There are many obvious reasons for choosing to buy an used pontoon boat rather than a new one. The obvious one is money, as you can get a high quality vessel for just a fraction of the expected cost, since there’s often a lot of room for lowering the price. But you should still keep your eyes open and look for the best possible vessel you can find – after all, your life might depend on it. Read on to find some solid guidelines that will ensure that you have a satisfying buying experience and don’t regret your decision.
Your best bet when buying an used pontoon boat is to go with an official new and used boat dealer. You should look for recognized dealerships that have proven track-records of customer satisfaction, as well as applicable certifications. Your dealer should also be a member of an official national or local boating industry association. The pontoon boat you are looking to buy will most likely be set on a trailer, so you can walk around the boat to inspect the pontoons. The pontoons are the first thing you should check for any visible sign of damage – they should be in perfect condition if properly maintained. Next area of interest for would be used pontoon boat buyers is the ship’s engine. You should check and ask how many hours are there on the engine, and ask to see receipts for any work that might have been done on the engine, the pontoons and the steering.
If the boat you are looking to buy is in the water, you might not get the advantage of being able to look at the pontoons, but you will have something better – a chance to take it for a sea trial. But before you even start thinking about that, you should make a full marine survey. This survey is like a thorough checkup that a mechanic might do on a car. It gives you a chance to find out any issues or problems with the boat, determine the exact working condition of all of the ships systems, like engine, fuel lines, steering, pontoons and the hull, and make sure that everything works as it should. In fact, marine survey is often mandatory if you are looking to secure finance for the purchase, and your insurance company will require it before it issues you your policy. If the survey finds out any unexpected or hidden issues, you’ll have a choice – either walk out on the deal and look for another boat in better condition, or negotiate the price down. You should always go with and independent and certified surveyor, and always ask to have the boat checked both in and out of the water.
After you get the boat part covered, you should look for a trailer for it. Often times a trailer will come with the boat, so you need to check it as thoroughly as you did the boat. If the trailer is not a perfect fit for your boat, you might have a lot of trouble later on.