If bass fishing is your passion, a quality bass boat is a must-have piece of equipment. A great boat is just as important as a your fishing rod and a supply of flies.
But unlike that fishing rod and bits of bait, a bass boat is no small purchase. Depending on the type of boat you have your eye on, you could be looking at an investment of thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars. With so much money on the line, you want to make the most of every dollar you invest.
One of the best ways to save money without sacrificing quality is to purchase a used bass boat instead of a brand new one. Think about it, new car depreciates rapidly as soon as you drive it off the lot, the same principle applies to boat purchases as well. The fact is that bass boats depreciate rapidly, and buying a new boat means that you will be on the hook for that depreciation.
When you buy a used boat instead you let the original owner shoulder that depreciation burden, and you can be the winner in the long run. While used boats still depreciate in value, they do so much more slowly than new models. In fact, if you are diligent about maintaining and caring for your boat, you might find that its resale value is pretty close to the price you originally paid.
There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a used bass boat, and it is important to do a thorough cosmetic and mechanical inspection before making your purchase. One of the biggest parts of your focus should be the outboard motor, since these motors tend to wear quickly, especially when the boat is used regularly.
It is also important to examine the underside of the boat thoroughly, since hidden rocks, tree branches and other hazards can really take their toll. If you can, try to take an experienced boater with you when you shop, especially if you are in the market for your first boat. An experienced boater can help you spot things you may have missed, like worn riggings or seats that could cost you a lot to replace.
You will also want to determine why the current owner is selling the bass boat. The easiest way to find that out, of course, is to ask the seller. When gauging the response, you may have to read between the lines, so pay careful attention to every statement the current owner makes. If the boat is docked at a marina, you may also be able to learn a lot by talking to the fellow boat owners you meet. If there is a problem with the boat that the owner has not disclosed, those boat owners may be able to give you some insight.
No matter what your budget or boating needs, it is a good idea to take your time when shopping for a used bass boat. Buying a bass boat, even a used one, requires a great deal of time, commitment and money, and you do not want to make the wrong choice or spend more than you have to.