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News: Boating

BoatPros: 8 Things You Should Know When Buying a Boat

What to look for when buying a boat, how to buy from a private seller, the best boat for a beginner and when is it a good idea to buy a boat

8 Steps. The ultimate used boat checklist. And the best boat for a beginner. WATCH: Africa’s biggest pre-owned boat supplier’s Chrisjan Jansen explains what to look for when buying a boat.

WATCH: WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A BOAT

This video features Chrisjan Jansen, workshop manager at Boat, Caravan & Campins in Nigel, one of the largest pre-owned boat suppliers in Africa. From fishing boats to leisure outboard boats, Chrisjan really knows his used boats. And he gives us a valuable used boat checklist on what to look for when buying – we’ve pulled out some of the most NB points in his video below.

1 CHECK THE BOAT’S BUOYANCY

The buoyancy required for a boat is regulated by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the same guys who certify your boat and issues your skipper’s licence. And they have specific guidelines for different types of boats.

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Chrisjan shows a sea-going boat as example in the video, which needs to have a buoyancy of 60% (which is a good general built-in buoyancy guide for any boat), according to SAMSA regulations. So, you have to check the boat you’re looking to buy meets the specs. And that depends, of course, on what you want to use the boat for.

2 WHAT’S YOUR APPLICATION?

Chrisjan says there are basically 3 types of boats you want to look at. For a freshwater dam and estuary run around, you can look at a smaller vessel with a single motor, such as these Bandit boats or cabin cruisers.

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For sports fishing, you want a powerful sea-going boat that’ll give you the ability to get offshore and to the fish fast. You might want to look at a good fishing boat setup, like a powered cat with two motors, such as a CarryCat option.

And when it comes to leisure boating, you want something versatile. A boat that you can use to go fishing, or skiing or to take a few people out for sundowners and a braai. Check out these monohull boats, or even opt for a full-on party barge.

3 INSPECT THE TRANSOM

Especially when it comes to inspecting used boats, you want to make sure the transom is in good condition (the part where the motor sits on the back of the boat). Chrisjan recommends doing a quick test: trim up the motor and push down on the skeg (flat surface) with your hand. 

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If it flexes too much, especially if you look at the washers and where the motor is mounted, it could be a problem. So insists that it gets fixed, or look for something else.

4 CHECK THE FLOORING

A simple test for the floor is to just walk on it. See if you can feel any flex or unevenness. You can even stomp on it to make sure it feels good and solid.

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5 INSIST ON A GOOD TRAILER

Chrisjan says the trailer is a very important part of buying a boat because it spends most of its lifetime on it. You want to be sure the trailer allows you to launch the boat the way you intend to. You want to check for rust and wear – be wary of trailers with wood in their construction as it rots away with time.

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And he recommends always checking that the trailer has an oil-filled axle, else it just wears away too quickly.

6 GET THE IDEAL POWER-TO-WEIGHT RATIO

Chrisjan says to always opt for the highest possible HP rating your boat is allowed. The bigger motor gives you more torque and power, meaning you can carry more people and weight. But he also notes that the higher the HP, the better your boat’s turning and manoeuvrability will be, too.

And, of course, you can ask us about the world’s most advanced fuel-efficient motors: Suzuki outboards.

7 ALWAYS INSPECT THE BOAT YOURSELF

What the boat looks like is an important part of buying a boat. That’s why Chrisjan recommends you always go and physically inspect the boat in person. When buying used, there can be small scratches on the hull, which you can easily take care of with a buff and polish. So go take a look before you decide to buy.

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8 SHOP AROUND FOR EXTRAS

Now, depending on your application, there are so many awesome optional extras you might need. From fishfinders and chartplotters to awesome marine sound and, of course, fishing gear. Check out our boating tech.

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PLUS: WHAT IS THE BEST BOAT TO BUY FOR A BEGINNER?

South Africa has a very wide range of boat types and models available for sale. You can choose between small boats and inflatables to very forgiving deep sea fishing boats, like CarryCat options – some of the best boats for beginners.

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Or you could opt for estuary and lake runarounds like the Bandit boats or cabin cruisers. There are even loads of monohull boats to choose from. Not to mention party barges for hosting family and friends. Discover a few cool options among our new boats

AND: IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO BUY A BOAT?

You tell us. We’ve previously compiled a list of 7 BoatPro reasons to start boating today.  And get the inside track on how to choose an outboard for your boat.

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ABOUT CHRISJAN JANSEN

Featured in the video, Chrisjan runs the workshop at Boat, Caravan & Camping in Nigel. They certainly won’t need much introduction, especially to anglers in Gauteng. But, if you don’t know them, you can call them on 011 814 1452 or email: boatcc@mweb.co.za.


ABOUT THIS #GETBOATING SERIES

Our boating series comes courtesy of Suzuki Marine South Africa’s #SuziFlix project and the SA network of Suzuki dealers. You can be part of the vibe by following Suzuki Marine SA on Facebook.

WATCH: From the meaning of boating to accessories online and where to get your boating license, to reasons to start boating, 34+ boating dams and lakes in SA and more. Here’s what you should know about boating.

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THE PURSUIT OF AWESOME

Legend also has it that most boats run better under Suzuki power. Discover it for yourself among these Suzuki outboards.

Suzuki DF325 325hp outboard boat engine by Nauti-Tech Suzuki

NEW ATOMIC BOATS

Just arrived: New mono-hull boats with latest in design tech. Check out the new Atomic 19 Sport Fisher.

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ALL NEW BOATS

Plus: Deep sea, ski-boat, river or cabin cruisers: See all our custom-built new boats. And discover everything we’ve repowered, refitted, refurbed and all new launches + their motors, all under our collective of boats.

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Need to refurbish, refit or revive your boat? Take a peek inside our award-winning Suzuki Marine workshop.