5 Foolproof Ways of Telling if a Boat is a Lemon

One of the worst feelings is the pain of dealing with a boat that is more of a liability than a source of pleasure or a place of leisure. They say that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade, but wouldn’t it be better if you could steer clear of lemons altogether? Wondering how? We’ll tell you!

1. Bad Wiring is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Good wiring is crucial to the overall health of your boat. Wiring that is not stable can hurt the components of the ship that perform a necessary function, such as the bilge pump and the blower. Therefore, the first thing to do is to look for carelessly taped wire ends or loose wiring beneath the boat’s dash. Following this, press every button to make sure things are in proper working condition. It is imperative to carry out these checks to avoid brand new wiring that costs the sun and the moon.

2. Damage and Wear and Tear of Gel Coat

Most people think of Gelcoat as something that keeps the boat looking good, adds a smooth shine, and contains the pigment that offers the boat its signature color. Checking out the condition of a boat’s gel coat is one of the best ways to determine the extent of damage, if any, to the boat. To know if there is any structural damage underneath the topmost layer, check for deep scratches—cuts, or cracks in the fiberglass. Minor scratches are a fairly common occurrence, along with Gelcoat staining from seaweed and other plants in the water, spillages on deck, and general weathering. Removing stains with harsh products designed for household use can take the coating right off the fiberglass, so it is recommended to stick to cleaners that are specifically designed for use on boats and reapply protective polish or wax where necessary.

3. Soft or Rotten Flooring

This one is a no-brainer, but soft or rotten floors that give way under pressure or weight due to mold and decay are a huge indicator that the structural integrity of the boat’s hull is not secure and has been compromised. Furthermore, if the rot spreads to other parts of the boat, it can lead to faster deterioration, the repairs of which would cost a fortune. Needless, to say, such a boat would be akin to a sour lemon, ad something you should stay away from.

4. Unreliable or Deceptive Engine Hours

Do not get carried away by a throwaway price or low engine hours. Instead, approach the deal with caution and examine the boat with thoroughness. Make sure you examine the number on the meter before and after your test run of the boat to avoid letting unscrupulous sellers get the better of you by pulling the wool over your eyes and leaving you with the raw end of a bargain that will give you no benefit.

5. Check for Signs of Ethanol Damage

Ethanol has been included as a component of gasoline for well over a decade now, which may work well for cars but not so much when it comes to boats. In fact, it could be disastrous. It is a powerful solvent that can dissolve fiberglass fuel tanks. Not only does ethanol react with fuel tanks, but it also reacts with carburetors and fuel filters. Make sure whether or not the fuel was changed religiously at least every three months or so. We at Raritan Engineering recommend keeping up with your maintenance schedule. Changing fuel filters and keeping the carburetor clean goes a long way towards limiting the sludge build-up attributable to ethanol.

To summarize, the best way to keep away from boats that are lemons is by remembering to check whether the engine has a coat of fresh paint or not, ask the seller about the boat and its condition, and finally, to always look into the boat’s past to determine if it has a place in your present and future. Also, search for corrosion on electrical items such as connectors, clamps, pumps, terminal blocks, and behind breaker panels. These are all indicators that the boat sank at some point and, as an outcome, might be a lemon. You can count on Raritan Engineering to keep you boat-safe and boat-wise! We are your number one expert in marine sanitation supplies! Reach out to us today to discuss your requirements.

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