What is the best advice to know when looking into buying your first boat?

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.

  1. Always get an out of water survey by an independent Surveyor who knows both engine and boat. Make sure he is qualified.
  2. Qualified means experienced not just a Boat Surveyors course.
  3. If it is a Yacht get a qualified rigger to check the rigging.
  4. Do not place a deposit unless the broker or owner has tested her before the survey.
  5. 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.
  6. If you buy through a boat-broker make sure he has a Trust Account.
  7. I suggest you carry out the test-sail or motor after the survey. It is safer and more productive to do it afterwards.
  8. 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.
  9. Make sure the safety equipment is checked. This includes pulling out all the life-jackets to check them.
  10. The terms of the sale should allow you to withdraw your offer up to the point of sale and get your deposit back.
  11. Make sure that when you pay your deposit you get the inventory of all that goes with the boat.
  12. 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
  13. Make sure the owner is the owner – ask for proof.
  14. Make sure the Hull Identification Number is the same as on the vessel registration papers.
  15. 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.
  16. Make sure you have somewhere to moor or berth your boat as you may have to move it immediately you buy it.
  17. 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. Desmond Last

What is the best advice to know when looking into buying your first boat?

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