Australians have long had a love affair with boats.
There are 850,000 registered boats in Australia and thousands more small craft and paddlecraft that don’t require registration.
Over 1 million people have boat licences and an estimated 5 million people go boating in Australia each year making it one of the most popular forms of recreation in the country.
If it's your heart's desire to take to the waterways in your own schloop, then you may already be looking for the perfect second hand boat, but it's important to make sure you don't get caught out if you're a first time buyer.
Your essential checklist
The first step, especially in the case of a used boat, is to make sure the seller actually owns the boat and that there are no outstanding encumbrances, such as unpaid marine mortgages.
You can search for the boat via the online Personal Properties Securities Register or PPSR, which helps consumers get information about personal property in a simple and inexpensive way so it can be purchased free from security interests that could lead to repossession by a finance company or other individual or company.
The PPSR is linked to a vessel’s Hull Identification Number or HIN, a unique numbering system that makes it easy to identify a vessel.
You can check to see if a boat you are interested in has been reported stolen via the register, though if a boat is not listed it doesn’t mean it hasn’t be stolen.
Checkthe vendor is knowledgeable about the boat and has proper documentation to support his or her claim of ownership.
If you don't feel confident buying yourself go through a broker.
Typically licenced brokers offer buyer protection by using some or all of the following checklist:
- A listing agreement signed by the seller
- A sales agreement with the seller
- A statutory declaration to say there are no encumbrances on the vessel
- A PPSR check
Adventure on the high seas
Dave learned to sail sailing back to Sydney after buying his boat in the Whitsundays. Watch him talk about how he just managed to avoid disaster - luckily he had boat insurance!