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