It might not have the appeal of bright chrome and shiny gel coat or have the exhilarating kick of a high-horsepower engine, but the manufacturer's written warranty can make or break the new boat experience faster than a fish-finder can spot a school of blues.
Simply put, the warranty is the manufacturer's promise to stand behind its products by providing service and repairs after purchase.
Since marine warranties vary widely in their coverage, comparison shop before you buy.
Look for multi-year warranties for hull structures and engines, as well as coverage for osmotic blistering, a common, but expensive-to-fix problem on fiberglass boats. Check also to see whether the warranty transfers to subsequent owners — a strong selling point when it comes to used boats.
- Written warranties must be made available to you before you buy. Call the manufacturer for a copy if the dealer won't provide one.
- The limited warranties on most boats and engines mean that you may end up paying for some part of the repair costs. Read the fine print to avoid surprises later on.
- New boats come with separate warranty coverage from the engine and boat manufacturers, as well as the makers of other major components.
- Fill out and return warranty cards to be sure you'll get service when you need it.
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