Buying Boats & Yachts

Things to Look at Before Buying a Used Boat

When you are buying a used boat in San Diego, you need to do your due diligence. Just like buying a car, there are certain things you need to look at before purchasing a used boat. The following are just a few pre-purchase inspection items that need your attention before you sign on the dotted line.


It’s important to give any boat you are considering buying a good exterior visual inspection. You’ll want to pay close attention to the condition of the hull and the surface of the bottom of the boat. Things you want to look for include telltale signs of neglect or poor maintenance, such as hull blisters, chipped or peeling paint, evidence of cracks or corrosion, and a propeller that’s rusted and/or crusty. On the deck, you want to check things such as molding and trim, the condition of chairs, benches, cushions, and hardware.


Inside the boat, one of the biggest things you need to check is water tightness and inspect for any signs of water damage. Make sure lights and other mechanical necessities work, and that cabinets, lockers and other storage areas are in good shape and working properly.

Mechanical Items

Just like you would test drive a car, start up the engine and take the boat for a short cruise to ensure the engine, steering system, and battery are all in solid operating condition. Be sure to check all gauges, the bilge pumps, and any other mechanically operated systems such as winches. If you’re unsure exactly what you’re looking for, contact a quality boat repair shop in San Diego about a professional inspection prior to purchase.

Vetting the Seller

Keep in mind that laws vary by state in terms of what disclosure is required when selling a boat. Some laws don’t require the seller to disclose things unless you ask about them. So always ask about previous accidents and damage. It’s also smart to make sure the seller doesn’t have any liens or judgments against them that could involve the boat.


Pre-purchase inspections are a must for any expensive purchase, even more so when the big-ticket item you’re buying has had a previous owner. If you’re looking for your next toy, let the skilled brokers at Ballast Point Yachts, Inc. in San Diego steer you in the right direction. contact us, or give us a call at (619) 222-3620.