Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Boat Buying Tips for First Time Buyers

If you are a first-time boat buyer, give yourself a lot of time to explore all the different options available before you make this important purchase. Boats area big investment and that’s particularly why you shouldn’t take the buying process lightly. You can find a good used boat at a fraction of the price of a new one. We’ll give you a few tips to help you get started.

Do your research
Like cars, you’ll find lots of places where they list the value of most used boats. You’ll need to go through these sites and have an idea of how boats are valued. It’s important to know what you want before you go shopping for a boat. Start with the price that you can afford. How much have you set aside for this purchase? This will guide you on the features to look out for.  Boats have certain specifications that make one better than the other and you’ll need to look at more than just the visual appeal.

Visual inspection
You can tell a lot about the boat itself by conducting a visual inspection. If the boat is dirty, scratched up and rusty, it could mean that it hasn’t been well maintained. Check the floor of the boat and walk over it. Any signs of rotting or poor construction should be a red flag. Just remember, the floor is usually one of the most expensive items on a boat to fix. But don’t buy a boat because of its flawless appearance. A used boat can look clean and shiny but this could be a disguise used to cover hidden problems.

Have a test drive
As soon as you’re done with the visual inspection, it’s important to take the boat for a test drive. Take it on the water and feel how the boat rides when you go fast, slow or make turns. This is the only way you’ll know how the boat operates before you buy. Go with your family or your friends for the test drive, the same way you would when going for a boating trip. It’s important to also get their approval before you buy the boat.

Find a reputable boat dealer
First of all, you’ll need to find a trustworthy dealer who can offer you a selection of boats that meet your budget and needs. You can find dealers who have over 20 boats to choose from. That’s better because you will not be restricted to a select few. Compare the boats offered by the dealer and decide what you like and don’t like. A good dealer should be able to advice you on what to look for in a good boat. You should easily tell whether someone is genuinely interested in helping you find a boat or just making a commission.

Hopefully, you now have an idea how to select the right boat. With this basic information on choosing a good used boat, you should now go out and have fun shopping for the best investment you’ll ever make. 

Posted By: Stowaway Marine   http://stowawaymarine.net

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How to Stay Safe While Boating

If you are planning on going boating, it’s wise to be prepared and plans ahead of time. Know what you can do during emergency situations and do your best to prevent accidents from happening. At the end of the day, the experience will be great if you plan for it accordingly. So here are some tips to help you stay safe when you go on your next boat ride.

Check the weather before you start riding
Weather patterns can tell you when it’s not appropriate to go boating. Avoid water bodies during periods of high tides. Watch out for quick weather changes that may put you in a dangerous situation whenever you choose to go boating. If you are not so sure about the weather and tides, it’s best to postpone the boat ride.

Wear appropriate life jackets
Always wear a life jacket when on a boat. It doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are; a good life jacket will help you to keep your face above the water in the event of an emergency. Make sure the lifejacket is the right size and the straps are tight enough.

Have a reliable means of communicating in case of an emergency
Anything can happen while on a boat ride and that’s why it is important to take all the necessary steps to keep yourself safe until you get help. First, always tell other people where you are planning on going and when you expect to be back. Secondly, carry with you something that you can use to alert others during an emergency such as a whistle, a flare or your mobile phone. If you are using the phone, make sure it’s waterproof and fully charged. However, don’t rely so much on the phone because it may lose signal if you decide to go further away from land.

Attend a boating safety course
This gives you the opportunity to learn about boating safety from the professionals. You can also have your vessel checked by the authorities to ensure it is safe for use. Such causes will cover the basics of identifying signs of danger and how to protect yourself and your loved ones from any danger. You may also need to enroll in CPR training so as to know how to help someone in an emergency situation.   

Avoid alcoholic drinks when boating
Drinking while on your boat ride is not recommended because a lot can go wrong when you are not sober. Some people may even insist on jumping into the water for a swim while drunk and this can be life threatening. Wait until you get back on land to enjoy your drink.

Have an alarm or sensors installed on the boat

They can help to notify you in case of danger such as fumes that are emanating from the engine. When you know the source of danger, it is easy to work towards eliminating it. Sensors or an alarm system on your boat may seem like a costly installation but it may end up saving a life.  

Posted By: Stowaway Marine  http://stowawaymarine.net

Friday, October 16, 2015

5 Tips That Help You Properly Price Your Boat For Sale

When you're ready to sell your boat, trying to determine its boat book value can be tough. You don't want to put the price to high because no one will buy. On the other hand, you don't want to list the boat price much too low because you'll sell quickly, but you definitely won't get its full worth. The price needs to be just right to make your buyer and your wallet happy. When you're ready to start trying to find the right price to sell your boat at, keep these 5 helpful and informative tips in mind.
1. Do your research about your particular boat
The best place to start to discover your boat book value is online. Run a Google search on the year and model of your boat; you can also include keywords that offer more information like used, for sale, and price. The goal of this exercise is to see what other boat owners are pricing your particular boat at. Of course, this isn't an exact number because other factors like condition and use come into play.
2. Check out other boats for sell in your area
If possible, search seller pages like Craigslist for other boats for sale in your area. Sometimes the state, city, or area where a boat is being sold will have an impact on its price. Try to run a search for you model of boat being sold in your area. This will give you an even better understanding of what a boat book value would be for a sale in your area.
3. Talk to a local dealer
Sometimes it's best to talk to a professional. If there's a local dealer in your area, make an appointment to go in and ask a few questions. Remember to take photos of your boat and any questions you have with you to the meeting. As the local dealer what he or she thinks might be the best boat book value.
4. Sell at the beginning of boating season
Some boat owners advise that the best time to get a great price for your boat would be at the beginning of boating season. This is when people are really looking to purchase, and if everything else is either taken or priced too high, they'll look toward purchasing a used boat from an owner.
5. Prep your boat for sale
After you've decided on your boat book value, begin to prepare for the sale. You'll want to clean and detail your boat. When taking photos to post on websites for sale, be sure that you're taking clear and high-resolution photos. Sometimes people will want to try and negotiate over the price that you've asked for. Whether you will entertain negotiations or not is absolutely your decision. If you do decide to accept offers, people might be more comfortable buying a higher priced clean boat.

Posted By: Stowaway Marine  http://stowawaymarine.net

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tips for Maintaining your Boat in Mint Condition

Boating is a fun activity. Nothing is a relaxing and liberating as being on the open waters. If you are a first time boat owner, the most important thing you need to know about boating is maintaining your boat.

Wash the boat regularly
Washing your boat is very important, especially if you boat in saltwater. You need to rinse the boat with fresh water first to remove all the salt residue because it will prevent the cleaning agents from being effective. Salt from saltwater boating also corrodes fasteners and metals on your boat. You should find the right cleaning agent for the gel coat. You can also use carwash soap to clean your boat.

Change the oil
Boat engines run quite similar to car engines. You need to check and change the oil as frequently as you use the boat.  In most case, you will need to change the oil after every 100 hours of use. If you do not use the boat very often, you may need to change the oil only once a year. To change the oil, you will need an oil extractor pump that can remove all the old oil through the dipstick tube. Replace new oil in the fill port when you are sure you have gotten all the old oil out. In case your engine has a drain tube, then you do not have to get the pump. You can refer to the manufacturer’s manual to take the boat to a service shop for the engine change.

Make sure to use marine grade oils since boat engines work much harder than car engines. You cannot use automotive oil on your boat.

Check the propellers before launching
Outboard or stern drive boats have propellers that rotate in the water to move the boat. The spinning movement of the propeller often entangles a lot of items that can cause it to jam up in future. Your propeller can end up wrapped in old fishing nets, fishing lines, water vegetation and other debris floating in the water. Make sure you inspect your propellers for any dents or damage as it could affect the boat’s performance and cause it to use more fuel when running. In case you notice anything obstructing the propeller or propeller shaft, call a technician to handle the repairs.

You also need to grease the propeller shaft to maintain a smooth rotating motion throughout the drive. You need to use special waterproof grease, which is more effective under water. You have to remove the propeller blades to grease properly but make sure you put everything back the same way you took it out.

Leave the hard work to the professionals
Unless you are a DIY enthusiast who has done this before, you should leave all the repair work to the professionals. Most vehicle owners will approach the boat engine similar to a car engine when there are numerous differences and this can put your safety at risk. In case of any problems with running the boat, call a qualified technician to trouble shoot and repair.

Posted by: Stowaway Marine http://stowawaymarine.net 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Used Boat Buying Process

You've looked long and hard and finally found the boat you want and are ready to buy. So what's the normal process?
Making An Offer
Having looked at a few boats you should have some idea of the relative value of the boat you want to buy. You should expect to pay a fair market value. You are probably looking to buy as cheaply as possible but bear in mind that the vendor is looking to get as much as he or she possibly can. Boats often sell below the advertised price so don't be afraid to make an offer but make your offer a reasonable one. It's better to have your offer considered rather than rejected outright. If you can reach an agreement quickly and amicably from a reasonable starting point then the whole buying experience will be a better one. More than likely you will be negotiating with a broker. Their job is to get the best price they can for the vendor not help you get a bargain.
Signing The Agreement
Having agreed a price it is usual to sign a sales agreement and pay a holding deposit. The agreement to purchase is subject to the fulfillment of conditions which normally include a survey and sea trial and may include an engine and rig inspection. The sales agreement is normally 30 days with the survey and sea trial within 14 days.
Organising a Survey
Find a reliable surveyor experienced in the type of boat you are purchasing. The broker will have a list and it's also a good idea to ask around and get some recommendations. Also most states have a marine surveyors association that can provide a list.The survey expenses are normally at the purchasers cost and the deposit is refundable if the sale does not proceed.
If at all possible attend the survey so you can discuss the boat with your surveyor. This is your main chance to find out about the boat you are purchasing from some one who is representing your interests. Going through the boat with the surveyor will put his report in perspective. Just reading the written report can be alarming if you haven't actually seen what he is talking about.
Conducting a Sea Trial
The sea trial is your opportunity to check that everything works OK and is as described in the inventory. Make a list and go through it. Don't be rushed.
Making the Final Decision
The sales agreement should give you a few days to consider the survey report and make a decision on whether to proceed or not. Expect the survey report to list some items for your attention. No boat is going to be perfect. Depending on the nature of the items you may negotiate some compensation prior to agreeing to the sale. If the survey uncovers some major problems you can walk away or, depending on the nature of the problem, get the vendor to fix it and complete the sale. Get advice from your surveyor.

Once you are happy, sign the acceptance on the sales agreement and arrange to transfer the balance of the purchase price to the vendor or broker before the agreed completion date. Ensure you receive all the appropriate documentation and proof of ownership.
Posted By: Stowaway Marine http://stowawaymarine.net

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Before You Buy That Boat

If you are thinking of buying a boat, then you are definitely headed in the right direction as far as exploring the world and having adventure is concerned. Since water covers a greater percentage of the earth than land, a boat will allow you to see more of the world. However, a boat is a serious investment, second to buying a home. You must do your homework properly to avoid going at a loss. There are certain things that you need to consider before you head down and buy that boat.

One of the things you need to ask yourself is why you are buying a boat. What do you intend to use the boat for? There are several activities that you can use a boat for. These include fishing, cruising and even sporting. Depending on how you intend to use your boat, you will have to select a boat that meets these requirements. If you intend to use the boat on your own for instance, a smaller size will do. If you intend to have family cruising with you in your boat, you will need a boat that can carry this weight.

Another consideration you need to make when buying your boat is whether you are familiar with maritime laws that you will abide by when using your boat. In the same way you cannot buy a car and take it to the road without proper licensing, you cannot just buy a boat and cruise around without the proper training and licensing.

It is necessary to find out what other boating enthusiasts and boat lovers have to say about particular models and types of boats. There are several online forums that you can visit to familiarize yourself with certain makes of boats, by finding out what others have to say about their experiences with these boats. Certain boating enthusiasts even post videos of themselves taking boats on test runs, which means you will at least have a more visual idea of how a particular boat performs.

And speaking of test runs, when buying a boat you must take it for a test before giving your money away. You need to get an idea of how it will feel being in that boat. If the feeling is not what you want, try out another model, maybe a smaller/bigger size. Keep trying until you find the boat of your dreams.

Consider whether you want to buy a used boat or a new one. There are certain perks that come with buying a used boat, including being able to benefit from the previous owner’s experience of owning the boat. That is, you could always ask to be told what to expect. A new boat on the other hand is yours to discover. Used boats also tend to be cheaper than their brand new counterparts.

If you have decided to finally buy a boat, take your time figuring out what’s available and what you truly want. Do not rush into buying a boat. Just like you didn’t rush when buying your home, be patient and you will finally discover the boat of your dreams. 

Posted By: Stowaway Marine http://stowawaymarine.net

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Buying a Boat

If you’re thinking of buying a boat, you’re on the right track towards having fun-filled adventures in the water. Two thirds of the earth’s surface is covered by water, which means your new boat will allow you to visit and see more of this wonderful planet than a car would. Unlike cars, boats are not merely for transportation. The decision to buy a boat is a lifestyle choice, and one that should be approached with eyes wide open to avoid pitfalls associated with boat-buying.

There are several questions you need to ask yourself before committing yourself to a boat purchase. Answering these questions carefully will enable you to determine which boat is best for you. So, here you go…

What’s your type?

The first thing you must do is determine what type of boat will suit your needs, and this is an answer that you will arrive at by deciding what it is you intend to use the boat for. There are three main boating activities, and they are fishing, cruising and watersports. While you can find boats that are used for all three activities, you might want to get a boat that is primarily intended for a specific activity, especially if you wish to specialize in that activity.

Does size matter?

Yes, it does, especially if this is your first boat. It is advisable to start small when buying boats, because bigger boats tend to have more systems to understand and operate, and definitely cost more. However, you must ensure that the boat you choose can safely accommodate the number of people you wish to have onboard.

New vs used?

Buying a new boat has its advantages, and so does buying a used boat. One of the great things about buying a used boat is that you will usually get it at a cheaper price than you would a new boat. If you do decide to buy a used boat, it is wise to get a marine surveyor who will go over the boat carefully before you make the purchase.

Which make and model is best?

Usually, this will be determined by the experience you are looking to get when you cruise your boat in the water, or head out fishing. That being said, when making comparisons between different makes and models, there are several things that are usually considered. These include beam, weight, draft, ideal cruising speed, noise levels, equipment, brand ratings, and so on.

Getting back to school

It is one thing to buy a boat, and another to get it out there in the water. There are rules that must be followed, and you must know how to handle the wind, waves, tides and currents. If you are a bit rusty on these, ensure you get adequate instruction before you take your boat out there in sea. Most states require that you pass an approved boating course before you can be issued a safe boating certificate that allows you to be in the water.

Buying a boat is the 2nd largest investment most people make, and if you’re thinking of going down this route, you must be prepared to do your homework.

Posted By: Stowaway Marine http://stowawaymarine.net

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Buying a Used Boat

If you’ve been thinking of getting yourself a boat, buying a used one might be ideal, and for numerous reasons. For starters, the model has already been tried and tested by the person who bought it new, and as such you can get a full report on its reliability. Secondly, buying a used boat saves you money. Indeed, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, NMMA, 60 percent of first-time boat buyers purchase a used boat.

Buying a used boat, as with any big purchase, requires adequate preparation, especially if you are doing it for the first time. There are numerous boat models to choose from, and you need to know what you will be using your boat for so that you can settle on an appropriate model. Remember also that there are Coast Guard regulations for each of these vessels, and you must comply before you are allowed to set sail.

When buying a used boat, it is crucial that you check to see whether the previous owners properly maintained the boat. If there are signs of neglect and deterioration, you might want to move on to the next boat. Usually, when viewing a prospective boat, you will find that the boat is not in water. Depending on the region, the boat may be in the owners’ home or the Marina. Even though that is the case, you can still make a good assessment and if possible, request for a test cruise. Do not part with your money until you are certain that the watercraft you are buying is worth that money.

Besides the appearance of the boat, special attention should be paid to the mechanical aspects of it. Make sure that the engine of the boat is in good shape. A review by a marine mechanic is a good way to ascertain whether the engine is in good working condition. Remember, marine engines are expensive and you do not want to have to incur great losses after your boat purchase. Also, if a single engine boat breaks down, you will be stranded at sea.

A good company offers premium used boats that you can trust. Upon acquisition of the boats, they should be checked, repaired as necessary, serviced and cleaned thoroughly before they are passed on to their next owners.

On top of providing reliable pre-owned boats, the particular company should also offer services such as oil changes, replacement of water pumps, canvass repair, rebuilding of trailers, troubleshooting and engine repair, and so much more. Once you make an order, you should expect it to be delivered overnight, so you do not have to wait days to get what you want.

Whether you want a boat for yourself or your family, it is important that you choose a model that is reliable and which will stay with you until you decide to pass it along to new owners. And even though you do not know which the best model is, a boat seller will assist you in making that decision by offering great advice and insights.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What You Need to Know About Boat Repair Services

Fishermen and other people looking for ways to spend their own leisure time usually prefer using fiberglass because compared to wooden boats; these boats have excellent qualities especially with regard to their strength.

You can fix simple issues on your own

Nevertheless, fiberglass boats undergo damages because of direct contact with water waves or due to deterioration from the boat’s innermost wooden part. Since boats are commonly used, the boat owners usually resort to simple techniques of fixing simple breaks. To ensure that all the parts of your boat function properly, you need to be familiar with all those parts and what they do so that should anything go wrong, you will easily detect it and know what is required. This will ensure that you don’t get overcharged by unscrupulous mechanics.

If the fiberglass boat experiences minor breaks or scrapes, you will be able to fix those on your own. Usually, when you buy a boat, it will come with the manual to help you understand all of its parts and the basic techniques of troubleshooting simple issues. Besides, if you search online, you can also get some tutorials on how to maintain the boat accordingly.

Complex issues may require a professional

Knowing the simple steps involved in troubleshooting your fiberglass boat will save you a great deal. However, some repairs may be a bit complex and may require more specialized procedures to get them fixed. In such a case, you may be required to involve a professional who is highly experienced in handling similar situations.

When do you know that boat damages require an expert? When the damages seem bigger than what you’re familiar with, you need to contact a boat repair service. Fortunately, there are many boat repair companies with years of experience and with the right tools to fix different issues that may affect your fiberglass boat.

For your safety

Other than enhancing the functionality of your boat, repair and maintenance are imperative for your own safety. Sailing can be risky and your life will always be in jeopardy if you lack the surety that your boat is in a good working state. That is why you need to ensure that a professional inspects your boat to ascertain that everything is alright.

Find the right service

To find out the company that will suit your needs, you should review their job history as well as how they treat their customers. They should be knowledgeable and proficient enough to handle specialized repairs on your boat. You also need to know how they treated their previous clients. You can get such information by checking out online reviews for different companies offering this service.

Finding the perfect company that repairs boats is not any different from the major purchases you often do from time to time. Check out the market for the available preferences and then assess which company can meet your requirements and the ones that can do that at reasonable prices. Getting boat repair services from a quality company will not only prevent damages from recurring but it will also augment its quality thus creating an enjoyable sailing experience.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

3 Simple Ways to Maintain Your Boat

Every boat needs proper maintenance in order to operate efficiently for a longer period of time. Routine maintenance and small repairs may seem like a waste of money but in the long run, they pay off. We are going to look at 3 simple ways a boat owner can maintain this important investment.

Regular washing

This is probably the simplest way to maintain your boat. Regular washing is important as it helps to remove any salt residue that could cause damage on your boat’s exterior. You need to rinse the boat thoroughly with clean and fresh water whenever you come out of the waters. This cleaning can be done as regularly as possible because salt can easily cause corrosion especially on the metal components of the boat. If you notice corrosion on the fasteners and other hardware it could be a sign that the boat is not thoroughly washed after use. You can clean the boat using a soft boat brush together with soap. There’s certain soap that is designed for cleaning boats without damaging its gel coat. You may even try using the car wash soap but make sure it doesn’t cause any damage to the gel coat.

Regular oil changes

Regular oil changes are important because they help to maintain the boat in top notch condition. The number of times you have to change the oil will depend on the type of boat you have. You can do the oil changes on your own or hire a professional to do them. The good thing with getting a professional to do the oil change is that they’ll do it quickly, efficiently and using the right tools. You also need to choose the right type of oil for your boat. Experts recommend marine grade oil which is good for your boat engine. Automotive oils are not designed to protect marine engines.

Check the propeller

The last important thing you need to do is to check the propeller on a regular basis to ensure it’s in perfect state. You need to remove the propeller and make sure it doesn’t have discarded fishing lines attached to it. These items can interfere with the gear case and even cause boat leaks. The propeller is also at risk of dents and other forms of wear and tear. In many cases, the paint on the propeller will come out fast and this is normal. But dents must be fixed because if they are ignored, they can undermine the performance of a boat and make it burn excess fuel.

Boat repairs and maintenance should only be done by a professional. If you suspect that something is wrong with your boat or any of its components, it’s important to ask a contractor to come in and check it out immediately. There are certain issues that may seem small but can quickly escalate and undermine the performance of your boat. Consider routine checkups to take note of any issues that come along the way. Remember that a well maintained boat will serve you for longer.

Posted By: Stowaway Marine http://stowawaymarine.net 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

How to Perform a Mechanical Audit of a Used Boat

If this is your first time buying a used boat, you still have a lot to learn. Before you even begin with the shopping process, make sure you know what the boat’s primary use is going to be. Like all other second hand purchases, buying a used boat has its risks. But there’s a lot that you can do to ensure you make a smart purchase. For instance, you must consult an experienced marine mechanic to find out if the boat was properly maintained. Don’t purchase a used boat without performing a mechanical audit. Here are some of things you should be checking when reviewing the mechanics of a used boat.
Take a close look at the boat’s engine and you can easily tell whether it’s been well maintained over the years. A very dirty engine is certainly a sign of neglect. Boat owners who clean their engines after use are certainly more likely to maintain other integral components of the boat. Remember that salt causes the outside parts of the boat to corrode so without proper cleaning, the areas will look rusty and old.

If you notice so much rust on the engine, this could be an issue with the boat’s cooling system or it could be that there’s leaking water passing through the engine. A marine mechanic will be able to advice you after noticing some of these issues. If the engine is exposed to salt for an extended period, you’ll notice some heavy deposits of grime near the seals.

You may also want to check the oil when performing this mechanical review. Using a dip stick, take a close look at the color of the oil. If you notice a foamy film inside the oil, know that there could be open seals or cracks inside the engine. You need to ask about this. Find out when the system was last checked and if any repairs have been done on it before. Ask the boat owner to provide you with a document that outlines all the work that has been done on the boat. Review this documentation to better understand the kind of maintenance work that has been done before.

The batteries also need to be in proper shape. You can assess their condition by taking the boat on a cruise. If the batteries are not very powerful, you’ll need to replace them because it’s going to be hard to operate the boat when the water is low.

Remember that an appearance review is also important as much as it may not impact on the boat’s performance. Examine the hull as well as the metal and wood surfaces and take note of any problem areas. If you notice discoloration, moss, corrosion or any other form of deterioration, make sure they are repaired before purchasing the boat. If the bulk heads are loose, think twice about purchasing the boat. Always ask the marine mechanic to give you recommendations and problem areas that must be fixed before you make the purchase.

Posted By: Stowaway Marine http://stowawaymarine.net