Buying a Second Hand Boat Checklist and Mistakes to Avoid

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Each one of us has been on a boat trip or a brief boat ride. Especially when the weather is great, the waters are in a mood then this ride gets so enthralling!

Boating is cherished by many — thus it could pose a great business opportunity for some.

People interested in aquaculture would also be in need of a boat for fishing. Buying your boat is essentially the first step towards the fulfillment of your sailing cravings.

You should be highly cautious and you must make an informed decision while buying your first boat.

Buying a boat, whether new or used is itself a large investment. You must be able to plan your finances properly.

It must be according to your needs, rather than your desires since purchasing a boat for the first time is rather an experiment for novice sailors.

This article will enumerate the benefits of buying a second-hand boat. You will also get proven tips that you must keep in mind while making your purchase. Please read thoroughly if you seriously want to buy a used boat.

Benefits of buying a second-hand boat

For first-timers and beginners, boating can be a strong desire. It is an initiation of a new business, work, or a new hobby. Well, a new boat might look swanky and posh, but always remember that all that glitters is not gold.  

Perhaps, due to naive technical knowledge and estimations, you might often stumble on a boat that is not suited for your needs and your investment might wholly go in vain if made.

Thus, it is generally recommended that you must buy a used boat for the first time since it will help you to experiment with your needs and comforts without the regression of losing a huge investment in the future.

Second-hand boats are as functional as the new ones since boats have a great life expectancy. So you must certainly not be worried about the functionality unless you buy it from a suspicious seller or you place your bet on a boat from the 90s.

Deciding upon the type of boat needed

Your first step is to decide the type of boat you need to buy. It all zeroes down to the purpose for which you want to buy a boat.

There are several brands of boats available in the market which might confuse you. It is important to bring your desires to a point where you know what your requirement is.

Some people might seek a fishing boat, while the luxury seekers would probably go on for a yacht. Well, it solely depends on your requirement on what type of boat you want.

Yet, to help you decide on the right boat to buy, here are awesome boat types you should be aware of:

  1. Kayak/Canoe: This type of boat are mainly for sport and adventure lovers. It works best in an active flowing river. They are not very big so could be carried off the water. They cost less comparatively but are only for specific niche customers.
  2. Party Boat: These boats are a great investment if you want to have fun with your pals, or earn some income by renting them. If you live in the states then you can earn tons by renting it. Party boat comes in varied sizes, shapes & varieties.  A second-hand party boat might need refurbishment or it might be already refurbished.

Having a budget  

How much are you willing to spend? Perhaps a used boat might cost you some peanuts or might even touch the ceilings. The depreciation rate of boats is much lower than cars, thus if your budget is low, you might want to consider an old boat.

Having a budget would help you determine the condition in which you want the boat which — will eventually narrow down your choices and help you to select the right boat.

Refurbished or non-refurbished?

Used boats usually come in two varieties:

  • Refurbished
  • Non-refurbished.

Refurbished boats are the ones that are akin to new boats, with the only difference being that they are second-hand.


Well in basic terms, refurbished boats are used but they have gone under significant renovation, reconstruction, and repairs to make them similar to a new boat in order to lure potential customers.

On the other hand, non-refurbished boats are the ones which you will get in the same shape and form as the previous customer had. Undoubtedly, refurbished boats are more expensive than non-refurbished ones.

But you must note that most non-refurbished boats also require refurbishment at some point in time, thus the entire cost of the repairs falls on the customer. It is advisable to buy refurbished boats if your budget permits.

Some questions to consider before cracking the deal

  1. What is the frequency of the servicing of the boat?
  2. What is the reason for the previous owner selling it?
  3. Offshore during extremes? Where was it boat kept?
  4. Is there any warranty period left to use?
  5. What is the time for which the engine was running?
  6. What were the problems with the boat in recent history?

These are essential questions that must be addressed to the seller. If you feel convinced by the answers make your purchase only then. Else you have other options in the store.

Extra tips

It is always advisable to buy the boat directly from the seller. You might encounter a broker or a middleman who is capable of charging very high commissions. Secondly, the credibility of such brokers is also a big question mark.

Yet, if you feel convinced with the reputation of the broker (In this case mostly e-commerce websites), then you can approach them.

It is also advised to compare more boats with respect to the aforementioned questions. You should give major focus on the existing quality, the time since last brought, and the number of previous owners.     

Wrap Up

I’m confident that this article has enlightened you on the important things you should know about used boats — even before you spend your hard-earned money.

You must adhere to these tips for a safe purchase. There are significant risks involved, thus you must remain cautious at all times. Happy sailing!

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