When buying a boat, consider the following points:
- The condition of the gelcoat, whether the boat has osmosis;
- The condition of the deckhouse, no cracks in the sides of the deckhouse;
- The condition of the portholes;
- Inspect the boat particularly carefully in its widest part – if the boat has been mistreated, you will notice cracks and bubbles in the gelcoat, scratches, and dents on the sides;
open everything you can open – cabinets, and floorboards, inspect all interior surfaces for mold, dirt, and leaks. – upholstery – foul odor and stains will speak for themselves.
Don’t expect a boat over 15 years old to be in perfect condition; even the highest quality materials are subject to time;
check the sails for chafing, mildew, and foul odor;
- How many engine hours, state of dryness;
- Start the engine and listen to it run. Remember that replacing the engine is a significant expense;
Condition of wood/laminate:
all wrinkles, sags, mold, or chips of paint or varnish indicate that the boat was kept in improper conditions – in winter under the open sky or in an unheated hangar. These are not only aesthetic disadvantages but above all disadvantages in terms of safety – if the boat has wintered outside, water trapped in the microcracks of plastic and wood impairs its durability and longevity.
- Check the ease of operation of the helm;
- The travel of the rudder blade, if there is no play if it is not too worn;
- Damping pads and condition of anodes;
- If there is no play on the shaft;
Feel free to ask for a demonstration of how all the systems work. Better yet, record it on video. Most of the buyers can’t remember afterward how and where to turn on everything.
The most undesirable boat damage is the consequence of running aground and hitting the keel. It is advisable to look at the boat when it is raised and make sure it has no cracks in the keel mount or damage to the shaft and propeller blades. Also, be sure to lift all the floorboards and inspect the inside of the keel mounts.
Check the condition of the floats – if there has been a serious keel bump, you will see peeling and cobwebs of cracks.
It is not a good idea to buy a boat only based on technical descriptions and forum reviews. You should go on a boat, and feel how it behaves in different weather conditions. It’s worth taking the boat for a charter or booking a test drive to understand her character and to feel her atmosphere.