Used vs New? more bass boat buying tips

In response to a recent comment quoted here, Jason asked about buying a used bass boat.

"With your experience selling and repairing boats, what do you look for when buying a used boat to make sure you get the most for your money?

Well Jason, this is a hard question to answer. I won't say "it depends" because that sounds like a cop out.

But here is what I would do. Now I know this may upset some dealers, but I would buy a boat through word of mouth from trusted friends. I know, I know, this is not always possible.

And some dealers will have some good deals. Especially if it is one of their pro staff boats. Those boats are usually well cared for because the pro staffer has certain obligations to keep his boat looking good as part of his contract.

I would avoid buying a boat belonging to someone who fishes lots of tournaments. A few tournaments are fine. It's the guy's boat who fishes every weekend that scares me because he puts lots of hours on that boat.

I know of two boats right now that are nearly brand new and are well maintained. One is a BassCat and the other is a Blazer that are great buys. The price is right and the boats have little hours on them. In fact, I even thought of buying one of them and reselling it at a $5000 profit because it is priced so well.

I sold my boat last year about this time to a member in my bass club. He heard about it from another clubber. Even though the boat was 10 years old, it had very few hours and runs great. Sure some cosmetic stuff was showing its wear but over all it was a good buy.

Because the guy was in my club, I sold it less than what I thought I could get for it. I figured if anything went wrong right after he bought it, I would feel bad. So I discounted it by $1000 to $1500 so even if something happened he still had a good boat at a fair price. As it was, he got a great deal.

And, read the fishing forums and look for sale items. Someone on the forum probably knows the current owner and can vouch whether the boat is well-maintained.

I have a friend who sells his Ranger every year. He does fish a lot so the boat will have some hours on it, but he is very fastidious about his stuff. I think he has guys standing in line to buy his pro staff boats when he's ready for a new one.

Join a bass club if you don't know many people and you will be amazed at how many good deals you will hear about where you live. You will know the history of the boat from the clubbers and you will see the boat in club tournaments.

As I think of more ideas, I'll post them. And I invite comments to this and other posts.

Until next time,

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