We all dream of heading out for a day on the water in a gleaming, new boat; however, that dream comes to an abrupt end when considering the purchase price of a vessel that’s fresh from the marine dealer. Older, used boats may seem like an attractive option, because you seem to get more boat for your money; however, there are several important factors to consider before investing a boat that may be a little past its prime.
When you decide to buy an older boat, consider the investment necessary to not only make it seaworthy, but to make it comfortable and enjoyable. A good rule of thumb for estimating refurbishing costs is to allow at least 50% of the purchase price for a boat in average condition and 100% for one in poor condition. After a few years, deferred maintenance reaches the point where the actual cost of restoration exceeds the value of the vessel itself, so it’s important to find out as much about your prospective boat as you can.
One way to ensure that the boat you have your eye on is a good marine risk is to invest in a professional marine survey. A professional marine surveyor will inspect the boat according to industry guidelines and offer an impartial, expert opinion. Your prospective marine surveyor should adhere to the guidelines set forth by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
A Condition and Valuation survey is the most comprehensive survey, giving you an intimate look at the entire vessel. In addition to establishing the fair market value, this survey looks at the hull, decks, superstructure, propulsion system, fuel system, electrical system, and overall appearance, with special attention paid to the stringers, deck, transom and hull to look for signs of delamination or rot. Equipment on the boat is listed in a full inventory, with model and serial numbers included whenever possible. Other types of surveys assign a fair market value to the vessel, or assess the marine risk of a boat for insurance or financial purposes.
Christian A. Syoen is a professional marine surveyor serving the waterfront and boating communities of Michigan. Christian grew up in marinas and boat shops, eventually pursuing his passion to the Wooden Boat School in Brooklyn, Maine. Let Christian A Syoen put his expertise and love of boating to work for you. Call Christian today at 1.810.531.0992 or complete the online contact form to schedule your professional marine survey.