Don't be afraid to ask your seller about anything you're not sure of. You can ask about things like when was the last time the cutlass bearing was repacked, how old is the standing rigging
, etc.. But what I would suggest is that if you find a boat that you are really interested in and do not have the experience or knowledge of boats and their systems to properly access its condition yourself, spend the money
on an independent survey
on it. The survey
will give you several pages of a "checklist" of items the surveyor
looked over and their condition and his/her recommendation of condition or seaworthiness. There are too many variables from things like thru-hulls and seacocks, to electrical system
, and mechanical condition of components to cover here.
If you have the experience with boats to be able to look at that crack by the mast step and say yeah that's just a gelcoat
stress crack or yeah we got a structural crack in the cabin
trunk and what's going on here, I would say a survey on a cheaper boat is not worthwhile. But if you do not know about those things, getting the survey done will tell you, being done by somebody who does have the experience to properly assess its condition. You can sometimes save the money
spent on a survey in making an offer on a boat that is less than the asking price
if the survey finds something that's repairable but even the seller didn't know about.
So it's like this - you find a boat with an asking price
of $2,000. Is it going to be worth it to have a $1,000 survey done on it? Probably not. Just look the boat over, figuring that you're going to have to fix anything that's bad. And as long as it floats you're getting what you pay for.
Or the boat has an asking price of $30,000. Now a $1,000 survey is cheap
to know that what you're spending your money on is not going to cost you another $30,000 in repairs