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Boat Buying


Anylakeanytime

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I am a first time boat buyer. I found a great deal on a boat (5000 less than low end blue book value) on the internet. I talked to the owner and he says more or less that the boat is perfect. The owner has his reasons why the great price, but I am still a little leary. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or experiences that I should know before purchasing it (other than obviously viewing it)?

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Any, is this just a boat or does it include a boat, motor & trailer?

What are the reasons the seller gives you for selling it so low?

There are some deals out there but I would be a little careful. A friend of mine pickuped up a 20' Boston Whaler with a 150hp Merc, 9.9 kicker, roller trailer, and all of the Salmon fishing poles, reels and lures for $3700 a few years ago in Kewaunee Wisc.

The guy who owned it was out of a job, owed the bank $3700 on the rig, had missed several payments, bank was ready to repo it and the seller was not going Salmon fishing in the near future.

Heck of a deal. He still has it today and has had no problems with the rig.

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It is fully loaded (200 Yamaha, T8 kicker, trolling motor, eagle tandem trailer, 2 graphs...etc.). He has a lot of legitimate excuses (has a new boat, wants to get rid of the old one, priced to sell soon...etc.). My two biggest concerns are 1) I GUARANTEE this guy knows what the boat is worth and it would sell just as quick a for few thousand dollars more 2) The boat is currently having all the "warrenty work" done on it (e.g., "checking and replacing rivets") so that he can sell it in tip top condition. I have seen the pictures (which look fabulous) and have inquiried many times about any mishaps (bent skag, dents, any motor problems...etc) and he said there is "one dent almost unnoticeable that happened when he drifted into a stump and that the only problem he has had with the motor is a clogged fuel filter." I know the red flags are there, but he SEEMS like a stand-up character?

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The first thought that comes to my mind is-HOT!! If it was a legitimate deal he could go to any dealer and get more than he's offering it for. Try to get the serial number traced to follow the ownership.

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*shrug* Aside from doing some more poking and prodding - there isn't much else you can do when buying something like that used. At this point, it may just be a good idea to be up front and honest with him and ask him why he isn't just taking it elsewhere to receive top dollar...? Why would anyone in their right mind sell it for several thousand less than what is it worth? Doesn't want the hassle? I'd agree that things seem fishy - but again, it's a roll of the dice you play when buying something used.

Best wishes...

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Why would rivets need to be replaced on a 2 year old boat?

I've drifted into stumps before and never dented my aluminum boats.

How fast does a guy have to go to dent his hull with a stump?

I've drifted into rocks before and only skuffed my boat.

What kind of boat is it?

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Is this guy a tournament fisherman?? A guide?? If so he didn't pay full price for it the first place. There are a lot of guy's on here that would be perfectly happy buying a brand new in box trolling motor for $100 below what it sells for in the store. I have not paid full price for anything in about five years now. I have sponsorships from a lot of companies that provide equipment for as much as 60% off retail. Boats can be bought from dealers under prostaff programs for as much as $10,000 below retail depending on the price. A pro could have won a certificate for a new one and is selling his old one for below value to sell it quick and claim a capital gains loss towards the taxes due on the new one. Just because it's a good deal doesn't mean there is something fishy.

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Hi Chris,

You are exactly right, I did some more investigating and he is a pro that was sponsored by the company of the boat I am buying, he is now sponsored by another boat company and has not only the boat I am buying, but his current boat up on the "auction block" (come Nov.). I figure he is getting rid of one headache quick and easy before the next one begins?

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I bought a boat 3 years ago, 5k less than blue book, with lots of add-ons. He was in a pinch to sell, I bought, a win-win situation for both of us. Boat has been flawless. Just use good judgement and intuition, hopefully it works out for you.

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