Thinking About Buying A Boat?

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Thinking Of Buying A Boat?


I've often browsed the boats for sale on this site and obviously there are the genuine, 'good' boats out there and the not so good boats. This guide is really just some quick info for the folks that fancy some fun on the river with a limited budget!


when you've found a boat you like some of the things to consider before you bid or purchase are the following:


how will you transport the boat?

where will you store the boat before it goes on the river?

can you afford to insure your boat?

what work needs to be done on it?

how often will you use it?

what will you do with it once you're bored with it and still have to pay mooring costs?

can you afford to spend as much in upgrading/repairing the boat as you can to buy it to begin with?


Boats cost money. Even the cheapest you find will probably cost more than a more expensive boat already in the water. Some things to ask your seller are the following:

Why is the boat for sale?

What work needs to be undertaken to make it water-worthy?

Does it have a BSC? (boat safety certificate) - this is a bit like an MOT on a car and any insurance you get on your boat will be invalid in a claim if the boat does not have the safety check. A average test will cost about £100 and the examiner will visit your boat and tell you what needs to be done. usually they check things like: cracks in the hull, gas on board, electrical safety, emergency kits etc etc. if you are buying an expensive boat you can ask the examiner to check it out before you buy it - like the AA will do on cars.

Is there an signs of Osmosis on the hull? - this is important on GRP boats. Osmosis is where air bubbles up underneath the gell coat usually caused by the coating just wearing down after long periods in the water without any time on a dry dock. Osmosis eats through the hull and will cause holes and cracks and eventually your boat could sink! Osmosis is repairable but will generally be too expensive.

When was the boat last taken out of the water and cleaned and the gell coat renewed?

Is the boat well aired? or does it smell musty and mouldy? Boats need to have a good circulation of air and be ventillated even when not in use to stop everything inside going mouldy and rotting.  

does the outboard engine work? if the boat is on a dry dock (out of the water) the engine can be tested by sinking the shaft into a large water container and starting it up. DO NOT start it up out of water.


Read a bit about boating before you jump in and buy - you'll only waste your time and money and your summer of fun will be your summer of nightmares and stress.


this is only a brief guide and not at all in depth but i hope it will give you some points to consider when buying your boat! - Richard P.

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