5 Tips for Buying a Boat

Buying a boat is a big investment, so you have to be sure of your decision. This month, we list the 5 most important things to consider before buying a boat.

• Your navigational requirements

The first thing is to make sure that the boat will suit the owner’s plans, and the plans of the owner’s family, if they’ll be aboard too. It is very important to define the boat’s sailing program. What will you actually be doing with the boat – Running, cruising etc.? You must also assess the skills of the crew.

Depending on the size of the boat, an annual budget should be prepared to cover maintenance, handling, antifouling, deck hardware costs, berths, etc. The annual budget is approximately 8% of the purchase value.

buying a boat

• The rigging status

Some insurance companies will only ensure a boat if the invoice of the rigging is less than 10 years old. Changing the rigging is a costly job. The state of the sails should also be considered: changing them is a big expense, especially if the goal is high- performance sailing.

• Osmosis

This is a natural aging process of polyester: you should base your buying decision on the progress of the osmotic state. If the hull has too many blisters, you will need to set aside budget of around €600 per meter for repairs. Also, the boat must be hauled between 6 and 12 months for drying and peeling.

The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

• The state of the boat’s motor

It is important to check the number of hours that the engine has on the clock. An analysis of the oil and a compression plug will be needed if the engine has more than 3,000 hours. A good engine check is essential. Again, changing the engine would incur considerable costs so it’s best to avoid this.

• The berth

Availability is not the same across all geographic areas. In general, the English Channel / Atlantic sector is more accessible with waiting periods of 2 to 3 years, as is the case in Lorient for example.

During the waiting time, interim solutions exist such as temporary contracts, moorings or dry ports.

If you have any tips of your own for what to look out for when purchasing a boat, simply leave a comment below!


We would like to thank our partners Team Jolokia, for writing this article. Team Jolokia is a truly unique racing team that promotes diversity. The team is made up of 25 men and women from different walks of life: seniors, young people, disabled or able-bodied.

Learn more about Team Jolokia.


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2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Buying a Boat

  1. Patricia Anderson February 29, 2016 / 17:01

    I’m glad you mentioned that insurance companies sometimes only insure the boat if the invoice of the rigging is less then 10 years old. My parents have always wanted a boat and now that they are secure financially they think it is time to buy one. They don’t want to make any financially problematic buys though so tips like this really help out. We won’t buy a boat that has rigging over 10 years, thanks for the heads up.

  2. Johnny McCarron March 8, 2017 / 23:55

    I really like that you talked the state of the boat’s motor. Boating can be pretty fun. However, I really think it can make a difference to get the right boat. If you want one to last a long time, you have to be sure you have a good motor. Do you have any other tips about getting a good boat?

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