Buying Used Boats

Boats and yachts in marina

Tips for Buying A Used Boat

If you’re looking for a strategic way to become the proud owner of a great boat at an affordable price, you should consider buying used. The pre-owned market has plenty of incredible options for you to choose from. If you go about it the right way, you can save a substantial amount of money and still come out the other end with a beautiful used boat. There are some important considerations to keep in mind as you start browsing, such as your budget and inspection. We’ve gathered some helpful information below.

When you’re ready to check out used boats for sale, visit us at Ray Clepper Boating Center. We’re proud to serve Columbia, Charlotte, Greenville, Augusta, Charleston, and Lexington, SC.


With any major purchase, you want to make sure you’ve established a budget before you begin shopping. It’s helpful to be aware of your financial limits to avoid getting in over your head with something you simply can’t afford. Additionally, a firm budget will also help you narrow down your options. As we mentioned, the market has so much to offer. You can narrow it down quite a bit just by setting a budget. Remember to include expenses other than the used boat itself. You’ll also have operational costs, like insurance, registration, boat slip rental, and so on. Since used boats aren’t usually covered by a warranty, any repair costs will be your responsibility, too.


While it might feel like smooth sailing once you’ve determined your budget, you should be cautious as you start viewing particular models. You need to be very thorough in your inspection of any used boats you’re considering. Examine the exterior for any cracks in the gel coat that are larger than two inches, which could be a problem. Next, check the interior. Look for signs of poor maintenance, like discoloration or moss beneath the flooring. Confirm all the electronics are functioning properly. If you don’t feel qualified to conduct the inspection, hire a professional. Lastly, go for a test drive to see how the boat runs and listen for unusual sounds.

Ready to find the perfect used boat? Stop by Ray Clepper Boating Center near Columbia, Charlotte, Greenville, Augusta, Charleston, and Lexington, SC.