs of apparent repairs that the owner hasn’t mentioned to you. Repairs mean that there was previously damage, and if the former owner didn’t repair the boat completely, you could have trouble in the future.
Look for patches of colour that don’t match the original paintwork, dents, scratches, and cracks, especially along the boat’s exterior. These deserve a closer inspection to verify that there are no underlying or unresolved issues with the boat.
Hidden Moisture or Leaks
Since a good portion of every boat is underwater, it can be challenging to detect any signs of leaks that aren’t flooding the cabin. However, a thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of paint can hide a multitude of problems.
Water in the boat’s foam insulation can be harder to spot, but it’s not impossible. If the boat sits at an uneven keel or the scuppers dip below the waterline, something’s not right. Saturated foam could be the culprit, or there could be leaks in the boat’s seams that lie beneath the water’s surface.
Take along a moisture meter to check for saturated foam. If it’s possible, ask to spray the sides of the boat with water so you can check for obvious leaks inside the cabin.
Leaks in Lower Units
Leaks in the lower unit can be tricky to spot, but if you take the time to check, you could save yourself a great deal of trouble down the road. The best way to check the lower unit (sometimes called the gearcase) is to have the boat run for a few minutes, then take a look at the oil inside the lower unit.
If the oil is at all milky in appearance, this means seawater is getting inside, probably through a damaged seal somewhere on the unit. Seawater will eventually corrode the inner workings of the lower unit, so it’s essential to spot and repair a leak as soon as possible to keep the propeller working smoothly.
The electrical system on a boat is essential, but it’s also hard to repair. Wires and access to the electrical components are out of easy reach for a reason (water and electricity aren’t a great mix), but it’s relatively easy to see if there are any problems.
Switch on every electrical item you can find inside the boat, from the lights to the electronics, to ensure that it all works as it should. Locate and examine the fuse box as well. It should be easy to get to, clearly labeled, and in good shape. If it’s not, if there are missing fuses or damaged fuses, ask the owner why they didn’t replace them.
It’s better to know about electrical problems before you take ownership of the boat rather than to find out about them when you’re at sea and trying to enjoy your new vessel.
Bring Your Boat to the Professionals
The best way to keep your boat running smoothly is with regular service at the marina.
Corleone Marinas offers premium harbour experiences across Sydney, including locations in Sydney’s most prestigious sites including Elizabeth Bay, Long Island, Balmain and Drummoyne. Each site offers a variety of options including berths, moorings, on-site slipways and shipwrights.
If you need maintenance or repairs for your vessel due, we can help! Contact us today to learn about our full range of marina services.