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What to look for when buying a used Inboard boat.

Inboard pre purchase inspection

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Boat pre purchase inspection Perth

The do's and don'ts when buying a new or used inboard boat.

So your buying a new boat fitted with an inboard engine whether it be new or second hand you should always get someone to look over the boat for you. It will give you peace of mind that the possibility of major repairs can be avoided. 

Recent inspections carried out have found : 

-Exhaust manifolds and risers needing replacement totalling $2600

- Incorrect application of anti-foul applied causing major structural damage in excess of $15000

- Blown gimbal bearings and gimbal plate in excess of $11000 

- Plenty of unserviced engines, this can cost in excess of $1000 to get an engines components back to a serviceable standard 

- Engines with low hours that haven't been serviced in 10 years. Resulting in damage caused by lack of recommended maintenance. These engines can equate to quite a hefty bill. When it comes to repair as the labour component is very high in dismantling an engine to change maybe a $20 part.

It is important that you gather all history of a vessel before buying.


Most vessels require a minimum of yearly servicing which costs between $600 and $1000 per year so be very weary. 

Things that always stand out for us when buying a second hand boat fitted with an inboard engine which should make you very weary of buying :

Engines over 5 years old will most likely need some repairs, this is generally due to corrosion and or improper maintenance.

Engines that are 10 years old will most likely need overhaul of major components this is expensive not $1000 expensive Generally in excess of $4000 but is relevant to keeping your engine in tip top shape. This is not generally manufacturer specific but across the board. Here in Australia we have quite extreme operating conditions.

It's important to get the previous owner to provide you with all the receipts for work carried out over the time they had the boat. This helps us paint you a picture of issues they have been having, and identify possible issues that you may experience.

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Things that always stand out for us which should make you very weary of buying a used boat privately :

-( Owner ) "I serviced it myself I'm a mechanic"

Plugs, fuel conditioner and a wash is not a service! owners tend to make their boat look the part to fool unsuspecting buyers into thinking everything is ok. 

-( Owner ) "yeah mate she's regularly serviced"

You need to see all the receipts ! Anything under $500 most probably is not a service.


- ( Owner ) "yeah had it serviced and haven't used it much since."

So we are all on the same page most outboard and inboard engines need to be serviced yearly or every 100 hours, even 50 hours in some cases. The maintenance plays a major role in the protection of the engine to ensure it runs for the optimum service life of the marine engine and it's components. 

These are just a few of the common red flags we see week in week out that usually amount to quite a hefty repair bill. It always pays to get someone out who looks at these day in day out and knows the potential issues you may come across

A good starting point is to keep it under 10 years old with an owner being able to provide you service receipts for the life of the engine. Always get your new investment checked - a little now saves a lot later

Pre purchase inspections are important when purchasing a used boat. we have gathered a lot of statistics over the years and have learnt that it is imperative to thoroughl...
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Dont Get Caught Out

Mobile boat mechanic Perth, Mobile marine mechanic Perth, Mobile outboard Mechanic Perth.


All opinons given are personal opinions of any given vessel.

We cannot see the unforseen and give no warranty on the boat or accesories in your purchase.

We do not authorise any report to be shared with anyone other than the customer whom orders it.

All reports are written in confidance. 

No responsibility is taken for unforseen circumstances.

We give you our personal opinion to the best of our knowledge at the time of inspection. 

Pre purchase inspections perth, Boat inspections
Mercruiser manifold Corosion

Above is a $4200 repair bill caused by improper maintenance, misuse and abuse $16000 boat value

Pre purchase inspection Blown gearbox seal

Mobile Marine servicing perth, Mobile inboard Repairs , 24hr mobile mechanic.

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If you intend on getting your boat insured you may be required to provide them with a report - you will require an additional report to be drawn up. We write the report and send it all away for you for an extra $100 on-top of your pre purchase exam. Be sure to book this aswell if you require it.

Cracked Gimbal housing

Above is a $17000 repair bill caused by improper maintenance, misuse and abuse $40000 boat value

Pre purchase inspection perth | Perth | Boat inspections

Above boat has a $$8800 repair bill caused by improper maintenance, misuse and abuse $28000 boat value

Above gearbox has a $2000 repair for rebuild caused by improper maintenance, misuse and abuse $6000 engine value

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