Bringing Home Used Boats

1. Many people buy their used boat with the idea that they’re going to run it home and then fix it up. This is usually a bad idea.

2. Fate makes no exception for the person who’s just bought a used boat away from home. “Running it home” doesn’t alleviate the requirements of prudent seamanship and having a sound, well equipped boat.

3. “Running it home” may cost much more than getting it fixed up where you buy it. If you have to get towed or repaired half way in between, you’re going to probably pay a higher price—especially when you consider your traveling back and forth and the fact that the yard knows that it’s got you at its mercy.

4. Often these first trips home are trips from Hell. If you’re a friend who wants to help a friend, you may end up losing that friend. Sometimes people take on this sort of trip because they’ve gotten a license and are anxious to be a “Captain” with a command. Don’t do it unless the boat’s good. You may find that you may be wishing you’d gotten a qualification of master mechanic for every piece of equipment on the boat and then brought along several master mechanics with you to do the actual work.

5. Even if the boat appears to be in good condition and you think that “running it home” is OK, (and often it is) take the time to have at least a couple of days of sea trialing close to the marina where you bought it. Put it and its equipment through all the paces. The sea trial that probably took a couple of hours before the boat was purchased won’t necessarily show up all the things that you can find during a couple of days cruising around. Don’t go if it’s not ready. You’re supposed to have fun with that boat.

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