Just recently I learned about a program from Mercury Marine that I bet not too many used-boat shoppers know about. Conditions would have to be just right for buyers to take advantage of the program, but it’s worth mentioning here.
First, you would need to find a used boat that needed an engine, which you would purchase from a local Mercury dealer.
I guess that’s not too difficult, so here’s how it works. Mercury’s Certified Pre-Owned engine program allows you to purchase one or two years of Mercury’s extended service contract on eligible engines. Fully inspected and refurbished, the engines are backed by “similar component coverage as the factory warranty,” according to Mercury literature. The main benefit to the customer is peace of mind and financial protection on eligible products that you don’t normally find in a used engine. The Certified Pre-Owned program uses only genuine Mercury Precision parts for repairs, and labor is included.
However, for cynics like me, it’s important to know this isn’t just a platform for Mercury to sell extended service contracts. For example, the plan covers up to $200 toward hoist/haul-out on all boats 26 feet or longer that are powered by covered engines. It also covers up to $200 in on-water tow-in fees for approved repairs on covered products.
Any claims you might have are paid through the dealership. The customer does not pay for the repair and wait for reimbursement because the CPO contract is between the customer and Mercury Marine, not between you and the dealer.
As successful as certified-used programs have been in the automotive industries, the Mercury program is a step in the right direction for those who perhaps can’t afford a new boat.