|Springtime boat buyers need to take care of a few key things first before they consider a boat purchase, according to Boat Owners Association of The United States.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 16, 2014 -- With the number one boat buying season of the year kicked off, springtime boat buyers are on the prowl. The nation's largest recreational boating advocacy and services group, Boat Owner Association of The United States (BoatUS), has some must do tips before you sign on the dotted line.
The Internet is your friend and foe: Of course it's always good to research a boat you're considering online, first. While the Internet is not always 100% accurate, you may learn about serious problems other owners have had. Check owners group chat boards or online boating, fishing or cruising discussion groups for the kind of boat you're looking at. BoatUS has the only national consumer complaint database for boats as well, searchable by members. Also be aware of Internet scams if you're buying online. Any whiff of something odd and you should proceed with caution.
Always get a professional marine survey: Surveys will uncover potential problem spots and can help with price negotiations. On a boat with expensive engines or generators, a separate engine survey could save huge headaches later. Make any purchase contingent on the survey. For a list of accredited surveyors, visit www.BoatUS.com/surveyors.
Take the boat on a sea trial: You wouldn't buy a car without taking it for a drive, and you should treat buying a boat the same way. It doesn't matter whether it's 16- or 60-feet.
Give yourself some reasonable protections: Make sure that any deposit is 100% refundable if any contingencies such as a survey, financing or insurance are not met. Get it in writing. If there is a warranty or promise to fix something as part of the sale, get it in writing. Did we say get it in writing?
"Who am I talkin' to?": Before getting too serious about a boat, verify that the owner (or brokerage/consignor) has the title and registration on hand. Any liens will have to be paid before transferring title.
BoatUS has additional resources at BoatUS.com/guide including a free buying guide and boat evaluation checklist.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half-million members with government representation, services such as 24-hour dispatch, on water boat towing as well as roadside assistance for boat trailers and tow vehicles, feature-packed boat insurance programs, money-saving benefits including marina and service discounts, and vital information that improves recreational boating. Its member-funded BoatUS Foundation is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating and offers range of boating safety courses -- including 33 free state courses -- that can be found at BoatUS.org/courses.