In the last few years, I've purchased a couple of used boats. Perhaps I can share a few observations.
1. Engines -- outboard
or inboard? If the latter, gas or diesel? Diesel engines can be trickly. Well maintained, they'll live well past you. However, because diesel maintenance
can be expensive, many "back yard mechanics" try to do it themselves or short-cut annual maintenance
requirements. Does the owner have good maintenance records? If not, be wary, and have an engine specialist look at the boat.
2. Batteries? You're going to need to get these swapped out pretty frequently. How well has the electrical system
been maintained? Does the wiring
look like "by the book" or has the owner jury-rigged a lot of stuff that's going to blow fuses
every time you're off shore?
3. Necessary gauges? Do all of the electronics (gauges, sonar, radar, plotter, etc.) on the bridge work? Are they all accurate? Does the compass
work? These can be pretty expensive to fix.
4. Has the owner pulled the boat regularly for bottom paint
and zincs? Was the boat shore kept, covered? Or was the boat kept in the water
? If the latter, salt
, brackish, or fresh?
5. Is there a generator
? How well maintained?
6. Do all of the misc accessories (refer, ice maker, etc.) work? These can be massively expensive to repair. A dorm room refrigerator
is about a hundred bucks. A small refer on a boat can be $1500 or more.