Evaluating a boat's condition before purchase makes it easier for the prospective owner to say "good buy" or "good bye" to a deal. Likewise, an objective eye for problems that need to be corrected makes it easier to prepare a boat for sale.
Use the checklist below to make a preliminary evaluation:
- Make copies for each boat you look at
- Rate each area using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent
- You may want to keep shopping if your evaluation has more than 10 scores of 2 or under.
- Take a good hard look at what shape the boat is in:
- Is it clean?
- Are there signs of rust, hull blisters, peeling paint or varnish, previous repairs, cracks or corrosion?
- Don't forget to check operating gear like winches, steering systems, running and standing rigging on sailboats, lights, head and galley equipment, electronics and instrumentation.
- Start up the engine and take a sea trial.
- Check for compliance with U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment requirements listed, see, "Required Boating Safety Equipment".
This checklist is NOT a substitute for inspections by a competent marine surveyor and a marine engine mechanic. For more information see, "Getting the Right Survey".