What Are the Best Tips for Purchasing a Used Fishing Boat?

Patti Kate

A used fishing boat can be a good bargain, as long as the buyer does his homework. It is important before buying a used boat to inspect the vessel carefully to check for damage or other flaws that may need to be fixed before it is seaworthy. It is also important to consider whether a used fishing boat needs a motor that might have to be purchased separately. Boat buyers also must be careful that all the paperwork for the transaction is handled properly.

Used fishing boats should be inspected thoroughly before being bought.
Used fishing boats should be inspected thoroughly before being bought.

Before purchasing a used fishing boat, the buyer should be certain he will obtain the necessary paperwork from the seller. This paperwork will show that the used fishing boat has not been stolen. This will include a title for the boat, to be transferred to the new owner after the deal is officially completed. A title will be necessary for registration of the used fishing boat, and without one, the individual could be subject to substantial penalty charges. It is also crucial to inspect the second-hand fishing boat for damages or flaws that could present safety issues.

Before purchasing anything, a boat's propeller should be carefully inspected.
Before purchasing anything, a boat's propeller should be carefully inspected.

A refurbished fishing boat that will primarily be used in small lakes and streams will most likely require only a small motor. The new owner should obtain an outboard motor that runs without any vibrating noise. If it is a large fishing boat, the motor will need to be more powerful to efficiently run without stalling. Purchasing a motor separately can be an added expense. Even if a used fishing boat has been acquired at a good price, it might not be a great deal if an additional outboard motor has to be purchased separately.

If the used fishing boat is made from fiberglass, chances are there could be some damage from minor mishaps. A fiberglass fishing boat will generally not stand up to wear and tear as well as a fishing boat made of aluminum. The prospective new owner should inspect the boat for scrapes and chips if it is a fiberglass model, and look for dents and scratches if it is made from aluminum.

Taking the used fishing boat out on the water for a test run before committing to buy is of great importance. Before testing it out, the new potential owner needs to inspect the propeller carefully. Even one slight bend can influence how the fishing boat will run. Any humming noise or vibration coming from the motor or propeller is another signal that something needs repair. Other factors to look out for during a test run is how well the gear shifts and to check for steering response.

Before buying a used fishing boat, the buyer also needs to determine if any maintenance needs to be done. The cost of maintenance and repairs could outweigh the initial investment of the boat. If the seller has stated that he will pay for minor repair work, the buyer should get this in writing.

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Discussion Comments


It is also important to get quotes for boat insurance before you purchase a used fishing boat. Policy prices can vary greatly, and this factor may help you make an informed decision about which boat fits your needs and budget.


@talentryto- Those are good points about buying a used fishing boat. It also wouldn't hurt to have a qualified boat mechanic take a look at any used boat you are considering buying. He would be more likely to find major hidden issues that someone who is less experienced with boats might miss.


Purchasing a used fishing boat is very much like purchasing a used car, so it is import to follow the same advice. Do not take the seller's word for it, but check the boat out to make sure it is running properly. Don't buy the first boat you find, but shop around and compare. Don't be afraid to ask questions and negotiate a better price.

Finally, if you are not sure what you are looking at or are inexperienced in boat motors and maintenance, take along a friend who knows boats. You could be in a lot of trouble if you make used boat purchase without knowing for sure if the boat is in good working order.

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