what to look for when buying a used boat

4 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Boat

Are you thinking about becoming a boat owner? Good for you! Boating is great for your health. It can help decrease stress and get you some healthy Vitamin D, too. However, if you’re considering purchasing a used boat, you’ll need to do some thorough detective work to make sure you’re not getting a lemon. But don’t worry, it’s easy when you’re armed with the right information! Curious to know more about what to look for when buying a used boat? Keep reading. We’ll review our top four tips for buying a used boat, as well as some great questions to ask the previous owner. Let’s get started!

1. Check the Fiberglass for Cracks

Whether they’re above or below the waterline, cracks in a boat’s fiberglass are bad news. Be sure to check every inch of fiberglass on any vessel you’re considering for purchase. Tiny, spiderweb-like cracks are usually non-threatening. However, if you find cracks longer than two inches, it could mean trouble that requires significant repairs.

2. General Damage Is Key in What to Look for When Buying a Used Boat

In addition to cracks in the fiberglass, look for general damage while you complete your inspection. Any indication of any trauma or deterioration is important to note.

3. Inspect the Belts for Wear

Take a look at the power steering and alternator belts. Are they cracked? Worn down or thin? Take this into consideration before buying a used boat. Poorly cared-for belts may indicate poor care overall.

4. Mold and Mildew Are Bad Signs

Check the seats, carpeting, and storage areas for mold or mildew. Although you can easily replace unsightly upholstery, extensive mildew and mold (especially inside seats) are a bad sign. Similar to mold in a household, it can pop up anywhere where moisture is present. Mold spreads quickly, and a significant mold problem will be difficult to get under control.

Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Boat

Want to know how to buy a used boat with complete confidence? Ask the seller some questions first. Here’s where to start:
  • What year is the boat/ motor?
  • How many hours are on the motor?
  • When and where was the boat last serviced?
  • How long have you owned this boat? What about the motor?
  • Are you the first owner?
  • Has the boat been protected from water damage by a boat lift or any other means?
  • Has the boat sustained any major repairs?
  • When was the last time the boat was in use?
  • Are either the motor or boat still under any warranties?
These questions should give you a great idea of what shape the boat is in. From there, you can make an educated decision about buying.


Now that you know what to look for when buying a used boat, get out there and find the perfect fit for you. Enjoy the freedom of having your own vessel to use whenever you please. Just remember to check any boats you look at for cracks in the fiberglass, damage, and mold. And don’t forget to ask plenty of questions about the boat’s use and repair history. Do you have any questions or comments about boat lifts? Feel free to contact us anytime. We’re here to help! IMM Quality Boat Lifts Call: (800) 545-5603 17030 Alico Center Rd. Fort Myers, FL 33967
what to look for when buying a used boat

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 4 Things to Look for When Buying a Used Boat

Look for cracks, especially those longer than two inches, as they can indicate significant repair needs.

It helps assess the boat's condition and potential hidden issues requiring repairs.

Worn or cracked power steering and alternator belts suggest the boat might not have been well-maintained.

It suggests potential long-term moisture issues that could be difficult to fully address.

Inquire about the boat and motor's year, usage hours, maintenance history, and any significant repairs to gauge its condition.