7 Common Boat Buyer Questions And Answers

If you’re ready to get out on the water in a new boat, jumping at the first boat that grabs your eye is tempting.   

What might seem like a great buy might turn out to be a burden and could cost you more in headaches and repairs than it would have to buy a brand-new boat. Purchasing a boat is an exciting but significant investment, so as you begin the process, it’s crucial to put in some work. Do your research, and be sure to ask yourself some essential questions.    

If you’re looking to buy a boat, keep reading because we’ve got the answers to some of the most common boat buyer questions here in one convenient place.    

If you’re in the market for a boat, it’s important to get as much information as you can before you commit.

How many hours has the engine logged?

If you’re buying a previously owned boat, you need to ask how many engine hours the boat has.    

This will give you an indicator of the engine’s life, and for a boat that has been well maintained, this also tells you the next time that maintenance is due. While most people think a lot of hours is a bad thing, there are a lot of factors to consider when discussing hours. Don’t buy a boat because of low hours, and don’t completely negate a boat because of too many hours.   

When researching a vessel’s hours, it should be easy to find online or by asking the previous owner. When shopping on Boats for Sale, you can usually find a descriptive listing that includes essential details like engine hours, features, pricing, and more.   

Do you have the boat’s service logs?

While this shouldn’t be a total deal-breaker, if the owner doesn’t have a record of the boat’s servicing, it could be a sign that the boat hasn’t been serviced.      

Regular servicing for any vessel is essential because it keeps up with minor issues that could turn into costly repairs. When owners get the boat serviced regularly, they maintain and extend the boat’s lifetime. It’s also a good idea to ask how much it usually costs to service the boat so that you have a good idea of what other expenses you can expect.   

Is there a warranty? If so, is it transferrable?

Whether you’re buying a new boat or a used one, it’s a good idea to ask for warranty information.

New boats usually come with a warranty that protects against any manufacturer issues and some minor repairs. You might think buying a second-hand boat means you don’t have any hope for a warranty, but many boat warranties are transferrable, so be sure to ask and plan to go through the proper channels to transfer.

PRO TIP: Check out our extended marine contracts!

What does the warranty cover?

Typically, a manufacturer will give a new boat owner a warranty covering things like steering, plumbing, and electrical systems.  

 When buying a new or used boat, ensure you understand precisely what the warranty covers and how long it lasts. This will help save you money on repairs and give you an idea of potential issues.  


Where has it been stored?

One of the most important things to remember when considering boat maintenance is that storage matters!   

Wet boat storage – A boat stored outside is excellent for a busy owner who wants to jump in at any time of the year, but many issues can arise when left in the water. It’s open to the elements, rust, marine life, and general wear and tear. In addition, the owner hasn’t had a chance to clean or maintain the boat when it spends all its time in the water.   

Dry storage – It’s better when a boat is stored in dry conditions during the off-season. The owner has had the opportunity to look at the hull and other vessel areas and perform general maintenance. Typically, a boat that has been stored dry is exposed to less wear and tear.   


What’s best for me, a saltwater or freshwater boat?

To know what’s best for you, you must understand the difference between freshwater and saltwater boats.

Saltwater boats have systems to better deal with salt corrosion, like a closed cooling system and a Mercathode system. They don’t differ in hull type or material. Some people refer to offshore boats as saltwater boats. These have a different hull shape and a keel that’s suitable for offshore sailing.


What costs are involved when owning a boat?

Other important boat buyer questions are about the costs

You must truly understand the financial obligation of owning a boat before you buy one. Obviously, there are upfront costs to consider as well as annual maintenance. However, you’ll also have to consider the trailer cost to haul your boat to the water and back, boat insurance, and storage costs. If you keep your boat at a marina, you’ll have a monthly docking fee. You’ll also need to take a boater’s safety course and get an operator’s license if you’re new to the world of boat ownership.   

Don’t forget to factor in safety gear, including:   

  • New life jackets   
  • Paddles   
  • Horns   
  • Flares   
  • Other essentials to have on hand in the event of an emergency   


What financing options are available?

Lastly, you need to know what options you have for financing.       

Many dealerships offer on-site financing to help you get a good deal on a new or used boat loan. If you’ve got a trade-in, that can factor into how much you need to put down. If you fall in love with a boat outside your initial price range, financing options are a great way to get what you want without paying a fortune upfront!   

Fortunately, Boats for Sale is your one-stop shop for all things. We’re on a mission to make boat buying better, and everything you need is in one convenient place. We offer thousands of new and used listings, a boat loan calculator, financing options, marine insurance, crucial boating advice, and more!  


In the market for a new boat? Make sure you ask those important boat buyer questions!

When it’s time to buy a boat, you need to learn everything you can about your investment before taking the plunge. Any deal that seems too good to be true probably is. So, before you dive in, ask these popular boat buyer questions and do your research. Some great online sources for research include, Hull Truth and manufacturer owner groups on Facebook. These are excellent opportunities to get honest reviews and feedback on pricing, hours, maintenance cost, and more.

Researching will help you better understand the buying process and responsibilities of ownership, and you’ll feel better about making a big decision! If you’re in the market to buy a boat, contact us today! Get started with Boats for Sale by exploring our common FAQs.