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I'm going to check out an older boat for a friend of mine who lives out of state. I have bought and sold several boats, so I have a pretty good idea of things to look for and ask about. Just wondering if anyone has ever put together a comprehensive check list to use when taking a look at a used boat that is being considered for purchase. Thanks in advance.
 

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Carpe Diem
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No checklist because every boat is different, but I'd advise spending most of the time checking out the motor. It's the one thing that can cause the most expensive problems. I would be very hesitant to buy a boat with a motor I couldn't run. A sea trial is even better, but not always possible. Check compression and lower unit oil and that it's pumping water. Does the motor idle as it should? Does it shift properly? Look for excessive corrosion, missing parts, leaking gaskets, etc. Is the shaft length right for the hull? Does the warning horn sound when it should or has it been disconnected. Next, go to the hull. Check the transom and hull for cracks and delamination. A hard plastic mallet tapped in questionable locations will give a lot of answers. Check the wiring. Is it neat or a birds nest combo of house wiring and twist connectors? Check that all systems work...trim tabs, trim and tilt, jackplate, powerpole, bilge pumps, live/baitwell pumps, lights, steering. Don't forget the trailer. A trailer in poor condition can cost lots to repair and can leave you stranded on the road home. Trailer condition is typically an indication of the condition of the boat. Finally, make sure the title and registration are in order. Get a bill of sale too.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I'm going to check out an older boat for a friend of mine who lives out of state. I have bought and sold several boats, so I have a pretty good idea of things to look for and ask about. Just wondering if anyone has ever put together a comprehensive check list to use when taking a look at a used boat that is being considered for purchase. Thanks in advance.
The very first thing to do is make sure the title and registration is correct, names match up with seller, no jumping title bs. I would do this BEFORE going to look at the boat. No point in looking if you can’t get it properly registered. If the seller doesn’t have the paperwork correct, I can imagine how they cared for the boat/motor/trailer.
Even if it’s a project boat, trying to get clear titles when all you have is a bill of sale is damn near impossible in some states, (Texas for one). And don’t let the seller bs you and tell you that it’s easy to just apply for a lost title-if it was that easy, why didn’t the seller just do it themselves? (It is easy if you actually own it, not so much if you don’t)
Visual keys on the boat and motor, pronounced scum line on the hull and motor that appears it is there permanently tells you it has stayed in the water a lot and never cleaned. If the hull has that and crazing on the bottom, you can figure the hull is a candidate for delamination. Those tiny cracks get water forced into them when the boat is running and can adsorb water while at rest. Lots of hull patches, walk away.
Half assed repainted motors-no thank you. Unless it’s really old why would a motor need to be repainted? I’ve seen early 90’s motors in perfect shape with just wear on the skeg that have a lot of hours on them, under the cowl they look brand new. But I’ve seen 10year old motors that look like crap, better look into Sea-Tow....
Lots of thing that don’t work but you’re told they are an easy fix...walk away.
Obviously checking the overall condition of the laminate is a must, tapping the hull with a plastic hammer, close visual inspection of both sides of the transom.
What does the bilge look like? God awful mess? Same with wiring. If the wiring looks like a child did it, beware.
Too many people get buyers fever and just have to get this great deal and completely ignore the time and money to get the boat right.
You can make a Tee chart and list all the positives on one side and the negatives on the other. List the estimated costs to correct all the issues and then factor all this into the book values and asking price.
It’s just like buying a car, house etc.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Afterthought: When buying a used boat, don't overlook accessories. Things like anchors and ground tackle, life jackets, cushions, fire extinguishers, bimini tops, push poles, anchor pins, outriggers, safety items, etc. may be available and the owner may not consider the value and will let them go easily to close a deal.
 

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Wow what a well timed thread since I may be going to look at a 14' Ashcraft this weekend. I have printed out DBstoots list, is there anything else i should look for? I am a complete newbie when it comes to power boats. All of my time has been spent in canoes and kayaks. Also is $1000 to $1300 a fair price. Boat comes with a 50 horse mercury.
 

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That Dave's checklist is an excellent resource. I am with FishTex on the paperwork issue. It needs to be current and in the seller's name. I did the "oh I can get it taken care of no problem" thing once. It is a colossal pain in the butt, especially in Texas. Beyond all that, I listen to the boat and motor while we are running and see how it feels on the water. Good luck.
 
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