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Tips & Advice

Buying a 2nd hand boat?

Follow our check list – and avoid the pit falls

If you would like information on anything mentioned below or would like the advice of an RCR engineer please do not hesitate to contact us on 01785 785680.

  • Is there oil in the bilge? It may be a sign of an oil leak and warrants closer inspection.
  • Are there signs of lubricant leakage around gaskets, freeze plugs and hoses?
  • Are the hoses, belts and fittings cracked or brittle?
  • Pull a spark plug and see if it appears relatively new or burnt and poorly gapped (an indication of how well serviced the engine is).
  • Is there a white chalky residue on the engine or drive? (This may indicate that it has been running hot.)
  • Check the engine’s oil condition and level. (If the oil looks milky, water may have entered, indicating the possibility of serious mechanical problems.)
  • Check gearcase oil.
  • Are the sacrificial anodes on the drive in good shape, or should they have been replaced long ago?
  • Are there signs that the drive, rudder or propeller have hit submerged items.
  • Look for signs of cavitation damage on the propeller(s), which is indicative of poor performance.
  • Check for broken engine mounts.
    Compression check the engine.

    If your unsure why not call our office and organise for one of our engineers to attend and undertake one or our engine and electrical inspections which will provide an independent view on the engine condition.

Aside from the engine, your inspection should also include the following:

  • Check the condition of stern gland and there is plenty of grease supplied to it.
  • Make sure that the prop shaft is turning freely.
  • Check that the charge rate from the alternator to the batteries is as it should be.
  • Check the engine oil and gearbox oil levels and top up if need be.
  • Check the condition of the fan belt. If it is worn get it replaced.
  • Check all coolant hoses for leaks and wear and tear. Replace if required.
  • For raw water-cooling engines, check the seacock and all pipe work for leaks.
  • Check all fuel lines and shut off valves for leaks.
  • When starting the engine make sure that the charge light is off and that the alternator is charging.