A lot of people like the idea of going boating. They imagine sunsets quietly cruising across sun-dappled lagoons, pulling their children on water toys across the lake and rafting up with friends after a day on the water, toasting their wisdom and good fortune of acquiring a good used boat.
But they don’t see the work that goes into the hobby. And I don’t mean that to scare anybody away from boating. If you think about any worthwhile hobbies that can hold your interest for any respectable length of time, they all take a fair amount of work. Camping? A lot of schlepping goes into that pursuit. Golf? You need hours of practice and instruction to enjoy that game? Bowling? Just try to hit 300 in your first year.
The point is, anything worthwhile takes some work. A few months ago we ran a post called Used Boat-Buying Quiz: Are You Ready for This? It asked some broad questions, like “Are you handy?” and “Are you patient?” Well, if you’re patient enough to keep on exploring used-boat listings, then take this second quiz — it’s more of a micro-level list — and see how you score at the bottom. The first question is a repeat from the earlier quiz, but it’s worth asking again, because jumping at the wrong boat can be worse than having no boat at all.
1. Do you have hours of time and the commitment it takes to find a good used boat?
- A) I’ll do whatever it takes.
- B) I’ll do whatever my wife is OK with.
- C) I’m sure one used boat is just as good as another.
- D) Good used boats can be difficult to find?
2. Do you mind spending hours and days fixing up a boat you just bought?
- A) Bring it on.
- B) I suppose, if I have to.
- C) Oh, heck no.
- D) I don’t own any tools.
3. Do you mind driving a state or two away to get just the right boat?
- A) Ya sure, you betcha.
- B) If I have to.
- C) Locals only, brah.
- D) Uh, no.
4. Are you prepared to shell out several hundred dollars to pay a marine surveyor to inspect a boat that you might not end up buying?
- A) That’s what it takes to get a good one, right?
- B) Is that what it takes to get a good one?
- C) How much does a surveyor cost again?
- D) Then I wouldn’t have any money left for my down payment.
5. Are you OK with buying a used boat you haven’t sea trialed?
- A) No.
- B) Maybe.
- C) I don’t know.
- D) What’s a sea trial?
6. Are you a member of all the online boating forums?
- A) Yes, my handle is _____________
- B) I’m on one.
- C) I don’t know any of the online boating forums.
- D) That’s on the computer, right?
7. Can you afford a new boat?
- A) Yes, but I’d rather get a gently used model.
- B) It might be a bit of a stretch, but yes.
- C) Probably not.
- D) Not in a million years.
8. Do you know all the online boating classified websites by heart?
- A) Yes, and they are ________________
- B) BoatTrader.com is it, right?
- C) Um, Craigslist?
- D) I just read the local paper.
For all the times you answered A, give yourself four points. For all the times you answered B, give yourself three points. For C, give yourself 2 and for D, 1.
If you scored between 26 and 32, keep shopping. You’re a prime used-boat shopper. If you scored between 20 and 25, you could be happy with a used boat, but you better hope to get lucky in finding a good one, because you clearly aren’t willing to put in the effort required to find the best one for you. You might consider a new boat. If you scored between, 14 and 19, maybe boating isn’t for you. Try bowling instead. If you scored any less than 14, you probably landed on this quiz page by mistake. Blame Google.
Boat Trader has plenty of Buying and Selling advice, but also check out the hundreds of articles in the Boating section, with tips on everything from seamanship to maintenance, how-to, where to find replacement parts, and much more.