What Should You Look For in a Used Boat for Sale?

If you love getting out on the water and you’re ready to become a boat owner, you might be looking at some used boats for sale. That’s great! But do you know what to look for when you’re considering used fishing boats or pontoon boats? Here are a few things to keep your eyes peeled for.


While rot isn’t super common in used boats for sale anymore, it’s still an important thing to keep your eyes peeled for. This is especially important if you’re looking at an older vessel that might have a few imperfections in the hull or deck. If you’re seeing lots of large cracks in the transom, then you’re definitely looking at some kind of structural failure. This is not a boat you want to purchase if that’s the case.

Evidence of Cabin Leaks

There’s nothing worse than a boat that’s suffered water damage. It’s designed to last forever out on the water, after all. If you notice any watermarks on the inside of the cabin, then it’s a sure sign of leaks. Unfortunately, these aren’t always easy to spot, especially if the seller has done a good job cleaning the boat up before selling. So if you want to do a more thorough check, take a hose and spray potential leak areas like hatches, ports, and seams on the boat. Any unexpected moisture in the cabin after this test is a sure sign of a leak somewhere.


Rust on a fishing boat is the last thing you want to see. Not only does this mean the hull integrity is compromised, but it also may mean that the last owner didn’t take care of the boat like they were supposed to. A small rust spot can be buffed out without much hassle, but any more extensive rust on the hull or anywhere else on the boat may be a sign that it’s time to take your money elsewhere.

Looking at boats for sale can be an exciting process. But if you’re not sure what problem areas to look out for, you may not be spending your money in good faith. Don’t forget to look for these things!

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