April 15, 2024
boat buying scams

So, you’re in the market for a boat, right? Buying a boat, especially a used one, can be quite the adventure. But it can also be riddled with pitfalls if you’re not careful. As an industrial mechanic turned online entrepreneur, I’ve seen my fair share of scams, bad deals, and good bargains too. With my personal experience and a little help from a great online tool, I’ve figured out how to separate the steals from the scams. Let me share with you 3 vital steps that can help you to navigate these waters.

Step 1: Know the Boat’s History

Think of it like this, would you buy a house without knowing its history? Of course not. So why would you buy a boat without knowing its history? There’s a tool that I’ve found really useful called Boat Alert Hull ID History Search. This report will give you a deep dive into the boat’s history, including theft checks, salvage and total loss, and even some lien databases. It’s one of the best defenses against buying a lemon or a stolen boat.

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Step 2: Beware of the Too-Good-To-Be-True Deal

Just like the used car market, the used boat market has its share of scams. One common one is the too-good-to-be-true deal. You know, the one where the boat is priced way below market value with a story about an urgent need for cash or a recent divorce. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Protect yourself and your investment by being skeptical of such deals.

Before you jump on board, ask to see maintenance records, do a thorough inspection, and most importantly, get that boat history report I mentioned earlier. It might also be useful to get some background knowledge on the most common boat buying scams to ensure you’re well-armed to avoid them.

Step 3: Take it for a Spin

The last step is simple but crucial. Always, always take the boat for a test drive. This is your chance to check the boat’s performance, see how it handles, and make sure everything works as it should. Consider taking along a knowledgeable friend or even a marine surveyor to get a professional opinion.

Remember, buying a boat should be a fun experience, not a stressful one. If you take your time, do your due diligence, and follow these steps, you’ll likely sail away happy. And who knows, maybe your first voyage could be to one of these unforgettable sailing destinations in the U.S. After all, life is an adventure. Why not start yours on the right boat?

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Avoid the Trap of Impulse Buying

Boat buying, like any major purchase, should never be done on impulse. It’s easy to fall in love with a sleek hull or a luxurious cabin, but you need to make sure the boat fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Are you looking for a fishing boat, a speed boat for water sports, or maybe a sailboat for leisurely weekends on the water? Knowing what you want and need can help you avoid the trap of impulse buying and the regret that often follows.

Invest in a Pre-Purchase Inspection

When you’re spending a significant amount of money on a boat, it’s worth investing in a pre-purchase inspection by a professional marine surveyor. They’ll inspect the boat from top to bottom, inside and out, and provide you with a detailed report on the boat’s condition, including any potential issues or needed repairs. This step can provide peace of mind and prevent future headaches and unexpected expenses.

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Think About the Total Cost of Ownership

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While the purchase price of a boat is significant, it’s not the only expense to consider. You also need to think about the total cost of ownership. This includes ongoing costs like maintenance, storage, insurance, fuel, and other operational costs. These expenses can add up quickly and should be factored into your buying decision. Also, consider the resale value of the boat, as you may want to upgrade or change boats in the future.