Things To Look For On Your Boat Test Drive


Demo drives can be one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of the boat-buying process. Not only are you given a chance to get behind the wheel and feel how the boat operates in different conditions, but you’re also able to get a true sense of the quality of its handling, capability, and durability.

Despite the thrill that comes along with it, you should always take this process seriously. You should take your time going through all components no matter how big or small and keep an eye out for any potential maintenance issues, such as the water pump systems or fuel filters. By keeping a keen eye on these steps before closing your purchase can help ensure you are buying an adequate boat made for years of use on the water.

In this post, we’ll go over some common questions and things to look out for when demoing your potential new boat.

Before You Demo Your Boat

To ensure an enjoyable boating experience, make sure to ask for a walkthrough of the basic features and functions of the boat interior and controls before hopping on board. This includes learning how to control speed and direction, reading gauges to interpret fuel levels, becoming comfortable with any safety equipment onboard, and familiarizing yourself with other instruments you might use while out at sea. Doing this preliminary walkthrough should give you peace of mind that your efforts won’t be wasted when you jump into the driver’s seat!

What To Look For On Your Boat Test Drive

1. Engine Performance

Be sure to check how the engine starts– do the sensors pick up quickly and is there any hesitation? Testing acceleration is also essential; make sure that the boat doesn’t linger unduly before reaching its top speed or cruising gear.

2. Quality of Craftsmanship

Getting the perfect boat can be a daunting task, but you can save yourself the trouble of unexpected problems in the future if you take the time to look over every inch of it as thoroughly as possible before you buy. That means checking every line for neatness and making sure every opening is properly sealed. Doing these small things now can save you from having bigger problems down the road, and provide peace of mind when it comes to finding that dream vessel.

3. Electronics

Buying a good quality boat isn’t just about the aesthetics – make sure you’re checking that all of the basic electronics are present and functioning properly during your test drive. Nothing is more annoying than a fishing trip getting delayed due to technical difficulties, so having a functioning GPS, depth finder, and radio system is crucial to an uninterrupted voyage. It’s especially important if you plan on boating in unfamiliar waters. Have one of the staff members show you how to use each feature, so that you can be confident when using them for your future adventures!

4. Safety Gear Storage

On your test drive, determine where safety gear is stored on board so you know exactly where everything is in case of an emergency. This also helps you figure out if the safety features are in the right place.

5. Gut Feeling

When it comes to testing out a boat before making your purchase, it’s all about trusting your instinct. In some ways, this is a combination of both your common sense and intuition. No matter how the seller is spinning an issue or whether they are trying to give you the best deal, if something feels off when you are on board the boat then it’s best to move on.

Think You’re Going To Buy?

Purchasing a boat is a major decision and one that should not be made lightly. Before you commit to a certain vessel, it’s important to make sure it meets all your needs and expectations. Once you have identified the boat that you think fits the bill, take some time to do further research. Ask yourself more questions about why this particular option is best for you, such as its size and length, its condition, what upgrades are needed or have been done, as well as safety features.

Take another close look at the vessel in person if possible before making a final decision; inspecting details like engine components and wiring can give you additional assurance. Even if you are confident that you’ve found the right boat after comparing different models, spending a day or two considering why it’s the right fit for your lifestyle and needs is worthwhile before signing any purchase documents.

Need Help Finding The Right Boat? Contact Hagadone Marine!

Are you looking for the perfect boat and don’t know where to start? Worry no more – Hagadone Marine in North Idaho has you covered! Our knowledgeable and helpful staff specializes in offering a variety of boat models and accessories. We stock everything from fishing boats to pontoon boats, ensuring that we have the best selection of recreational and commercial vessels available to our customers. And with access to many of the top brands in the marine industry, you’ll be sure to find exactly what you need. Whatever your specific needs, our experienced team is here to provide exceptional customer service as we walk you through each step of purchasing your ideal boat. So don’t wait any longer – call Hagadone Marine today or drop by our store and let us help get you out on the water!