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Buying and Selling a Boat

Whether you are buying a boat or selling a boat here are some readers tips to help you get the best deal.

Buying a second hand boat

Decide what kind of boat you actually need to suit your requirements. See Boat Descriptions. 1. Check the boat has a current Boat Safety Certificate. 2. Make sure you have a professional boat survey and valuation carried out on the prospective purchase. 3. Take a trip out for an hour or so on the boat if you can.

Buying a new narrowboat

The chances are, if you want a new boat, you will have to have a boat built as there are very few off the peg boats available.
1. Make a list of what you want in your ideal boat.
2. Walk the canal tow path for a few weeks with a notebook. Ask owners what they would do different if they were buying another boat.
3. Visit as many Waterways expos as possible in the year before ordering your boat.
4. Choose your Boat Builder on recommendation from a boat you like the look of actually on the water. Ask the owner what it was like for them. For example: Would they be happy to go back a second time to the same boat builder? We would not recommend our boat builder.
5. Once you have chosen a builder and found out what the lead time is for a new boat add six months to the date they give - It is endemic in the industry for some boat builders to give a favourable delivery date to obtain the order - when the deposit has been paid, then the excuses start as to why that date cannot be met!

Buying a new cruiser

Cruisers are pretty much off the peg with only a few choices of layout available. Be absolutely sure that that boat you are ordering will suit your needs. Size isn't everything.

Selling a boat


1. Clean your boat from stem to stern inside and out - Get rid of all that clutter!
2. Do all the repairs and touch up the paintwork and varnish.
3. Obtain a new Boat Safety Certificate.
4. Know the market value for the age, size and condition of your boat - if necessary get a valuation.

We would be pleased hear about your experiences on buy and/or selling a boat. Information received may be printed, subject to editorial review.

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