A new houseboat does not come without its problems, so being attentive when acquiring a houseboat doesn’t hurt. When you buy a home, you usually look through it closely and then get a professional to look at it. Looking at used houseboats should be no different. An advantage of purchasing a second hand or pre-owned houseboat is the extra odds and ends the owner may not have remembered to add into his or her price.
Buying a used houseboat isn’t anything complex. If you take your time to look over and inspect you will be fine. Also, getting a little help from a professional won’t hurt you. When making a inspection of a houseboat, make sure that you list any repairs that you think might need to be done. This will come in handy when the time comes to negotiate a price with the owner.
When looking at houseboats online or in the paper, the pictures can be deceiving. A quick drive-by of potential houseboats can save you money, time, and migraine medicine. Giving a houseboat a quick once over from the outside will help tremendously. Look for chipped or peeling paint, a disheveled dock area, and mildew on carpets. If there are little things wrong, than most likely there are a few bigger problems. On the other hand, do not take a good, clean appearance for granted. Make sure you arranged a time that works for you and the owner of the houseboat to meet, so you can get a more thorough inspection.
Buying a second hand houseboat requires many areas that need to be checked out, especially on the outside of a houseboat. A few smaller things are paint, carpet, fiberglass, and lights. You want to make a manual inspection of all these. Paint that is fading or peeling is an indication that a paint job will be needed soon. Carpet that is moldy needs and should be replaced by the owner. All of the lights, outside and inside, should be working properly.
Some other areas that should be looked at are the hull and roof. Check the hull for any signs of rust. Inspecting the hull from the outsides and inside would be a good idea. Make sure you have a flashlight handy and inspect the inside of the hull carefully. It can cost you several thousand dollars to replace a steel hull. Be sure to inspect the joints for signs of weakness, or cracks on both steel hulls and aluminum hulls. Inspecting a roof could save you money, so take every chance given to walk all around the roof. Look for cracks and chips in the gel coat. Checking for weak spots will reassure you that there isn’t any rotting wood.
When buying a used houseboat, just be smart. Know what to look for and definitely ask questions. If you are unsure about a houseboat get a professional to inspect it.