Buyer’s Pre-Purchase Checklist

buyer pre-purchase checklist

Pre-Purchase Checklist

We put together this easy pre-purchase checklist to give you confidence in your next marine purchase. Buying a boat is one of the most stressful yet rewarding purchases one can make. With the proper preparation and consideration, which comes with a pre-purchase survey, that stress is reduced and the buyer can be confident in their purchase.

  1. Does the boat have service records? 
  2. Does the boat have an existing hull or engine warranty?
  3. Total engine hours? 
  4. Was the boat kept in the water for long periods of time? 
  5. Have the fuel tanks been serviced if the vessel is over 5 yrs old? 
  6. Have the batteries been replaced recently? Batteries older than 3 yrs possibly No Good.
  7. Has the electrical system been upgraded if the boat is older the 8 years? 
  8. Has the boat had any major hull repairs? 
  9. Has the boat been customized? 
  10. How old are the navigation electronics
  11. Does the boat come with an EPIRB and all USCG-required safety gear?
  12. Does the boat come with Lines and fenders? 
  13. Consider a Boat history report for $39
  14. Consider Engine Oil analysis 
  15. Always employ a marine surveyor and split the cost of the survey with the seller if the purchase moves forward to a sale.


Perhaps the most important item on this pre-purchase checklist is #15.  In fact, the pre-purchase survey is the most extensive of all inspections. It includes a comprehensive examination of the entire vessel and all of her mechanical and electrical systems. There are several local resources available such as Hinckley Yachts you can store and service your vessel, should we find some issues you would like resolved post-purchase or recommend to the seller. 

Hauling out is required in order to perform a detailed wet surface inspection where the underwater gear and hull integrity are checked. This process can take anywhere from a few hours, for smaller vessels, to several days for larger boats and yachts, depending on the availability of haul out and other desired services. In cases where a haul-out or dry docking is not an option, a dive inspection of the wet surface areas can be performed.  

A sea trial is also required to determine the performance, handling, seakeeping, and reliability of the vessel. The vessel will be put through a systematic set of trials in which careful observation of the machinery and systems will be performed in order to provide you with a professional opinion of the vessel in action.

*All examinations are performed in a non-destructive manner. An official marine survey report based on the Standards set forth by The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, American Boat, and Yacht Council, National Fire Protection Association, and US Coast Guard requirements will be provided detailing Market value, Recommendations, Replacement costs, Comments on overall conditions of the vessel.

 See marine survey Industry-standard required content per Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS)

For a free quote on a Pre-Purchase Survey, TB Marine Services has you covered.

buyer pre-purchase checklist