NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com/PressRoom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Used Boat Buyers Beware: Are You Buying a Hurricane Sandy Boat?
BoatUS: Protections are Few When Buying Used
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 26, 2013 – With the fall boat buying season approaching, buyers looking for a pre-owned boat can often find deals as sellers, not wanting to take on the upcoming expense of winter storage fees, are in the bargaining mood. However, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) estimates that 65,000 boats were damaged or lost when Superstorm Sandy struck. Now, nearly a year later, some of those boats are being sold on the used boat market, either in “as is” condition, or after repairs have been made. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if the seller is truthful about any past damage. However, the problem exists when sellers fail to fess up to a boat’s true condition. So how does a used boat buyer go into a purchase with eyes wide open? The BoatUS Consumer Affairs Department has these used boat buying tips – each may be an indication the boat has experienced hurricane damage.
• New repairs or sealant at the hull-to-deck joint: Boats that bang against a dock or other boats during a storm often suffer damage here.
• Evidence of sinking: Check for consistent corrosion on interior hardware, such as rust on all hinges and drawer pulls. You might be able to spot an interior waterline inside a locker or in an area hidden behind an internal structure.
• Extensive corrosion in the electrical system: Corrosion on electrical items, such as lamps, connectors, and behind breaker panels might mean the boat sank recently. Does the boat have all brand new electronics? Why?
• Evidence of major interior repairs: Fresh paint or gel-coat work on the inside of the hull and the engine room is usually obvious. All new cushions and curtains can be a tip-off too.
Again, having one or more of these indicators doesn’t always signal serious hurricane damage. The older the boat, the more likely some of these issues will pop up due to simple wear and tear. While something can be said about trusting your gut when seeing these red flags, make sure you have a professional inspect any used boat you’re considering. BoatUS offers a directory of surveyors at www.BoatUS.com/surveyors.