Buying a Boston Whaler boat, whatever the model or age, is an investment in a quality built craft that is made to live up to its legendary status of being among the safest on the water today. It's known as being an unsinkable boat. This was proven periodically as test staff sawed the boat in half, then towed the disabled part back to shore without sinking beneath the water's surface. It's important to know what you're getting so you don't miss out on any of the benefits of a new Boston Whaler, but if you're buying a used model, there's even more to find out. Here are 10 questions that you should ask your Boston Whaler dealer.
1. How is the warranty transferred?
Boston Whaler boats come with a 10 year limited warranty with a 3 year warranty on the components, according to the official site. If an owner decides to sell the boat, the issue of a warranty transfer comes into play. Having a remaining warranty can help to fetch a higher value and selling price. It's good to know in advance how this is accomplished. The answer to the question is that you can register a pre-owned boat with Boston Whaler online to transfer whatever is left on the warranty.
2. What is the proper way to maintain and care for a Boston Whaler boat?
The dealer may provide you with a few of the details about properly maintaining your Boston Whaler boat, but many will refer you to the owner's manual that comes with the craft at the time of the sale. If for any reason, you don't have access to the owner's manual, you can obtain one by contacting the dealer directly. This is vital information because a lack of proper care and maintenance could result in a voiding of the warranty if components deteriorate from a lack of recommended care and maintenance.
3. How many owners has the boat had and how was it stored?
If you're buying a pre-owned Boston Whaler, it's good to know how many owners that the boat has had. Ideally, it's only had one owner, but as long as it's in excellent condition, that's the main concern. It's good to know how the boat was stored by its owners, if it was stored in the water, or in a garage, or covered and stored outdoors. If it was exposed to the elements, it's important to check for any signs of weather damage, particularly in the upholstery, wood components and electronics.
4. How can I get replacement keys?
It's important to have more than one set of keys for your boat in case you lose the set you're given at the time of the sale, or if the key breaks. You should always have at least one back up key for starting the engine. If the dealer only offers one key, it's best to make sure that you obtain a second key before taking it out in the water.
5. Has it ever been repaired?
It's good to know if the boat you're considering has ever been severely damaged. If it has been repaired, further questions about who did the repairs, and how it was restored. It should look like it had never been damaged to begin with. Make sure that all damages have been repaired and that there aren't any residual issues from an accident, or remaining dry rot from improper maintenance and storage.
6. What is the age and condition of the engine?
Continuous Wave points out that when you're buying a classic Boston Whaler, the outboard engine depreciates in value significantly over a 10 year period. While classic Whalers tend to retain their value and can even be worth more than the original selling price, an old engine that will soon need replacement could serve as a negotiation point provided you know what it would cost to replace it with a new one.
7. Can I have a written description of the boat before purchase?
If you're buying a pre-owned Boston Whaler, it's ideal to get a description of the condition of the boat in writing at the time of the sale. This is doubly important if there is any residual warranty on the boat. After doing a walk-through to visually inspect the condition yourself, make a note of any damages or signs of wear and tear that you observe. If there are components that will need replacement, these can affect the value. You don't want to walk off the lot to discover a few months later that there are damages that were not recorded on the original sales document. Buying "as is" can be a risky venture unless you know what you're getting up front and are willing to live with the need to make repairs not covered under a warranty.
8. What is the recommended engine size?
Depending on the model of Boston Whaler you buy, there are recommendations for the engine size and weight. The weight limitations are important to observe so you don't cause damage to the structure of the area that holds the engine. Some Whalers call for a specific horsepower with no play, but others offer a range of recommended power ratings.
9. Where can I buy replacement parts?
This is a question that can help save you time when you're buying a Whaler that is in need of restoration. Some dealers have a good working knowledge of where to buy authentic Boston Whaler parts for replacement, while others may not. You may also want to inquire about whether or not the dealer also specializes in repair work. It's ideal when you buy a used Boston Whaler from a full service dealer that has a comprehensive knowledge of Boston Whalers and performs repairs on site.
10. What is the capacity and capability of the boat?
Up front, it's good to know how many passengers the boat can safely carry. All Boston Whalers come with recommendations for maximum passenger capacity along with a maximum weight capability. It's also good to know what kind of activities that the boat you're buying is set up for. For example, can you tow water skiers with the boat?
Written by Garrett Parker
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