Arizona Fishing Forums on AZBZ banner

Buying a used boat HELP!

848 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  On The Fly!
We are wanting to purchase a used boat. We went through Props Plus to do the compression check, came out fine and everything else they checked for came out great too! Should we still ask the seller to take us for a drive on the lake?
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Don't see why you would not want to ride in it, Unless you have ridden in this model of boat before. Every boat I have driven has it's own personality and the current owner can go thru its traits on the ride.
I bought my boat through The seller sent me about two dozen pictures, we negotiated a price assuming there were no problems. The boat was in Minneapolis, MN, so I flew from Phoenix on a Wednesday, I drove the boat (with seller in the passenger seat) around Lake Minnetonka for an hour on Wednesday afternoon, bought the boat that night, and flew back on Thursday. The seller gave me the phone number of a shipper that was bringing his parent's Jeep to Scottsdale the next day and so I hired him to bring my Ranger back with him too. Sunday night the boat was at my door step on a flat bed truck. Knowing the cost of the logistics (airfare, motel, shipping) the seller knocked another $1,000 off the price.

All of that to say, you're spending your hard earned money and you should make sure all is well with the boat by taking it for a ride. Most owners expect to do that for the seller.
We are wanting to purchase a used boat. We went through Props Plus to do the compression check, came out fine and everything else they checked for came out great too! Should we still ask the seller to take us for a drive on the lake?
Always take it to the lake, if they so no dont buy it.
Never buy a used boat that you cant run wide open throttle on, if the seller wont let you dont buy it, cause that means its messed up.

if you get an alarm when running wide open have it looked at, before you buy it , it could be something simple and it could be something pretty bad,


TEST DRIVE - You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it first, would you? Same holds true with a boat, even more so than a car. They tend to require more attention and maintenance than cars. When you test drive the boat pay close attention to the following things while underway:

- Vibration: If it vibrates it could mean a variety of things like a bent propeller.

- Functioning Trim: check to make sure the trim works, which allows the motor to move from the down position to the angled position.

- Response: Rapidly, but carefully, test the steering from one direction to another to see how long it takes the boat to respond.

- Planing: Check to see how long it takes the boat to plane after take off.

- Shifting: Does the boat slip smoothly into gear, or does it jump?

- Reverse: Make sure the boat works in reverse.

- Gauges / Instruments: Check the temperature, RPM, and speedometer for proper function.

- Bilge: Make sure it is doing it's job. If your test ride is not long enough to tell, when you get back to the dock run some water in the engine hole with a water hose until the bilge kicks on


Check to see how many hours are on a boat. You measure a car's use by miles and a boat's use by hours. If a boat has more than 500 hours you can expect to pay some money in upgrades and maintenance.


Wood and water don't mix, especially in the floor of a boat. Carefully inspect the floor for soft spots, which indicate rot. Don't be afraid to get on your hands and knees and smell for floor for mildew.


Ask for a maintenance history on the boat. Find out what major repairs have been made to the boat. If a lot of work has been done to the boat, chances are there will be lots to come, which translates into dollars. Ask if the boat is still under warranty. Also, ask who the boat owner used for repairs and make a point to talk to them.


It's a good idea to have a qualified marine mechanic thoroughly inspect the boat before purchasing it.


Take a walk around the boat and inspect the hull and make sure it is in good condition. Feel free to tap on the hull all the way around and make sure the hull is consistently solid. Mismatched paint is a sign the boat has been in an accident. Also check for gelcoat blisters and dry rot.


Check the prop for warping, cracks, or nicks. Any of these things can throw off the performance of the boat.


How has the boat been stored while not in use? Was is stored outside and exposed to the sun and weather? Or was it kept in protected dry storage?


Depending on how the boat was stored can affect how the upholstery has held up over the years. Check for ripped seams and color fading. Also check the boat cover if there is one


check the trailer thoroughly look for rust Check the hubs.Check the bearings,pull on the wheels to make sure that there is no slop between the bearings and the axle.


Locate the boat in the N.A.D.A. Guide to find out the price value range for the model and year. Remember, if the boat is priced at the low end or lower than the low end it's likely the boat's had a history of problems and there is a reason the owner wants to get rid of the boat
See less See more
Jerkbait, Very impressive post! A sea trial is a must....

1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.