67 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Boat

Whether you’re an experienced boat owner or a first-time buyer, there’s always something to learn when it comes to buying a boat. And if you’re in the market for a used boat, there are even more factors to consider. Here are some questions to ask when buying a used boat, so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal on the perfect boat for you.

44 Questions you should ask when buying a used boat:

  1. What’s the make and model of the boat?
  2. How long has the current owner had the boat?
  3. Why is the owner selling?
  4. How has the boat been used? (e.g., for fishing, tubing, cruising, etc.)
  5. How often was it used?
  6. What’s the condition of the hull?
  7. What material is the hull of the boat made of?
  8. What’s the condition of the deck?
  9. What’s the condition of the upholstery and other interior features?
  10. Are there any leaks?
  11. What type of engine does it have?
  12. Does the engine run well?
  13. How old is the engine?
  14. Has the engine been replaced before?
  15. How many hours of operation has the engine been used?
  16. How many hours are on the engine?
  17. When was the last time the engine was serviced?
  18. What’s included in the sale? (e.g. trailer, life jackets, anchors, etc.)
  19. Are there any outstanding liens or encumbrances on the boat?
  20. What’s the asking price?
  21. Is the price negotiable?
  22. What draft/keel clearance does the boat have?
  23. What type of propulsion does the boat have?
  24. Are there any leaks?
  25. What type of sails does the boat have?
  26. Are they in good condition?
  27. What type of rigging does the boat have?
  28. Does the boat have any accessories?
  29. Is there any documentation (e.g. registration, surveys, etc.)?
  30. What’s the length and width of the boat?
  31. How many people does the boat comfortably seat?
  32. How much does the boat weigh?
  33. Is a trailer included in the sale? If so, what condition is it in?
  34. What type of motor is included with the boat? What year was it manufactured?
  35. What’s the fuel capacity of the boat?
  36. What are the dimensions of the cockpit?
  37. Is there any storage space on board? If so, where is it located and how easy is it to access?
  38. What kind of warranty does the seller have for the boat?
  39. Has the boat been stored in salt water or fresh water?
  40. How often has the boat been used in the last few years?
  41. Has all regularly scheduled maintenance been completed on time?
  42. Are there any known issues with the boat that will need to be repaired or replaced soon?
  43. When would the seller be available to show the boat?
  44. Would the seller be willing to do a test drive?

23 Questions you should ask yourself before buying a used boat:

  1. What’s your budget?
  2. What size boat do you need?
  3. What kind of boat do you want?
  4. What will you be using the boat for?
  5. Who will use the boat?
  6. How often will you be using the boat?
  7. Where will you store the boat?
  8. Do you have experience operating a boat?
  9. Do you need to take a boating safety course?
  10. Is there age or weight restrictions for the type of boat you want?
  11. How much does it cost to register a boat in your state?
  12. What are the mandatory insurance requirements in your state?
  13. How much does it cost to insure a boat?
  14. What’s the fuel efficiency of the type of boat you want?
  15. What’s the range of your desired boat?
  16. How long does it take to refuel a boat?
  17. What features do you want?
  18. How do you plan to transport the boat?
  19. What are the maintenance costs for a boat?
  20. How often does a boat need to be serviced?
  21. What’s the cost of winterizing a boat?
  22. Are there any special requirements for storing a boat in your area?
  23. Do you have someone who can help you maintain and repair your boat?

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you look for when buying a used boat?

When buying a used boat, there are many factors to consider to make an informed decision. Among the most important factors are the age and condition of the boat, as well as its mechanical and structural integrity. It’s also important to look at things like the size and layout of the boat, as well as its overall functionality and performance on the water. When choosing a used boat, it’s important to be clear about your needs and wants and thoroughly weigh all available options to find a boat that best fits your needs and budget.

How do you inspect a boat before you buy it?

When inspecting a boat before purchase, there are a few important things you should look for to ensure you’re getting a quality and reliable boat. 

One important factor is the condition of the hull. You can assess this by thoroughly inspecting it for signs of wear and damage such as dents, cracks, or rust. You should also examine the boat’s engines and other mechanical systems to determine if they’re functioning properly. 

It’s also important to assess the overall condition of the boat’s interior and exterior components, such as the seats, electrical wiring, and navigation equipment. By considering these factors, you can feel confident about your purchase and enjoy many years of safe and fun boating adventures.

Should you test-drive a boat before buying?

When you’re buying a boat, it’s important to test drive it before you make a purchase decision. This way you can get a feel for the performance of the boat and find out if it’s suitable for your needs. It also gives you the opportunity to make sure that all the features are working properly and that there are no problems with the engine or other components.

Ultimately, test-driving a boat before you buy it can help you make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you. So if you are in the market for a new boat, be sure to schedule some time to test it out on the water and experience all of its many capabilities first-hand.

What are the downsides of owning a boat?

The downsides of boat ownership include the high cost of maintenance, storage, and fuel. In addition, boats often require a lot of time and effort to keep them in good working condition, which can be a huge burden for people who are already busy with their jobs or other commitments. 

In addition, boats often require specialized knowledge and skills to operate safely, which means that many people may not feel comfortable taking on the responsibility of owning a boat. 

Ultimately, while owning a boat can be an exciting and rewarding experience, many potential risks and challenges should be considered before making such a big financial commitment.


It’s important to do your research beforehand and know what questions to ask to avoid unforeseen expensive repairs. If you pay attention to these questions, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream boat at a price you can afford. Safe sailing!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?