John Rankin

Tips for Buying a Used Bass Boat

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motor of the boatUnless you are a very experienced fisherman who has owned several bass boats and knows what to look for when purchasing a used bass boat, the following tips for buying a used bass boat will come in very handy. Many first time and boat buyers or even fishermen who have owned boats in the past have gotten burned when they bought what they thought was a good used bass boat.

There are several factors to consider when buying a used bass boat. Before even looking at boats, consider the size range, your budget, if your vehicle is capable of towing the boat safely, and if you plan to keep the boat outside or in the garage. Will the boat fit in the garage? Add on the expense of a waterproof cover if you plan on storing the boat outside.

Next is the motor. Used boat motors can be a real headache if you end up with one requiring expensive repairs. Always take an experienced boat owner along who knows what to look for while examining the motor. He or she will know what to look for and can point these out problems so you avoid a costly mistake.

What bodies of water do you plan on doing the majority of your fishing on? It makes little sense to purchase a full blown bass boat if you fish small lakes and impoundments. These are better suited for a Jon boat, or under 14 foot small fishing boat without all the extra gear and powerful motor. In fact, most of these small lakes allow only electric motors and occasionally 9.9 HP gas motors.

Once you have the size and type of boat in mind begin your search. Local bass clubs are great places to find leads on good used fishing boats.

After selecting a boat to check out there are several things to look for. Ask if the title is clear and available. If possible ask for a ride at a local waterway. Pay attention for leaks in the bilge area and along any riveted or welded seams. If the boat is fiberglass look for obvious repairs and stress fractures and lines. Pay particular attention to the hook on the bow where the winch attaches. These often show signs of repair due to breaking.

If you aren’t sure how to properly test the boat motor, arrange to bring the boat to a mechanic for an evaluation. I realize its a hassle and costs a few bucks but the expense is well worth it.

Look the trailer over closely for signs of damage, repair welds, condition of the tires, if all the lights work and feel the wheel hubs after the drive to the lake or river for temperature. They should be cool or slightly warm. If they are hat to the touch you have bearing issues with the wheel. Look a little closer as some people will paint a rusty trailer to hide the ugliness and poor condition.

By follow these simple tips for buying a used bass boat you will end up with the perfect boat for your fishing needs.

Have you purchased a used fishing boat recently? Please leave your tips and comments below.