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Canal Boat or Narrowboat

BUYING A SECOND HAND
CANAL BOAT OR NARROWBOAT



Not everyone is able or willing to purchase a new boat. In this section we consider the benefits and potential pitfalls of the second hand market.

A look through any of the popular boating magazines or a flick through the on-line canal boat brokerages will reveal a huge amount of used canal boats. Steel pleasure craft have been built since the 1960’s and there are many of these old boats still in existence in perfectly good order. Add these to the decades of production since and you end up with a huge choice of vessels of all shapes and sizes with huge variations in levels of comfort and sophistication, not to mention price.

Talking of price, this ranges from a few thousand to many tens of thousands and obviously reflects condition and desirability.

As we discussed in the Buying a New Canal Boat chapter, you will have done your personal homework in terms of establishing your budget, reviewed our chapter on running costs and started to formulate a rough idea of what to expect from your boat.

Benefits Considerations
Availability Unknown Repair History
Choice Older Technology
Value For Money Worn Equipment
Lower Depreciation Compromises on Specification

Now the legwork starts and it is of vital importance that you get out into the market place and see what’s available in your price range. Visit the on-line canal boat brokerages, water based canal boat brokerages and boat shows. Don’t forget the owners who are selling their used canal boats privately without the assistance of a canal boat brokerage.  Brokerages will take a fee for their services, which can be around 6% of the final sales price, so some owners choose to save on this cost and pass a bit on to the buyer. Don’t be off-put by private sales. Our sister website The Sales Pontoon is a great starting points to see advertised boats before you start the buying process properly. Some people like the perceived security of having a broker guide the process but remember the broker is there to make money from the sale and to act on behalf of the seller. He will mediate and help to overcome any negotiable issues in the interests of the deal but he doesn’t work for you! He or she cannot verify the condition of the hull, the boats fixtures and fittings or have any legal say in what is or is not included in the sale. It matters not whether you decide to have a canal boat survey or canal boat valuation report so long as the transaction completes and the broker receives the fee. This may sound a little harsh, but the reality is that you really have to protect your interests so as with anything it’s best to be cautious and informed.
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