Boats for sale - Buy safety

Boats for sale - Buy safety

Learn safety-basics like: what to look for before you buy, the safest ways to pay, and how to avoid common risky mistakes.


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After you've decided what type of boat to buy, the next step is to decide whether you want to buy a new or used boat.

Buying a new boat from a dealer will avoid many of the difficulties that are associated with buying a used boat. For example, new boats will come with a warranty and you'll have more confidence that the boat you are buying has not previously been stolen. The down-sides to buying a new boat, however are that the initial cost is much higher, the value will depreciate rapidly and new boats are generally less well equipped than used boats.

Buying a new boat

If you choose to opt for a new boat, you can often save money by buying around the end of July, just before new models come out. At this time, many dealers will lower their prices to clear out old stock making way for the new. Of course your boat may not be the newest model for very long if you go down this route.

If you're undecided on the make and model of boat, then visiting boat shows is an excellent way to compare several types. A boat show may also allow you to haggle the best deal from a selection of rival dealers.

Buying a used boat If you'd prefer to save some money and buy a boat whose value will not drop so sharply, then buying a used boat is the sensible choice to make. The rest of this article is devoted to tips on buying used boats.

If you are buying a used boat from a private seller, it will generally come with no warranty, so you need to check it out carefully to avoid making an expensive mistake. Many brokers and dealers sell used boats as well as new, and may offer a limited warranty. Whilst this may provide some peace of mind, the broker/dealer needs to make a commission on the sale and this will be reflected in a higher price than if the boat was being sold privately.


There are a few things to watch out for to make sure you are not the victim of fraud when you buy a boat:

  • Does the price seem too good to be true? If so, it probably is. The boat may either be stolen or the seller may take your deposit and never be contactable again.
  • Make sure that you get the real address of the seller; you should be suspicious of anyone who only uses a PO Box.
  • Verify all the contact details of the seller. If there is an email address, make sure you can get a reply from them. Get a telephone number for them and make sure it works.
  • If the boat is in a different country to the seller, be extra cautious, and take even more care if either are outside of your own country.
  • If anything just doesn't seem right, don't dismiss those feelings until you've checked them out. Often your instincts are correct.

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Further information

Stolen boats lists

Check internet lists of stolen boats to make sure that the boat you are buying is not listed on any of them. Here is a selection of such web sites:

Boat price guides

It is important to check that you are not paying "over the odds" when buying your boat. Here are some useful sources of boat price information:

Some accreditation authorities for marine surveyors

Remember, if you are enlisting the services of a surveyor, make sure that they are accredited by a well known authority. Some examples are listed below: