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How to Test Drive a Boat the Right Way

 (Avoid a boat buying mistake by doing a proper test drive)




You’ve found the right boat for your boating needs.  Now, it’s time to ensure the boat will perform and handle the way you expect when out on the water.  Here is the 22-point On-Water Demo Checklist


On-Water Demo Checklist



1. Check Engine Compartment, Is it clean and neat?                                                                _______


2. Check All Systems (Stereo, Water, Blower, Steering Cables, Fluids, etc.)                             _______


3. Open all compartments, hatches and doors...Are they solid or cheap?                                 _______


4. Listen for Rough Running Engine                                                                                           _______


5. How does the boat accelerate?                                                                                              _______


6. Does the bow rise up blocking your view when accelerating?                                                _______

7. How does the boat turn at normal cruising speeds?                                                              _______

8. How does boat turn at full throttle with trim all the way down?*                                             _______


9. How does the boat handle in rough water (do not skip this step)?                                        _______


10. How does the boat “Feel” during each maneuver?                                                              _______


11. How does the boat “Sound” during the entire demo?                                                          _______


12. Does the boat “Rattle or Vibrate” during any portion of the demo?                                     _______


13. How comfortable is the boat for how you’ll use it?                                                              _______


14. How comfortable are the seats for you and your family and guests?                                 _______


15. Is the boat easy to tie? Are there enough cleats in the right spots?                                  _______


16. Is there enough storage on the boat for your style of boating?                                          _______


17. How does the boat look on the water...will you turn heads?                                              _______


18. Can you provide at least 20 testimonials or clients to talk with?                                        _______


19. Check trailer tires, bearings, and lights.                                                                             _______


20. Check out wave/wake for water sports activities                                                                _______


21. Check underwater gear & evidence of fiberglass repairs                                                  _______


22. For used boats check to make sure floors & stringers are solid (wood floors and stringers)_____                                                                                                                  


Boat Type:___________     Dealership:___________     Sales Person:_____________

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