My answer to What is the best advice to know when looking into buying your first boat?
Answer by Desmond Last:
It will depend on if it is Power or Sail. But here is some advice that is generic to both. This is for a primarily for a Used Yacht or Powerboat that is in the water rather than on a trailer.
- Always get an out of water survey by an independent Surveyor who knows both engine and boat. Make sure he is qualified.
- Qualified means experienced not just a Boat Surveyors course.
- If it is a Yacht get a qualified rigger to check the rigging.
- Do not place a deposit unless the broker or owner has tested her before the survey.
- Always put in an offer and get a receipt for your deposit with the terms of the sale. If it is a Private owner then you should not have to place a deposit but he could sell the boat to somebody else. You can always put the sale through a broker for a fee.
- If you buy through a boat-broker make sure he has a Trust Account.
- I suggest you carry out the test-sail or motor after the survey. It is safer and more productive to do it afterwards.
- If the survey show faults with the boat and you negotiate for the repairs to be carried out – get the surveyor to recheck teh repairs.
- Make sure the safety equipment is checked. This includes pulling out all the life-jackets to check them.
- The terms of the sale should allow you to withdraw your offer up to the point of sale and get your deposit back.
- Make sure that when you pay your deposit you get the inventory of all that goes with the boat.
- Make sure you get legal title by checking there is no money owned on the boat and by receiving a transfer of title signed by the owner
- Make sure the owner is the owner – ask for proof.
- Make sure the Hull Identification Number is the same as on the vessel registration papers.
- Some brokers will pay off a loan on the boat with your payment – make sure get the paper trail and a certificate showing no money is owed.
- Make sure you have somewhere to moor or berth your boat as you may have to move it immediately you buy it.
- If the boat has been on inland waters for most of its time do not head straight out to see until you are thoroughly familiar with her.