If you are thinking of buying a used boat you should decide first what you want to use the boat for then what style of boat would best fit your needs. Do you have a family and want to just cruise around on inland lakes and maybee pull your kids on tubes and towables sometimes? Then you might want a 18 to 21 foot bowrider with a sterndrive propulsion systerm or maybee with an outboard motor. Do you want to go fishing most of the time by yourself or with a buddy or two, then a bass boat would work out good for you. A fish and ski style boat might be your choice if the whole family and friends want to go fishing.Do you have a need for speed? Then the low profile/ offshore racing style high horsepower boat would be the way to go. Do you want to go on the Great Lakes or out in the ocean? Then a bigger, sturdier boat should be your choice. A pontoon boat would be great for enjoying the water with family and friends. There are a lot choices out there and many styles of boats can be used in multible ways.
While you are figuring out what kind of boat you want and what size to get you also need to think about how much money you can spend on a boat. Can you afford to pay in full or should you take out a loan? Paying in full would be the best way but you could most likely get a better, more expensive boat if you take out a loan and pay over time just like a car. How do you know how much boats are worth? You can Google “used boat price guide” which will show you many good sources for prices. Craigslist is a great place to find boats for sale in your erea and also how much people are asking for them. What ever you do make sure to be honest with yourself about what you can afford to pay. Remember, boats are just big toys. Don’t let buying one put too much of a burden on you financialy or your dream boat could turn into a nightmare.
When you start looking around at boats condition and price is most important. Your goal should be to buy the newest, best looking, best running boat at the lowest price you can get. You should always test drive the boat in the water if you can. If you don’t, you are taking a big chance on if it is a good boat and a good deal. If the boat sides are all scratched up from bouncing up against a dock, fiberglass, wood or aluminum repair is needed to make the boat look good again. These repairs are not cheap so you might want to pass on that boat. If you want the boat and are willing to do pay for repairs make sure the price you pay takes this into account. Check out the bottom of the boat. Same thing applies. How is the interior, floor, fittings and all the other things about the boat? Check everything out. You do not want any surprises if you buy it. How does the engine sound and run? If you hear something you are not sure about or if you think it is not running right, have a marine engine mechanic check it out before you buy it. Even if everything seems ok to you, maybe you should have a mechanic look at it anyways. Is the boat prop alright? It needs to be pretty much in like new condition or it could cause damage to you drive system. If the blades are bent and/or missing material, minor or major vibration will occure which is not good for the drive and engine. If the boat propeller is bad, replace it or get it repaired.
Buying a used boat can be be tricky so educate yourself first, look at many boats if you can to compare different ones and be realistic about what you can afford. Good luck and I hope you really enjoy the boat you buy.