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Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Used Boat Directly From An Owner

by Amanda Phillips

If you're thinking about buying your first boat, it's typically best to buy one directly from a used boat dealership. However, some first-time buyers wish to save extra cash by purchasing directly from a boat's previous owner. If this is a route you choose to take, you'll want to be sure to avoid some common mistakes that could leave you in a sea of troubles.

Not Asking for a Sea Trial

One of the biggest and most common mistakes first-time boat buyers make is assuming the boat will perform and handle well in the water. As a result, once they find the boat they're pretty sure they want, they'll buy it without first asking to take it out for a sea trial. Going on a sea trial is just as important as test-driving a car before buying it. It's the only true way to get an idea of how the boat accelerates, handles, and maneuvers. If the owner is hesitant to give you a sea trial, walk away from that transaction.

Not Scheduling a Professional Inspection

No matter how much you think you know about boats, you need to schedule a professional inspection on the boat before you buy it. Sure, the current owner may have all the paperwork available from every maintenance task or repair that's ever been done on the boat, and the boat may appear to be in great shape, but only an experienced boat mechanic will be able to tell for sure.

Furthermore, any honest and reasonable boat owner looking to sell will be fine with the idea of you scheduling a professional inspection--so long as you're the one paying for it. If a buyer tries to talk you out of the inspection, he or she probably has something to hide.

Not Using an Escrow Account

Finally, when you're buying a used boat directly from the owner, you'll want to do so securely. This means setting up a third-party account (such as an Escrow account) when it comes time to pay for the boat. Even if you know the seller personally, it's better to be safe than sorry. Using an Escrow account gives you the added peace of mind in knowing that your money won't be transferred to the seller until he or she has handed over the keys.

Buying a used boat from its owner can be a great way to save money. Just be sure to avoid the above mistakes so you don't get ripped off. (For more information on boats for sale, contact a company such as Lime Lake Marine & RV)