|Buying a New or Used Boat
What you should know
- Does the boat meet your needs?
- Will it carry the number of people you want without overloading it?
- Will it operate safely in the waters where you usually fish or plan to fish?
|A new boat
|Has it an affixed Australian Builders Plate?
If not check with the dealer as it should have a plate attached. The plate indicates the maximum horsepower for the vessel, maximum carrying capacity in passengers or weight and whether the boat is fitted with basic buoyancy or level buoyancy.
Have navigation lights been fitted?
If so are they fitted correctly? For small craft, the standard navigation lights are starboard and port sidelights and an all round white light. The sidelights must be fitted so they are parallel with the centre line of the boat, not aligned with the curve of the bow. The all round white light must be a metre above the main deck of the boat so that it can be seen from all directions. If the dealer has fitted registration numbers, is each numeral or letter a minimum of 200 mm high legible from 30m away? Also are they dark numbers on a light background or light numbers on a dark background displayed along the side of the vessel? You may be fined if the registration numbers do not meet these requirements. In the case of a non-displacement boat (in other words a boat that does not plane at speed), the numbers can be a minimum of 75 mm in height and displayed on the stern of the boat, or both sides of the boat.
Does it have safety equipment supplied?
If so check the safety equipment to ensure you have all the required equipment.
Life jackets are important items – if you have purchased the boat with the cheapest life jackets available consider purchasing some PFD's type 1 of a reasonable quality or the inflatable type which can be worn with comfort most of the time.
(Remember – children under 12 years must wear a life jacket in boats under 4.8 metres when underway).
Is the boat fitted with an under floor fuel tank?
If so has a water trap fuel filter been fitted to the boat somewhere in the vicinity of the transom?
It is recommended that all boats, even if portable tanks are used, have a water trap fuel filter fitted.
|A second hand boat
|If the boat was built before the Australian Builders Plate was required (2006), then you must have displayed a capacity label by which you have determined how many people the boat can carry safely. Instructions on how to determine a boat’s capacity are located on the rear of the label. All of the above are relevant to a second hand boat. Because the boat is older and may have been modified by previous owners, be sure to check:
- life jackets meet the current standard
- flares or EPIRB are in date; obtain a “Don’t Expire” sticker and note the expiry dates on space provided
- if tiller steered, a safety lanyard is attached to the cut off switch for the motor
- registration numbers are the correct size and in contrasting colours with the registration label attached.