Hidden Pitfalls
The biggest problem when buying a second hand boat is that if you are new to the game, there are easy traps you can fall into, things you will not notice and simple mistakes are made. This list is endless but here are some guidelines for really important issues that you might not think of.:
1) Most boats when they are being sold come with an engine. Have a look at the size of the engine in comparison to the boat. If it is small then chances are the engine has been run hard if it has been used in the sea.
2) If the engine is rather large, Check the transom (The bit the engine attatches to) for cracks. This can happen if the boat is over powered or fitted with an engine that is simply too large and heavy.
3) If you choose to buy a boat without an engine then be aware you will probably need to buy a whole new steerin system for the engine which could easily set you back 200.
4) Check the hulll for possible repairs or if it is holed. If the boat has had previous repairs then its structural integrety could be compromised. Boats get a fair bit of slamming when at sea and an old repair could fail! Best to avoid the boat all together and buy a boat without this problem. You will be happier in the long run.
5) Does the engine start first time? Is it warm? An engine that is warm will start a lot easier than a cold one. Do not be fooled by this simple trick. If in doubt wait a while for the engine to cool down. Don't be hasty. You will not get a second chance to make this mistake!
6) Take special interest in the trailer. Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the boat itself. Trailers are very important. It must be capable of transporting your boat to and from the water without causing an accident along the way. Trailers have a horrible problem in that they must be immersed in sea water every time they launch or recover a boat.. Sea water destroys everything. Bearings will fail on the wheels and should be replaced every few years. Check for wobble. Does the trailer have 4 wheels or 2? If it has 4 this is better as if a wheel were to get a puncture or a bearing fail, then atleast it would not cause the boat to fall onto the road causing a serious accident. The main channel iron on a trailer is made from box metal and it is the water that gets inside this that will rust it from the inside out. This damage can not be seen. Bring a hammer along with you and tap away at the trailer bar listening for a dull sound. A boat with a dodgy trailer is no good thing. Take a look at the overall appearence of the trailer. if it looks like it has not been looked after and the boat is any age then chances are it is not in good condition and you should rethink your purchase. Buying a trailer to suit your boat is no easy task as most will not fit it propperly making launching and retrieving it hard work and transporting it very dodgy!
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