Tips for Buying Used Houseboats



If you are in the market to buy a used houseboat there are a few tips you should know that could save you a lot of grieve, headaches, time and money. When you know these tips you can buy a used houseboat with confidence knowing you will have purchased a houseboat that will bring you years of boating pleasure.

Nothing beats that awesome feeling you get just thinking about buying your first used houseboat or buying a bigger houseboat. Like any big purchase the buyer must beware though as making mistakes can be costly. The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for a used houseboat is to be observant, inspect everything, and have a list of the items you need/want to have on your houseboat in other words know what you are looking for in a houseboat.

If you have a pre-visit list you can save yourself a lot of time and gas money traveling around looking at this houseboat and that houseboat. On this list you should make note of your specifications such as do you want to buy local? What size houseboat do you need? Are you looking for a standard houseboat or a luxury houseboat? What is your price range? What age of boat will be acceptable? How much wear and tear is ok? Make two categories – a NEED category and a WANT category. The need’s side of your list is things that the houseboat must have and the want side of your list is those things that would be nice but if they are missing it won’t cancel the sale.

Digging Deeper


When inspecting a used houseboat you need to ask some serious questions of the seller such as what was the date of the last survey? When was the last haul-out done? If viewing an ad, ask if there are more detailed photos. Ask about hours (engine, generator) and when was the last overhaul of the engines/generator? Find out how long the houseboat has been up for sale. Find out if the houseboat has had any minor or major repairs done and who does the winter storage of the houseboat. Ask about who has done all the mechanical repairs on the boat? Make sure the seller has proper Title, and Registration for the houseboat. Ask specifically about the details of any serious accident the houseboat has been involved in and ask if the boat has ever sunk?

Always, always put any offer or Bill of Sale for a used houseboat in writing. Never buy a used houseboat sight unseen. If you cannot travel to where the boat is have a trusted friend or family member go inspect the boat for you.

Buying a used houseboat can be an exciting adventure but it is important to do due diligence when checking the houseboat out to be sure that you uncover all vital statistics concerning the houseboat as you do not want any nasty surprises after the transaction is completed. This adventure should have a happy ending if you follow all the tips. Happy boating.