If you think you’ve found the boat of your dreams,
it’s time to test it. Testing your boat is more
than just taking it for a test drive around the
harbor. You should look at everything closely, as
a professional boat tester would.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell a top quality boat
from one that may have problems later on. To an
untrained eye, both can look good on the surface.
When you start to break everything down and give it
a careful inspection, you’ll be able to tell a great
boat from a not-so-great boat.
By opening up all doors and access plates, you can
get great insight on the the construction of the
boat. You should also stick your head into the
anchor locker of any boat you are considering to
buy, as if they’ve cut any corners you’ll normally
be able to see it here.
Looking into the anchor locker also lets you look
at the hull to deck joint. If there is light
coming from through, or if the fiberglass around
the joint can be seen through, it normally means
the boat has poor construction.
When you buy a boat, you should put it through a
rigorous visual inspection. It’s also equally
important to conduct a vigorous test on the water
as well. A private seller or dealer will
normally want to stack the deck, ensuring that
the boat will perform well.
Normally, this involves a near empty gas tank,
no gear or extra passengers, and keeping the
boat in sheltered water. Therefore, it’s up to
you to insist on a more realistic test. Think
of the test as an actual day out on the water,
and you’ll find out if the boat is indeed something
you should spend your money on.
During your water testing, you should determine
if the boat performs well and meets all of your
expectations. You should determine if the boat
travels at the right speeds, and whether or not it
is capable of doing everything that you plan to
do with it after you buy it.
When test driving the boat, you should put it
through all paces in open water, cutting waves at
all angles. If you plan to test a saltwater boat,
you should bring along a 5 gallon bucket and try
throwing some water onboard. Any boat you plan
to use offshore should quickly shed water through
the scuppers. Some boats will pool water in the
bow and drain slowly – which can be very dangerous
in rough waters.
If a seller or dealer balks at the mention of any
requests you have, simply find yourself another
dealer or another boat. There are plenty of great
quality boats available, ranging in prices. Make
sure to check everything very carefully before
you make any decisions.
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