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Boat Buying Guide 

Boat selection is about knowing your own requirements. Determine what you want the boat to do and in what conditions it will operate, then choose a suitable vessel. Remember that no single vessel will perfectly suit all uses. Therefore you can either buy lots of different boats or be prepared to compromise. Ultimately you may have to compromise on price but avoid any compromise on safety.

Whether this is your first or 15th boat it is important to research your potential purchase carefully. Thankfully there are many sources of boating information including:

  • The internet
  • Magazines and books
  • Boat brokers
  • Boat manufacturers and designers
  • Other boaties.

By continually building your knowledge and experience you will increase your boating enjoyment and safety.

Well established and reputable boat brokers (check for the BIAWA logo) offer an excellent service to the boating public by:

  • Concentrating a selection of boats in one location
  • Setting realistic prices - a broker needs to sell listed vessels
  • Providing practical advice and after sales service.

As with any substantial purchase use your common sense:

  • Know the value of COMPARABLE BOATS;
  • Arrange BOAT FINANCE
  • If secondhand, pay for an independent INSPECTION of the hull, engine and accessories.
  • Undertake a REVS check (see below);
  • Execute a legally binding Sale & Purchase Agreement with all accessories and any warranty terms listed;
  • Arrange for BOAT INSURANCE.

If you want to buy a boat privately use increased caution. Make sure you don't end up with the expensive disaster that reputable brokers wouldn't touch.

The department of Consumer & Employment Protection operates a register of encumbered vehicles (REVS) which includes boats. The purpose of REVS for Boats is to safeguard purchasers of boats from unnecessary financial loss. By simply phoning REVS on 1300 30 40 24 you can check if the vessel has money owing on it. If you buy a boat without knowing it is financially encumbered (money owing on it) you could have it legally repossessed and lose your investment.

Before a REVS check can be done you need to provide the following information:

  • The boats HIN - hull identification number
  • The engine number(s) for all of the vessels motors
  • The boat's registration number.

A HIN number needs to be affixed before a REVS check can be done (and before most boats can be transferred).

Most importantly, when buying a boat remember to have fun and to keep a sense of humour handy at all times.

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