Have you ever thought about buying a boat? Read on because here is your comprehensive check list to buying a canal boat.
Recently this very scenario cropped up when some friends of ours talked about buying a canal boat. Sean and I have owned boats for several years and knew most of what are friends should be looking out for, and what the pertinent questions that they should be asking were. But this was for yachts not canal boats, so we investigated and learnt a great deal in the process. Here is the result of enquiries; we hope you find this list helpful.
a) Base 5 -10mm?
b) Hull 5-6mm?
c) Cabin 4-5mm?
12. What is her hull number?
13. What material is the boat made from, ask particularly about, hull, cabin and sides, they may not all be from the same fabric. I have realised that materials used are :
Plywood (serious no no here!)
Ash faced ply
Oak faced ply
14. Have anodes been fitted if so when, how many and what weight, the usual size is 2.5kg and there should be 3-4 of these.
15. When was the last hull blacking?
16. What are the internal fittings made of – brass?
17. When were the water and fuel tanks replaced?
18. What is the capacity of the tanks for fuel and water ( fuel about 250 litres and water anywhere from 400 litres up is advisable) The size of your tanks will dictate the distances you can travel between marinas and boat yards.
19. What is your gas type – propane?
20.Check on the number of gas cylinders (2-4) and the size (13kg), give them a shake before buying them, see how much is left, you don’t want to buy a boat with two empty cylinders.
21. Check the pipework leading from the gas bottles to the heating/cooker, is it worn anywhere.
22. Do they have a gas certificate?
23. Is the toilet a chemical potti or fully plumbed in.
24. How old is the holding tank for the toilet, and what is its capacity?
25. How many batteries does the boat have? 1 for the engine and up to 6 for domestic use.
26. Check the age of the batteries.
27. The DC voltage should be 12V.
28. Does the boat have solar panels.
29. What mooring equipment is being sold with the boat, for example: Boat hook, poles, life buoy, ropes and fenders.
30. Is there a pram hood cover?
31. Is there any cruising equipment on board?
32. Where are the electric controls; are they easily accessible?
33. What is her heating system? Does she have a solid fuel stove, back boiler or central heating?
34. How is she fitted out internally, is the floor laminate or solid wood?
35. How is the hot water generated, by a calorifier with a 240v immersion element?
36. Consider the size of this tank, how quickly does the water heat up.
37. Does your boat have an electric shoreline.
This list is pretty comprehensive, but if you are seriously considering buying a canal boat, I would suggest you print this list off as a chart and visit a number of boats and tick the boxes on each boat off. That way you will have a comparable list, from which to start bargaining on the price!
If you found this information helpful or have other matters you feel that potential buyers should consider please add the comment to the bottom of the page and I will add it to the list.
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