For many, buying a new boat is out of the question. The cost for a new boat from a dealership can clear out the bank account. While the advantage of buying new certainly is that it is under warranty, many used boats may fall under warranty terms at a fraction of the dealership sticker price. If you’re in search of a used boat in South Carolina, check out these tips. 

Where to search for great used boats in South Carolina

South Carolina has a vast boating industry. In total, nearly 5,000 recreational vessels are registered in the state. These kinds of numbers mean great used boats are available for sale. 

Digital Methods

-Local Craigslist listings are an avenue to find boats in your area listed for sale. Most are very descriptive of the vessel for sale in addition to substantial pictures. However, Craigslist is somewhat becoming a thing of the past. Be aware of potential scams that are looking to try to obtain information from you. 

-Another online resource is Boat Trader typically offers top quality boats because of the price to list it. The site allows you to narrow down search criteria to find what you’re in search of. If a specific make, model, or brand is in mind and willing to take the drive, a good fitting boat can be found hundreds of miles away. The only downfall is sifting through dealerships who are listing new vessels.

-For most, Facebook is at our fingertips at nearly all times of the day. Facebook is an excellent means of finding a used boat. Search the Marketplace for listing local to you. Here you will see photos and descriptions. More information can easily be obtained by sending a direct message to the seller before committing to even look at it. 

Taking a drive to find your match

-It’s not uncommon to find trailered boats parked out in front of houses in your community listed for sale. With this method, you can get an up-close and personal view of what might be your next investment. For the most part, the seller won’t mind you pulling in and taking a gander. They may even come outside and answer any questions on the spot. 

The dreaded boat dealer

It’s not always a dreadful experience. The sales associate may also be accommodating in keeping an eye out for a boat brought in on trade that matches your requirements. Additionally, a dealer will typically stand behind the purchase to often include a minimum thirty-day warranty. 

Steps To Inspect A Used Boat

Whether you’re seeking a boat from the internet or in person, look for these critical signs when inspecting the boat to ensure it is in a suitable condition. 

-Review all of the service records. Gaps in service can lead to costly repairs. Pour through them carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 
-Walk around the hull and carefully look for cracks. Stress on the hull and poor manufacturing can lead to even the slightest cracking, which can quickly grow. Avoid stepping into a headache.
-Inspect the running gear. Damage to the prop(s) and lower portions of outboard motors can often lead to internal issues. Internal issues can mean big money. 
-Run a compression check on all of the cylinders. A reading below 140 psi can indicate a problem within the cylinder. 
-With outboard engines, drain a small sample of gear case oil. If the oil appears milky whatsoever, this indicates water intrusion in the lower unit. 
-If the boat includes a trailer, take a look over the tires, wiring, condition of the bunks, and ask when the bearings and brakes were last serviced. Having a roadside breakdown won’t be an enjoyable situation.

After you have found a boat you are interested in and have taken a close examination, it is always a good idea to hire a mechanic or boat expert for a professional review. The hourly or daily rate may save you thousands in the long run.

Having read these tips, your search for a used boat in South Carolina should be much easier. Spending time on the water leads to life long memories by enjoying what it has to offer, including fishing, tubing, beaching, and sightseeing. Remember, don’t forget to load up on all your coast guard safety equipment.