Used Boat Inspections for Peace of Mind
You have dreamed about it, given it serious thought, now you’re ready to pull the trigger on the single most important purchase you will ever make … a boat! Slight exaggeration? Maybe … it’s not exactly the most important purchase you will ever make but owning a boat can greatly enhance your life. Boating can provide countless hours of fun, stress relief and great memories with family and friends. However, purchasing the wrong boat may induce the opposite … headache, misery and endless expense. Shopping for your dream boat can create such excitement. That excitement can easily overtake practical and wise judgement.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself from the aforementioned pitfalls, especially if purchasing a pre-owned vessel. Buying a boat is serious business and as such deserves significant thought and effort. Due diligence should always include a boat inspection by a professional. Knowing what to check before purchasing a boat and hiring an unbiased expert to perform the inspection can save you from wasting precious time and money. This important step can allow you to enjoy many years of safe and carefree adventures on the water.
The Importance of an Inspection and Survey
Researching what type of boat fits your needs (and budget) will narrow down the selection of vessels from which to choose. Once you have accomplished this, it’s now time to start seriously looking. Like a home and a car, a boat is an investment and deserves prudent pre-purchase effort. A boat can look like it is in top shape, the engine may run perfectly, but without expert knowledge of what to look for, there could be hidden issues that can present major problems in the future. A trained professional can help identify potential red flags, so you do not have to navigate the process blindly. Pensacola Shipyard has independent on-site contractors and surveyors who can provide thorough used boat inspections as well as surveys to determine condition and value.
Making a List, Checking it Twice
Certain items are non-negotiable on the inspection checklist of any potential boat purchase. First, a thorough walkaround of the boat to examine the hull and gel coat for any scratches, dings or damages is essential. The steering/helm station as well as the deck and fittings should be checked to ensure they are secure and sound. The engine and mount require a physical inspection prior to starting up. If the vessel has a cabin, it should be checked out as well. Additionally, a sea trial is mandatory prior to finalizing a purchase. Notice how the boat starts and runs, listen for any vibrations or odd noises. Check the throttle and shifter. Are they performing properly and smoothly? How is the vessel’s maneuverability?
This represents the minimal checklist to be completed, and while it may seem daunting, it need not be. A proper boat survey will check all these items and more.
Boat Surveys … Why, Who, Where?
A boat survey not only consists of a detailed inspection, it also provides valuable information about the vessel’s value. If you are getting a loan, most institutions will require one. The survey will usually start with verification of the hull identification number (as with a car’s VIN number). Additional items the surveyor will include are in-water surveys, bottom or haul out surveys, engine survey and a sea trial. Each of these inspections are informed with a detailed, expertly trained eye. Moisture readings, electrical and plumbing components, propeller, underwater gear and fasteners are all carefully scrutinized. The survey can reveal maintenance and mechanical issues and determine the boat’s safety and seaworthiness. The survey is a key part of the boat buying process, especially with a pre owned vessel. Hiring an experienced surveyor and having the proper place for the inspection are critical to ensuring a reputable survey.
Pensacola Shipyard not only has access to independent surveyors with years of industry knowledge, we have the perfect location and set up for your professional survey.
Get a Thorough Inspection
A pre owned boat in good condition can be a solid and amazingly fun investment. A thorough inspection and checklist by a professional can help ensure you don’t get stuck with little fun and big expenses and a survey will also give you peace of mind about the vessel’s value.