Tips for buying a boat

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Consider all your options before buying a new boat. Below are some simple tips to make the process of buying a boat less stressful.

Do your homework

  • Narrow your options by considering what the boat will be used for; recreational activities, yachting, long voyages, family trips etc
  • Look through your finance options and consider your budget
  • Consider whether a new or used boat will suit your needs better

New or used

  • When buying new you have a choice of the latest designs, styles and features
  • A key factor for many buyers is warranty, new boats should come with a good warranty
  • There are fewer complications with a new boat, but a well maintained secondhand boat is a budget friendly option
  • Check secondhand boats for wear and tear
  • Obvious signs of neglect on the outside of the boat, things such as rust, rot or corrosion are warning signs
  • The motor should be in good working order and free of rust or grime
  • Check that the freeze plugs are made of brass and not steel
  • Make sure the steering cables aren’t loose; if they are, they’ll need repairs
  • Test the bilge pump and other accessories
  • Fiberglass and aluminum boats wont rot like wooden ones, so they will last longer
  • Always take a water test, if offered
  • Have a comprehensive inspection by an expert if buying second hand
  • Check the trailer frame for wear and tear

Ongoing costs

  • When purchasing a boat don’t forget to factor in ongoing running costs
  • You may need to buy on-board gear for your boat, whether it’s new or secondhand
  • Safety gear is a legal requirement for boats and is another cost to factor in
  • Storage for your boat is essential, whether it be in a garage or in a marina
  • It’s important to have a well maintained trailer and winch for the transport of your boat
  • There will be registration and licensing costs
  • For peace of mind on your new purchase, think about your insurance cover, visit the RACV Insurance page for more information.