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Thread: Looking at buying a used boat

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    Member daldrupjm's Avatar
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    Default Looking at buying a used boat

    I am looking at buying a used Bayliner but don't have much experience with buying boats. When you get the apprasial done does the appraiser inform you if this is a good boat to buy or are they legally obligated to stay quiet? If they can't talk is there anyone out there that I can call or get in touch with that will come out and look a boat over thoroughly before I purchase it? Thanks for any help.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    A marine surveyor is who I would get to appraise the boat. They are CG sanctioned and are obligated to be honest. However, surveyors/appraisers are not mechanics, besides the boat is usually out of the water when they make their survey so they don't get to see the machinery in operation. I'd have a qualified mechanic that was lower unit savvy give her the once over if you want to be sure. Or else have a contract where you hold 3,500.00 off the final price till there is a sea trial and if it checks out close the deal.





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    Member daldrupjm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information. The guy I have spoke with about a boat said after he sells it he is taking the money and the boat to a mechanic to have the seals replaced and the lower unit looked at as the boat has been sitting for a year. Which I would get this in writing before any cash is exchanged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daldrupjm View Post
    Thanks for the information. The guy I have spoke with about a boat said after he sells it he is taking the money and the boat to a mechanic to have the seals replaced and the lower unit looked at as the boat has been sitting for a year. Which I would get this in writing before any cash is exchanged.
    That is OK, sort of. What if after the mechanic looks it over or while replacing the seals he encounters another issue that is not "covered in writing", the owner has an easy way to back out of paying the cost for repair. This is not to say that there is not some other issue with the boat that gets overlooked and rears it's ugly head later on.

    There is no way I would agree to a purchase prior to having a mechanic and marine surveyor give it a going over, and I would be very hardpressed to buy it without running it on the water if it is claimed to be in good working order.

    Being a mechanic myself and having repowered some boats over the years, as well as owning and working (commercial fishing) on boats over the last 30 years, I have confidence in what I see when looking one over. I say this only to give you perspective on where my opinion comes form, it is worth every $cent to pay for a professional to check the boat out.

    Also, if you are financing the purchase you need to ask the bank what exactly they require to qualify for the funds, some banks/credit unions will only accept a marine survey or assement from certain indvivduals or companies in this regard.,

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    Member daldrupjm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information .338WM, the bank that I have contacted does require an appraisal before they will lend me any money. I have wanted a boat for years and we are just about in the area of being able to get one. I do have experience with boats in the aspect of driving and using but as for what to look for when I am purchasing one, well I am in unchartered territory here. My biggest fear is looking at one and thinking it is all straight just to find out it needs a lot of cash dropped just to get it going safely. I would have a surveyor look at it and then hopefully a mechanic before purchasing it but I keep stopping myself because of the money needed in order to have these people look at it.

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    Check out Alaska Boats and permits, a lot of good boats are comming on the market and a lot more will be with the catch sharing plan cutting the Charter limit to one Halibut. So dont rush into anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daldrupjm View Post
    Thanks for the information .338WM, the bank that I have contacted does require an appraisal before they will lend me any money. I have wanted a boat for years and we are just about in the area of being able to get one. I do have experience with boats in the aspect of driving and using but as for what to look for when I am purchasing one, well I am in unchartered territory here. My biggest fear is looking at one and thinking it is all straight just to find out it needs a lot of cash dropped just to get it going safely. I would have a surveyor look at it and then hopefully a mechanic before purchasing it but I keep stopping myself because of the money needed in order to have these people look at it.


    The money spent for such inspections pales in comparison to the potential money pit you may otherwise be purchasing. Reverse your point of view and consider the cost as protection for the $$$$$.00 you are going to drop on a boat. It is not fullproof, but think a moment of how much you would spend in order to save yourself $5000 to $10,000 dollars.

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    I was in the same situation as you and had the owner take the boat to the local dealer for an inspection. It cost around $250 and the owner ended up replacing spark plugs at the dealers recommendation. In my case the boat was listed in the blue books so a marine appraisal was not necessary. Interestingly enough, the basic boat listed in blue book was 10k under asking (common for boats), but the options added up showed market price.

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