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The 3 L’s to Know Before Buying a Boat

Buying a boat is a fun experience, but it can also be intimidating. Knowing what to look for and what questions to ask before purchasing your boat are crucial. To help you make the best decision, here are the three L’s you should know. 

Overhead shot of a boat driving in the water.


One of the first things any prospective boat owner should do is locate the boat. Whether it be online or through social media, checking these places first should be helpful resources. However, finding a boat for sale is not the only factor. You should also consider the boat’s location, meaning where it has been stored and operated. For example, freshwater boats have different wear patterns than those used in saltwater. Understanding the geographical location of the prospective boat can provide additional context to assess its wear and tear and if it is the right boat for you.  


Once you have done your research on the boat’s location, it’s best to ask the seller, “Does the boat leak?” Private sellers may or may not mislead you, so you should plan to inspect the boat for warping, stains, rot and electrical problems as indications of water entering the boat where it should not. If you don’t trust yourself to do the inspecting, hire a boat mechanic who will know how to inspect a used boat before buying.  


Your journey as a boat owner is an ongoing learning experience, but there are a few things you can learn about the boat before committing to it. Consider asking these questions before buying: 

  • Does the boat have any quirks?  
  • Why are you selling it? 
  • Does it have any warranty left? 
  • How many hours does the motor have on it? 
  • Are you the original owner of the boat? 

After asking these questions, make sure to also ask for the maintenance records. When considering whether to buy a used boat, service receipts and records will give you more insight into the boat’s upkeep and history. This leaves room for little to no surprises down the road.  

Buying a used boat can save you a lot of money and provide endless fun for years to come. Once you’ve found your perfect boat, you’ll need somewhere to store it. Reserve your spot at Steinhatchee Marina now! We offer modern boat storage facilities for wet and dry slips. Not sure which is right for you? Check out our blog post on the benefits of storing your boat at a marina so you can make the best decision for your lifestyle. See you on the water!