Buying a second hand boat
– What to look for in a rowing boat, how to assess wear and tear and what can (and cannot) be repaired.
Holes flagged out Hairline cracks on riggers Speak to Boatbuilder
01:30 What to look for in a rowing boat?
Right size for your body weight is the number one consideration. Then check our podcast last week on buying a new boat – the same issues apply.
What is your budget?
03:00 Height of deck relative to the water surface will show you whether a boat is the correct size for you.
At the extremes of the weight ranges you should check carefully whether it will fit you.
04:30 Find the serial number of the boat you are interested in.
When did serial numbers start getting added to rowing boats? Serial Numbers Post 1992 Barcelona Olympics it became standard practice based on FISA (World Rowing) boat standards.
Call the boat builder what was the build weight? Year built? What hull shape was it designed for.
History of the boat – how many owners has it had?
08:30 What questions to ask the vendor.
– Major repairs or structural damage
– Is it heavy? Know how much a 1x weighs on minimum (14 kg).
– Cracks or blemishes on a rigger e.g. hairline fractures
– How much has it been rowed?
10:00 What comes with the boat?
If this is your first boat purchase – rowing electronics, slings, oars to set you up.
11:00 What will make it the way you want it?
Consider the wear and tear on parts
Shoe size may be wrong but isn’t a reason not to buy a boat.
e.g. oarlocks, slides, seat wheels, shoes, canvasses made from canvas all can be replaced.
14:00 Red flags which you should be alert for
– Hull pits and cracks
– Boat skin condition – is it oxidised?
– Gel coat condition – turn your head and look sideways down the hull.
– Check the dents using a torch – if above the water line it’s more cosmetic. But if it’s below the water line it could be more serious and cause leaks.
Always try the boat and use your instinct – does it feel nice to row?
17:00 What repairs has it had?
Did it go back to the boatbuilder to be fixed? If it’s painted over you cannot see the repair.
Major repairs are a red flag. Any repair will add weight to the boat. Does this matter to you?
18:45 DIY Improvements to your boat
Look at the V-splash saxboard behind the cockpit – wobble them with your hands and see how robust they are. Also stand next to the cockpit next to the shoulders/knees where the riggers attach – hold the sides of the boat and pull your hands towards each other. A broken shoulder lowers the value and needs repair
For wing rigger boats – check for hairline cracks along the flange where the riggers mount.
You might need a bow ball, the number slot, scull grips.
21:00 Respray the paint and your boat will look like new.
Hull integrity is the key consideration.
Marlene refurbished her own first single.
Rigger holes – check they aren’t flogged out and enlarged. This means there is play in the rigger – you will need to get these fixed. Over-tightened rigger bolts / nuts can add indentations to the shoulder and you can add a large penny washer to hold the rigger more securely.
22:30 Haggle on the price.
Any purchase is a negotiation. Ask the vendor to suggest a price reduction if there are things you want fixed. And ask the boat builder what they think it could be worth (ballpark figure). Some boats hold their value well if taken care of.
Ask the vendor to suggest the price first.
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