Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Should You Buy a New or Used Boat?

If you are in the process of buying a boat, it’s always important to look at all the available options. The amount of money you want to spend on the boat will certainly affect your decision. A used boat will certainly cost less but there are other factors to be considered. Buying a brand new boat doesn’t necessarily mean that you made a good investment. So here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself before making a decision.
1.     Do you have financing?
If you intend to buy the boat in cash then you can buy either a used or new boat. However, for those people who are looking for financing in order to buy a boat, it’s going to be harder to get if you plan on buying a used one. Most financiers will not trust that the boat will be a good investment if it has been used before. However, you can always provide evidence that the boat is in proper state in order to secure financing. Hire your own mechanic to assess the boat before you make a purchase. Make sure whatever you are buying is worth the cost.
2.     What is the boat’s repair history?
You don’t want to buy a boat that has not been properly cared for. You’ll only spend a lot of time and money on repairs even if you bought it at a low price. Find out from the seller if the boat has any structural defects and mechanical issues. Some of these issues are quite hard to detect so that’s why you need to buy a used boat from someone you can trust. Talk to the owner’s mechanic so that you can understand the kind of repairs that have been done in the past. If the problems will keep on emerging, we would suggest you look for another boat.
3.     Have you considered the level of depreciation?
Every asset depreciates in value with time so it’s always worth considering this before buying a new or used boat. Know how much the item has depreciated and if the amount that it is going for is reasonable. Get the numbers right by comparing other used boats sold online. If the amount is too low then think twice. There are cases where people sell their used boats because they are not in good working condition. Don’t be ready to pay for a used boat because it’s offered at a low price. Ask a professional to inspect it and make sure it’s worth every dime.
4.     Will they offer after sales service?

Once you buy a new boat, there are high chances that any problems which crop up are going to be fixed by the seller. However, most individual owners who sell used boats do not offer any after sales services. This can be very risky if you are planning on making an important investment like this. You must be very confident that the used boat is in perfect condition especially if it doesn’t come with a warranty.

Posted By: Stowaway Marine

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Boating Terms

ABAFT - In the direction of the stern, or the rear of the boat
ABEAM - On a line that forms a right angle to the ship's keel
ABOARD - On board (of a ship or a boat)
ABOVE DECK - On the boat's deck
ABREAST - By the side of, next to or side by side
ADRIFT - Floating at random, not on the towline.
AFT - Near or in the direction of the stern of the boat
AGROUND - When the bottom of the boat touches or lodges on the ground.
AHEAD - In front of; to go in advance
AIDS TO NAVIGATION - Road signs used on the waterway, they help indicate the safety level of water
ALOFT - Above or on top of the boat's deck
AMIDSHIPS - In the middle or center of the boat
ANCHORAGE - Where a ship anchors or a suitable place to anchor
ASTERN - Towards the back of the boat
AWEIGH - When the anchor is raised and off bottom of body of water
BATTEN DOWN - To secure or strengthen the hatches and objects on the deck and hull of a boat
BEAM - The boat's width
BEARING - The direction of an object as determined by a compass
BELOW - Down below, beneath, or under the deck
BILGE - The broadest width of the bottom of the boat
BOAT - A small open vessel or watercraft.
BOAT HOOK - A pole that has a metal point and hooks that is used to maneuver logs, or retrieve objects that have fallen overboard
BOW - A boat's front section
BOW LINE - A rope that is used to tie the boat to a dock; it has a loop spliced at one end
BOWLINE A special knot that is used to create a temporary loop; there are several variations for forming a bowline
BRIDGE -Where the ship is steered or controlled.
BULKHEAD - A partition that is used to separate compartments on a boat
BUOY - A floating device used for marking locations or other hazards in the water
BURDENED VESSEL - Also referred to as Give Way; the vessel that must yield to another vessel
CABIN - The compartment used for crew members or passengers
CAPSIZE - When a boat upsets or overturns
CAST OFF - To untie or let go.
CHART - A marine map
CHINE - The line where the sides and bottom of a flat or v-bottomed boat intersect
CHOCK - Fittings used to pass ropes or mooring lines
CLEAT - Fittings used to hold ropes or lines securely
CLOVE HITCH - A temporary knot used for securing a rope or line to a piling or spar
COURSE - The direction a boat is steered.
CUDDY - A small cabin on a boat
CURRENT - The course in which the water flows
DEAD AHEAD - Straight ahead
DEAD ASTERN - The position behind the boat
DECK - Floor like coverings of the compartments of a ship
DINGHY - A small rowboat or open boat
DOCK - A pier or wharf
DRAFT - Depth of water necessary to cause the boat to float
FENDER - A cushioning device that is used to prevent the sides of a boat from damage
FLARE - Where the boat's sides spread outward, near the bow of the boat
FLUKE - Where the anchor fastens to the ground
FOLLOWING SEA - A sea swell
FORE-AND-AFT - The length of the boat from the bow to the stern
FOREPEAK - Used for storing cargo, a small section within the bow of the boat
FORWARD - Toward the front of the boat
FOULED - The encrusting of foreign matter or debris on the hull of a boat
GALLEY - The boats kitchen area
GANGWAY - The side of the boat used for the boarding of passengers
GEAR - Nautical equipment such as ropes, tackle, etc.
GROUND TACKLES - The anchor and its accessories
GUNWALE - The top of a boat's side
HATCH - Located in the deck, it is an opening that has a secure cover
HEAD - A nautical commode
HEADING - The direction that the bow of the boat is pointed in
HEADWAY - The progress the ship makes as it moves across the water
HELM - The wheel that steers the ship
HELMSPERSON - The one who steers the boat
HOLD - A compartment used for storing cargo, located below the deck
HULL - The boat's main body
INBOARD - The inside of a boat
INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY - ICW: A body of water that is used for boats to travel upon
JETTY - A structure that extends or jets out from the shore
KEEL - The line of the boat that extends through the center; also a barge
KNOT - A unit of speed that is understood to mean per hour (6080.27 feet)
LATITUDE - The distance north and south of the equator; latitude is measured in degrees
LEEWARD - The direction in which the wind blows
LEEWAY - The direction a boat drifts to leeward of the steered course
LINE - The rope or cords that are used on a boat
LOG - A record of nautical activities
LONGITUDE - Distance measured in degrees that determines east and west from the Prime Meridian
MIDSHIP - The middle of a ship; between the bow and stern
MOORING - Anchors or fastenings used to secure a boat
NAUTICAL MILE - The unit used for measuring nautical navigation; one nautical mile equals 1,852 meters or 6,076 feet
NAVIGATION - The act of passing over water in ships or boats
NAVIGATION RULES - Steering and sailing rules that govern how boats and ships pass over water
OUTBOARD - The outside of the hull of a boat
OVERBOARD - The place located outside the side or edge of a boat
PIER - A wharf or structure that is used as a landing place
PILE - A pole made of wood, stone, or metal used to support a pier.
PILING - Used for driving piles; or a structure composed of piles
PILOTING - Coastal navigation that utilizes soundings and buoys
PORT - Place in the water that is used to provide shelter for boats
PRIVELEGED VESSEL - A vessel that has the right of way according to Navigation Rules
QUARTER - The upper sides of a boat; between the stem and the mast
RODE - The line or rope attached to an anchor
RUDDER - Used for steering a boat; a hinged plate made of fiberglass, wood or metal that is mounted to the stern
RUNNING LIGHTS - Required lights that are displayed on a boat between sunrise and sunset
SATELLITE NAVIGATION - Navigation that uses satellite transmission via radio waves and equipment located on the boat
SCREW - The propeller on a boat
SCUPPERS - Holes in the side of a ship, used to allow water to drain.
SEAMANSHIP - The skill of navigating a boat or ship.
SEA ROOM - A location in sea where there is no obstructions; the space that is safe for navigating a boat or ship
SEAWORTHY - A boat that is deemed fit and safe for navigating or passing over water
SECURE - Tighten, or make fast
SET - To put forth in a specified direction
SLACK - To loose, not secure, or fast
SOUNDING - The measurement to determine the depth of water
SQUALL - A brief windstorm; usually comes on suddenly and is accompanied by either snow or rain
STARBOARD - It is the right side of a boat when one is facing forward
STEM - The part of the bow that extends the most forward
STERN - The part of a boat or ship that is in the rear
STERN LINE - A line or rope, used for docking that extends from the stern
STOW - To arrange or place items where they belong
TILLER - A lever that is used for steering a boat's rudder
WAKE - Waves, path, and the tracks left when a boat passes over water
WATERLINE - The line on the hull of a boat used to determine the depth a boat sinks
WAY - The movement of the boat as it passes over water: may be leeway, headway, or sternway
WINDWARD - Of the side that is exposed to the wind
By: Kathryn Ali
Copyright [] 2007

Kathryn Ali is the Owner and Author of []
Posted By: Stowaway Marine

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tips to Maintain your Boat

Tips to Maintain your Boat
Buying a boat is a huge investment and to make sure you secure this investment, routine maintenance is a must. Maintaining your boat will preserve its condition and make sure it always performs optimally. You’ll also avoid some common boat repairs which are quite costly.

First, you’ll need to look out for some signs that your boat could be experiencing some underlying issues. No one knows your boat better than you. If you notice rust stains, don’t just ignore it assuming that it’s normal. Rust stains can occur on areas such as the hull and may indicate a bigger problem with your boat.

Sometimes the components beneath the boat such as bolts could be exposed to water/leaking causing the area around it to form rust stains. This is an issue that can cause the boat to sink if ignored for an extended period. The bolts need to be caulked immediately in order to stop the leaking and rust from forming around that area.

Additionally, you need to inspect the boat trailer for any signs of wear and tear. If the worn-out parts are not replaced immediately, the boat can be very hard to retrieve. Sometimes the worn out areas may damage the hull so they need to be replaced immediately.

The boat’s propeller also needs to be in the right state. If dirt is left to accumulate on the propeller shaft, it could risk complete damage. This is an area that is often exposed to marine life which may cause a lot of damage and even hinder the performance of your boat. Have it cleaned immediately to make sure the propeller performs optimally always.

When the boat is not in use, like during the winter, it’s important to store it properly. Poor storage may cause mold formation and reduce the service life of your boat. Before storing the boat make sure you review its condition and ascertain that it is in the right state. Do not store the boat with things like exterior cushions and covers during off-season. Remove these items and make sure you don’t cover the boat in such a way that it can’t get proper ventilation.

Lack of proper maintenance often leads to a lot of disappointments. Sometimes the boat may fail at a time when you least expect it and you’ll have to spend a lot of money on the repairs. You can have an expert inspect your boat say four times in a year or so. If you notice a drop in performance, it would also be best to call in an expert to provide the right assessment. Doing this will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Also consider hiring a marine surveyor to come and inspect your boat and make sure it’s in the right state. Sometimes self-inspection may not allow you to see significant problems with your boat and seek the necessary help. Remember that your safety and enjoyment is at stake so you must take all these maintenance requirements seriously. 

Posted By: Stowaway Marine

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Basic Guide To Buying Used Boats

We all have that fear of buying a used item. What if the owner wasn't transparent about its condition? Will it be a worthwhile investment? Many times we buy used items because we want to cut back on costs and still get a something reliable. The same applies to buying used boats. A used boat can still fulfill your needs. Once you made a decision to buy a boat that someone else has owned before, here are some important things to consider.

First, know where to find a variety of used boats for sale. Used boats are being advertised everywhere these days. From magazines to bulletin boards and popular websites, you'll come across many people offering boats for sale. Look for a reliable marketplace where you can easily find quality used boats for sale and compare their prices. You can also shop for used boats both online and offline and compare the prices offered.

Other than looking at the price of a used boat, knowing the materials it's made of together with its current performance is very important. Fiberglass is considered one of the best materials for making boats. The performance of the boat will depend on the state of the engine. Engines that have been used a little over a year can still perform optimally especially if the boat has been well taken care of.

Secondly, know the seller before making any commitments. You'd rather buy a used boat from a company than a stranger you just found online. The good thing about companies that specialize in selling used boats is that they normally perform background checks to ensure customers are getting value for their money.

Find a reputable dealer who will help you narrow down your list of options and select a used boat that suits your taste and budget. Instead of having to visit one buyer at a time, a dealer will present you with several options which you can check out and compare. It's easy to decide on what you like and avoid poor quality used boats by choosing the right options.

Decide on the length of the boat that's best for you. Look for a dealer who will be transparent with you and explain all the issues with the boat before you make a purchase. In most cases, used boats are not set at a fixed price so you can negotiate and get a better deal. Your boat dealer will help you in negotiations and make sure you find the perfect match.

You need to perform some visual inspections which can help you tell if the boat is in a good state. For instance, check the prop area for any signs of damage. If the boat has significant signs of wearing, cracks or even a leak, then you may want to reconsider. Check the interior of the boat for musty odors. Some boats may be made using a combination of wood and fiber glass. Wood is prone to rotting so check whether there are any signs of potential problems.
Stow Away Marine & More, Inc., is conveniently located in Wakulla County (approximately 20 miles from downtown Tallahassee) on Coastal Hwy 98 between Woodville and Crawfordville Hwy's.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Little Care Will Keep Your Boat in Top Notch Condition

The story of boats is as old as the human civilization. There's reference of a boat "Noah's ark" in the Bible. Noah's ark was the boat built by the Biblical character Noah to save his family and animals from the Flood. Gondolas were the traditionally used boats in Venice.

Today, a boat is considered as one of the major tools of watercraft. A boat is a small vessel for traveling on water. It comprises of one or more buoyancy structures called hulls, and some system of propulsion such as a screw, oars, paddles, a setting pole, a sail, paddlewheels or a water jet.

The front of a boat is called the bow or prow and the rear of the boat is called the stern. The right side is starboard and the left side is port. The boat toilet is called the 'heads'.

A boat with a housing compartment is called a houseboat or barge. A pontoon boat is a flat-bottomed boat that serves as a dock or as a floating structure to support a bridge. The pontoon boat is also known as a party boat. It is constructed of round tubes (called sponsors) that are attached to the outside, bottom edge of a large flat deck. It has a safety railing that surrounds the deck from all sides. The helm station is placed either in the middle of the deck or off to one side. Pontoon boats may be furnished with lawn furniture, and some deluxe pontoon boats may have upholstered seating, a dinette table, a roof, a cooler, and maybe even a head (toilet).

A recreational boat is used for water sporting activities or other recreational purposes.

Boat Maintenance:
People fond of water sports or water adventures keep their own boats. Taking good care of one's boat is very important. Good care and maintenance enhances the life of a boat and saves a lot of money also.

The following are some boat care tips:
  • O The boat engine should be flushed each time after it's used in salt water.
  • O The underneath of the boat should be washed to prevent salt buildup.
  • O The entire boat should be washed using soap and water, after every single use.
  • O A non-skid cleaner should be used to scrub the deck.
  • O The boat should be completely dried after washing.
  • O The boat should be covered properly with a boat cover.
  • O The boat should be waxed every few months to protect the finish from stains and UV damage.
  • O Boat parts and accessories should be checked regularly, and defective parts should be replaced.

A boat cover is a very important accessory. When your boat is not in use, a cover will keep it protected from harsh weather and wearing. People use various boat covers and boat tops to protect their boats. Custom boat covers, Bimini tops and canvas boat covers are some quite commonly used covers.

Paul MacIver writes articles on a variety of topics. To read more about boats [], boat covers [] and other boating accessories, visit the Boat Covers and Accessories [] website. 

Posted By: Stowaway Marine

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Interested in Buying a Used Boat?

A vehicle or a water craft that can make you travel on water is known as boat. Boats are primarily used for recreational purposes like fishing and boating at inland lakes or coastal areas. Once they use to be made of only wood, but now days apart from wood they are made from many different materials like steel, plywood, composite material, and aluminum.

So, you have a dream of owning a boat, but are unable to realize your dream for the want of cash, as they are too expensive for you to purchase. Well, now you can make your dream come true. These days, there are many boats for sale agencies offering you second-hand or used boats with first class condition. If you have made your mind up and are ready to purchase a boat, you should consider these points.

What to look for before you buy a used boat?
A used boat: the first thing that comes to mind is - used by someone.  A fear comes along when buying boats for sale, that a used boat comes with problems and you might end up just repairing it.  But, the truth is way different. If you do purchase a used boat, it can give your family the enjoyment of their lifetime. The right boat can give your family not just a boating experience, but give them a cruising, skiing, and fishing enjoyment. And, if you buy one in a good condition, no one will know it is a second-hand boat. 
The Appearance:
While buying boats, remember first impressions is the best and the lasting impression. Hence; if the look of the boat is not appealing, it means it is attacked by salt and salt is erosive; its attack is fatal. 

This is how you can verify the appearance:
  • ·        Check the flooring material, coiled ropes, articles, discoloration (if it is light you can pass, but if it is deep-signs of neglection) and moss (can be found on the north side of the craft
  • ·        Make sure the wood and metal surface does not have any corrosion due to salt
  • ·        Look for riggings: The nylon ones might  be frayed or dirty
  • ·        The Gel-coat requires waxing annually, hence; if this has not been done it will have a dull appearance
  • ·        Examine the Hull: The Gel-coat discoloration will showcase this. In case you feel the hull looks like it has been required, get it inspected to know the repair was correct
  • ·        Are the bulk heads safe? Most of the bulk heads are secured by a laminate which separate over time. If yes, then please do not buy the boat.

Boat Parts

Boat parts are the most vital part of the boat or for that matter any machine. The correct part will increase the life of your boat and the wrong part will only decrease the lifespan of your boat. Many have the tendency of buying cheap parts as they think they are saving money, but in reality you are playing with the lifespan of your life. Whenever you buy any boat parts make sure they are authentic and have seal on them. Always buy branded parts as they come with guarantee that can be stood by to the words.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Seven Tips for a Successful Sale of Your Used Boat

It's a lot easier to buy your boat than to sell it. I guess that's why you see far more articles and books about buying a boat than about selling one. To sell your boat takes time, money, patience, and finding the right buyer. Having to sell your boat first, before upgrading to another boat, can add pressure and be frustrating. But, if you know the seven tips below, there's a good chance your boat will sell faster than it otherwise would have.

7 Top Tips to Selling Your Used Boat:

1. Make your boat more saleable-take these six steps

Declutter your boat and let it shine. A clean boat sells.

Don't lose interest. Buyers pick up on this. Staying interested in keeping up with repairs and how the boat looks is extremely important.

Fix what's broken. Don't expect buyers to fix things. If something breaks or looks worn, either repair or replace it. This shows the potential buyer that you still care about your boat. That energy rubs off onto the buyer.

Clean the engine room. No oil, grease, or paint-chipped parts. Unfortunately, this is the biggest deal breaker. It's like walking into someplace that has mold on the walls, dirty bathrooms, and greasy carpets-a real turnoff!

Clean the bilge. Make sure it's not full of dirt, leaves, oil, etc. A smelly bilge is another turnoff, especially for women buyers.
Remove personal items. You want the buyers to imagine or envision their own stuff on the boat. Also, any personal stuff you leave on the boat could, and will, be assumed by the potential buyers to be part of the sale.

2. Determine your boat's best price

If you decide to sell your boat yourself, do your homework. Search the internet for boats similar to yours with the same features, model, and year. Look at used boat magazines. What are these boats selling for? What condition are they in? Where are they located? Are they being sold privately or through a yacht broker?

Yacht brokers can do more research through various websites and books such as ABOS™ Marine Blue Book, BUC® Used Boat Price Guide, and PowerBoat Guide. These books give them an idea of a boat's current value. The websites they use can tell them what a particular boat sold for in the past. If, in your research, you see a comparable boat being sold via a yacht broker in your area, there's a good chance that you should be pricing your boat similarly.

Once you have an idea of how much boats like yours are selling for, you can then make a logical decision on how much to sell yours for. Don't get trapped into thinking that your boat is worth more than it really is; or, if you still owe money for your boat, that you can sell the boat for the loan balance. Timing is everything, and pricing your boat appropriately is what helps it be seen, then sold, promptly.

3. Take photographs

Boaters love looking at photographs of boats and their parts-the more, the better. Think about the types of photos you like looking at. Take a walk around your boat and take lots of photographs from different angles of the port, transom, starboard, stern, and bow. On sailboats, take photos of the companion way, mainsail, and mast. If you can get pictures of your boat from the water and/or pictures of your boat in the water away from docks, that will be even better.

Next, take inside photos. Before you do, make sure the inside of your boat is tidy and clean, and that everything you're not selling with the boat is out of the way. In other words, if you are not selling that flat screen TV in your salon, don't have it in your pictures. Take photos of the electronics, forward cabin, engine room, engines, heads, galley, salon, state rooms, v-berth, etc. You'll also need photos of the helm, fly bridge, companion, and mate helm seats. If the boat is on the hard, take photos of the propellers, rudder, and/or keel.
Take overall photos, not just close-ups. Again, look at other boats for sale and notice which of their photos you like to look at-guaranteed, your potential buyers will like them also.

4. Advertise

Where you place your ad will determine how much information goes into it. However, the more places you can place your ad, the better are your chances that it will be seen. There are several websites and forums that will let you advertise your boat for free. These include,, and, to name a few. Other sites advertise no fee, but will actually charge you in the vicinity of $350 up front. So, make sure you read the fine print first before placing your boat ad online. Used boat magazines are still a good way to go, but don't limit yourself to just them. They are harder to update with price changes, photographs, etc.

Your ad should include a full description of your boat, the number of hours on the engine and generator, as well as dates and notes on any major rebuilds. Is your boat fresh water or raw cool? You'll want to reveal any weaknesses the boat may have, how long you've owned the boat, and, most importantly, why you're selling it. Its okay to say you're moving up to a bigger boat, stepping down to a smaller one, or retiring from boating. At the end of this chapter you will find a table with a list of specifications you should include in your ad-use this as a worksheet for writing your ad.

Wherever it is, put a "for sale" sign on your boat so others around will know you're selling.

Last, but not least, create a sales brochure for your boat and keep copies handy.

5. Time your sale

Most boats sell between March and September, with a lull in late August and early September. During April through June, people are looking, especially, for purchase by the July 4th holiday. November quiets down again. If at all possible, have your boat in its natural environment (the water) for the best show. On average, it takes a good three to six months to sell a boat. However, some boats have been known to sit for years. It depends on how well you priced your boat to sell, how clean it is, and how well it's advertised.

6. Decide whether to use a broker

If you don't have time to do the research to write and place ads, create and put up signs, take calls and make appointments, show your boat, or sell your boat, a broker is the best way to go. A broker can do all the running around for you, i.e., place the ads, qualify the buyer, show your boat, etc. A broker has access to other brokers; better websites on which to place ads than non-brokers have, such as; and the used boat books mentioned in Tip 2 above.

Most boat brokers charge a 10 percent commission, though some charge less. Most brokers truly earn their commissions.

7. be careful about upkeep and use during the selling process

Maintain your boat insurance until you close the deal.

Keep the area around the portholes clean, the batteries acid free, and no mold or mildew showing anywhere. If you're demonstrating the boat, take off the plastic. Let the potential new owners feel the wind in their faces.

Don't use your boat after you've signed a purchase and sale agreement (P&S) and/or have a deposit from the buyer.

If your boat is old and/or hasn't had been surveyed recently, contact an accredited marine surveyor and have it done. Either way, have a copy of the latest marine survey for your boat available for review by potential buyers.

Have receipts on hand for big-ticket items you've bought and repairs you've done, or the name and contact information of the service center that did your repairs, in case your potential buyer or the marine surveyor asks to see them.

As mentioned in Tip 4, here is a list that you may want to put into a table and can use as a worksheet for developing effective text for advertisements and brochures about your boat.

My Boat

·        Boat name
·        Type of boat
·        Year built/year first used
·        Current price
·        Brand/manufacturer
·        Model
·        Location used/stored
·        Hull material
·        Engine/fuel type

Additional Specifications and Information

·        Specs:
·        Builder
·        Designer
·        Dimensions
·        LOA (Length overall)
·        Beam
·        Maximum draft
·        Displacement
·        Bridge clearance
·        Engines:
·        Engine brand/manufacturer
·        Engine HP (horse power)
·        Engine model
·        Cruising speed
·        Maximum speed
·        Engine hours

·        Tanks:
·        Fresh water tanks
·        Fuel tanks
·        Water heater
·        Galley
·        Accommodations
·        Fly bridge
·        Other:

Robin G. Coles has authored a book, newspaper column and a variety of articles, newsletters, case studies, reports, and technical documents about boating and non-boating topics. To read more of Coles' articles go to:

Posted By: Stowaway Marine