Buying a Boat | Selling a Boat | Types of Boat
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BUYING A BOAT
Buying a boat is a large investment, so firstly do a great of research before making your final choice. Considerations should be given to:
The amount of time and use it will get, so like most of us when buying anything new, we want to use it all the time, and really enjoy it. But buying a boat does require a certain amount of dedication, time and money. Keeping one incurs maintenance, and running costs. Plus licencing, insuring and mooring fees and depending where you keep your pride and joy these can vary tremendously. So do your calculations and decide whether the costs support your needs and you can have enough water time. For certain types including yachts, large cruisers and narrowboats, these can be quite time consuming and if you are looking for use perhaps during only the main holidays season then it might worth considering just chartering as this will be a lot cheaper.
Careful thought should be considered on the type of boat. Have a look at our ‘TYPES OF BOAT’ section which will help you decide.
If you have owned boats in the past this should not be so much of a problem. However if you haven’t you need to think about what the boat will be used for. If you like the idea slowly coasting down our rivers and waterways perhaps a small cruiser will suffice. On the other hand if enjoy canals, then a narrowboat or dutch barge might be a good idea.
If you live on the coast then a large cruiser or yacht perhaps would be more suitable, sailing offshore can be more rigorous. So are you starting to get the picture, not that simple is it? If you are a novice or inexperienced it would be advisable to stick to something smaller and which is more manageable to start off with. The overall operating costs will be lower and this should guide you if you want to get something larger in the future.
What about the budget. If you have started doing a bit of research you will already have some idea of the range of prices. Do lots of comparisons for the sort of craft you are looking, you may well get as much pleasure out of a five thousand pound boat as would a fifty thousand one. Look for the features that are suited to your needs, beginners mostly go for the secondhand option first time around. At least you will find out whether you like it or not and will not suffer too much depreciation as you might with a new vessel.
Other Considerations (buying used)
Check the hull of the boat, depending on the hull type the most obvious signs are for a –
Wooden: The ‘teredo shipworm’ and ‘gribble worm’, these two wood boring nasty’s along with the Martesia mollusc are all present in British waters. Also if the hull hasn’t been well looked after and varnished regular watch out for signs of rotting.
Aluminium: Damage to the hull can occur when oxidation takes place which causes the structure to breakdown, signs can occur around any riveted area’s.
Fibreglass (GRP’s): If water penetrates the hull, it mixes with the fiberglass compounds and osmosis occurs. This will eventually develop a blistering which occurs in patches on the hull.
Steel: If rust is present, iron oxidization has already started and if not stopped quick enough, the hull will eventually need replacing.
Ferro Concrete: Look out for salt or efflorescence deposits, this could be the start of the concrete structures breakdown.
The boat should have a BSS certificate, proving it has passed and been tested under the Boat Safety Scheme. If not, a survey has to be taken by a surveyor to see what work is required to obtain the certificate.
Before striking a bargain, ensure that the price is subject to Marine Survey and a sea trial if applicable. Most finance companies will not hand out any money until the boat has one.
Make sure you know what you are paying for, namely what extras are included and what are not. They could be costly!
Use or insist on using a credible contract, such as the ones provided by The Royal Yachting Association or the British Marine Federation (BMF).
The price should be fixed, with agreement on the amount of deposit required and settlement of further payment(s), with a scheduled delivery date.
Don’t forget the paperwork! Is there any outstanding finance arrangements; such as a marine mortgage. This has to be cleared before buying. The boat should have a ‘clear title’ guarantee which can also be verified. Insure it as soon as it’s in your possession, making to obtain all the ownership documents.
Check it out – Before making your mind up, it might also be a good idea to visit http://www.stolenboats.org.uk/ just to make sure the boat is not stolen, if it is not on the list it shouldn’t be.
Do your research on the boat builder or dealer, are they members of the BMF? Use the recognised contracts, as mentioned above.
Check on what is and what is not included i.e. the extras.
The boat should have a ‘clear title’ guarantee which can also be verified.
If finance is required, is the finance company accountable for the boats registration or are you? When a ‘marine mortgage’ or finance is required they usually stipulate that Part 1 Registration is complete.
Make sure to get a guaranteed delivery date, and have insurance in place when received.
Does the boat have a recognised CE Mark, which is a boat certification service and is applicable to all boats with a hull between 2.5 and 24 metres in length?