Boat Pre-Purchase Inspections: What You Need to Know as a Buyer

Posted on: 15 November 2016

If you're planning to purchase a boat, seeking a pre-purchase inspection is wise. Just as it is the case when buying a car or a house, a boat pre-purchase inspection allows you to carry out the necessary due diligence before closing the deal. This is especially important if you don't know much about boats. Below, find out more about what a boat pre-purchase inspection entails for you as the prospective buyer.

How it's done          

On your part, the most important task you have to do during a pre-purchase inspection is to find a qualified and licensed boat inspector. The best inspectors are those that also double as or work with boat servicing companies as they are able to accumulate more field experience. After picking an inspector, all you have to do is inform the boat seller that you want to have an inspection carried out. Most sellers will not have a problem with this.

On the inspection day, both you and the seller should be there when the boat inspector arrives. The seller will show him or her around and then the inspector will carry on with their work. The inspection duration will vary depending on the size of the boat. However, in most cases, an inspection lasts several hours. Once done, the boat inspector will compile a signed report and deliver it to you.

What is checked 

Everything is checked during a boat inspection. The more thorough the inspection is; the better for you. Most inspections will cover the bodywork, the trailer, the motor and the gearbox, steering, batteries, fuel and lubricants, cooling and manifolds, navigation equipment, and the boat's service history.

However, note that there are different types of pre-purchase inspections and they are all priced differently. Cheaper inspections may not be so thorough and may only focus on the most critical areas of the boat.

How a boat pre-purchase inspection helps you

By doing a pre-purchase inspection, you can find out if the boat is in the condition you expected. If it has major issues, you can turn down the deal at this point and save yourself the trouble. You can also find out how much work or money is needed for repairs and upgrades before you commit yourself. Finally, completing the inspection will allow you to renegotiate the sale price if certain standard repairs are needed.

In most cases, your local boat service centre may have or know a qualified marine inspector, so you can start your search there if you do not have anyone in mind.