Ronstan

Used Boat Buyers Beware: Are You Buying a Hurricane Sandy Boat?

Published on August 26th, 2013

With the fall boat buying season approaching, buyers looking for a pre-owned boat can often find deals as sellers, not wanting to take on the upcoming expense of winter storage fees, are in the bargaining mood. However, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) estimates that 65,000 boats were damaged or lost when Superstorm Sandy struck. Now, nearly a year later, some of those boats are being sold on the used boat market, either in “as is” condition, or after repairs have been made.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing if the seller is truthful about any past damage. However, the problem exists when sellers fail to fess up to a boat’s true condition. So how does a used boat buyer go into a purchase with eyes wide open? The BoatUS Consumer Affairs Department has these used boat buying tips – each may be an indication the boat has experienced hurricane damage.

Trace the history:
When a car is totaled, the title is “branded” as salvaged or rebuilt and buyers know up front that there was major damage at some point in the car’s history. But few states brand salvaged boats and some states don’t even require titles for boats. “Anyone wishing to obscure a boat’s history need only cross state lines to avoid detection, which can be a tip-off,” says BoatUS Consumer Affairs Director Charles Fort. Also look for recent gaps in the boat’s ownership, which may mean that it was at an auction or in a repair yard for a long time. – Read on

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