Buying a second hand boat…what to check?

Posted by Carolien Henn on Jun 30, 2022 6:00:00 AM

Buying a second hand boat…what to check?


Boating can be quite diverse and so the market has adapted over the years to offer a diverse range of boats for various applications. This may include a saltwater offshore fishing boat, freshwater pleasure or fishing vessels, water sports, diving boats, leisure and sundowners, estuary and portable inflatables to name but a few. Determine the exact application for your boat before you start looking for boats.

Once you have identified possible purchase options within your price bracket, you can look at the following pointers to make sure that you take an informed decision.


Every boat in South Africa has to legally meet the the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) buoyancy standard and minimum requirements. Although different boats for various applications may have different requirements, an overall measurement is 60% buoyancy is a good basis to go by. Always make sure that the vessel you are interested in purchasing has a valid buoyancy certificate and that it is not expired. The buoyancy certificate should be valid for at least 5 years, but this may differ if stipulated differently for the type of vessel and the type of buoyancy used in the boat. 

Now it comes down to the physical inspection of the vessel. Here is what you need to look for:

  • Always make sure that the transom is in good condition (this is where your outboard mounts to the boat). 
    • Check the floor. Is it in good condition and solid? If it flexes too much or feels unstable, it could cost you a bit to fix. 
    • A boat spends most of it life on the trailer when not in the water. This is also the means to get your boat in the water and therefore it is important to make sure that it is in good condition with not too much rust and wear. Trailers that have wood in the construction, wear away quicker. An oiled filled axle is also recommended as other axels tend to wear quickly.
    • Find out what the boats’ horsepower powering capacity is and try to get as close to maximum power capacity as possible as this will improve turning and maneuverability. This will also allow you to take more people on the boat. A bigger outboard provides more torque.
    • Always do a physical inspection of the boat yourself, look for damage to the hull. Small scratches on the hull can be polished and buffed out. 
    • Consider what extras are included in the boat package, example fish finders, outriggers, fighting chairs, marine sound systems and so forth.
    • The outboard plays an important role. Apart from powering the boat, it must also be durable, reliable and fuel efficient. Suzuki outboards tick all these boxes and provide impressive fuel efficiency compared to other outboards in the same horse power class. Suzuki Outboards also tend to keep its value and therefore are good investment when maintained properly.


    When purchasing a boat from an authorized Suzuki Marine Dealer, you can rest assured that the boat you are looking for meets the above stipulated requirements and more. Contact your closest Suzuki Marine dealer today. 



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