Buying a boat is a big investment. And like any major investment, you need to perform your due diligence to make sure it’s a good one. You don’t want to head out for a day of fun on the water with your new boat and find out it won’t be able to make it back to shore!
When you’re shopping for a new luxury powerboat (or at least new to you), here are the things you want to look over to make sure you won’t be stuck with a lemon.
Check the Hull for Damage
The hull is the bottom of the boat, and it can tell you a lot about a boat’s overall condition. Start your inspection with a quick walk around the vessel and look over the bottom for any potential issues:
- Chips in the paint
- Depressions or dents
Any of these warning signs could indicate bigger problems with the boat. Even something as minor as peeling paint could indicate that the previous owner didn’t take good care of it. If they didn’t care enough to protect the paint job, imagine the condition of more high-maintenance parts, like the engines.
After your visual inspection, tap the hull all over with the plastic handle of a mallet or screwdriver. If you hear a solid “thud,” it means the hull is solid and in good condition. If you hear a dull or high-pitched sound, it could indicate a void—which isn’t great for seaworthiness or longevity.
Walk on the Deck and Check for Soft Spots
The deck is where you’ll spend most of your time while cruising around on your luxury powerboat, so make sure it’s in good condition before you buy. Walk around the entire deck and feel around for soft spots. Depending on what the deck is made of, it could be rotted out from water damage—especially if it’s wood.
For a more thorough deck inspection, take a mallet and gently hit the deck in different spots. If you hear a hollow sound, it’s a good indication that there might be some damage you’ll need to fix.
Check the Controls
It isn’t easy to drive a luxury powerboat if the controls don’t work. During your inspection, make sure all the controls are easy to read and function properly:
- Dials are clear and fog-free
- Controls have no signs of moisture
- Steering is easy to move
- Navigational equipment works properly
For some of the dials, like the speedometer, you might need to take a test drive to make sure they work. A quick trip around the marina can tell you a lot about the boat, well beyond what you can find during a visual inspection.
Test the Hardware for Sturdiness
Over time, bolts can come loose, and hardware can get damaged by the constant vibrations of life on the water. Make sure all the hardware is fastened tightly and doesn’t show signs of damage:
- Seat mounts
Take an extra close look at any luxury powerboat that has run in saltwater. Saltwater can erode metal, weakening the bolts holding all the hardware in place. Give all the hardware a wiggle and see if anything is loose. If something moves, it could mean the bolts or the hardware itself needs replacing.
Look over the Upholstery
Replacing upholstery can be quite expensive, so make sure it’s in good condition before you buy a boat. Look closely at every seat on the vessel and check for deterioration, cracks, stains, or water damage that might be present. This is where you and your guests will ride, so make sure everyone will be comfortable and that they’ll actually want to sit down. Nobody wants to ride on a gross, stained seat!
Illuminate the Lights
Since most people look at boats in the daylight, many new buyers forget to check if the navigational lights work, but it’s an important thing to check. The last thing you want is to take your brand-new luxury powerboat out on a sunset cruise only to be pulled over by the Coast Guard because your lights aren’t working.
Turn on all the lights and make sure they light up and that they can be seen without obstructions. This is also a good way to test if the boat’s battery works. If nothing lights up, you know the battery is dead and will need to be replaced.
Test the Engines
The engines are one of the most expensive—and important—parts of any boat. Make sure they work before you buy, or you’ll have some costly repairs to do right off the bat.
Ask to take the boat on a test drive. Even if you’re not mechanically inclined, a test drive will tell you a lot about the condition of the engines.
First, see how easily the engines start. If they hesitate or need some time to fire up, it could indicate there’s a problem or that the battery might be low. Either way, it’s a concern when buying a luxury powerboat.
With the engines running, listen to how it idles. Hearing skips or odd rhythms in the idle means there’s likely something wrong internally. You always want a smooth, consistent idle.
Once you get out on the water, really open it up. Running the engines at full throttle is a good way to assess the engines’ health. If the engines can’t reach or overshoot the manufacturer’s max rpm range, there might be something wrong internally or with the propellers. Keep an eye on engine temperature and oil pressure too. Overheating or dips in oil pressure can also indicate major issues with engine components.
Avoid Issues with a New Luxury Powerboat
When you spend so much money on a new luxury powerboat, you want to make sure everything is ready to go. That’s why, for most experienced boaters, buying new is the best way to go. With a new boat, you won’t need to worry about rotten floors, damaged hulls, or malfunctioning electronics. You can be confident that everything is in pristine condition and ready to hit the water right off the sales floor.
If you’re looking for a luxury powerboat you can count on, trust the experts at Mystic. We build the best custom watercraft on the market that are specially designed to suit your style and preferences. Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss your needs and start enjoying life on the water.