Boat Inspection Checklist

Are you buying a used boat, and need a boat inspection checklist to ensure you inspect all the critical components? You’ve found the right place! There are six key points to buying and inspecting a boat successfully:
  1. Engine
  2. Electrics
  3. Hull
  4. Trailer
  5. Seating, Covers and Upholstery
  6. Paperwork
Our free boat inspection checklist will guide you through these key points in detail, greatly improving the chances of owning a good, reliable boat.

What Type Of Boats Are Covered On The Checklist?

This is an easy to use boat inspection checklist designed to be used on a small outboard/sterndrive trailer boat. The bigger the boat, the more complex the checklist needs to be, as there are more components that need to be checked. Whilst there are definitely more specific items to check depending on the make or manufacturer, this checklist provides a good general overview on a smaller boat. We’re working on releasing a number of other checklists to help new and experienced boaters purchase a boat, including one for larger boats. If you’d like to be notified of our upcoming checklists, send us an email and we will add you to our mailing list.

How To Use Our Boat Inspection Checklist

The checklist will walk you through the six key points to buying and inspecting a boat, with a tick box so you don’t forget. We recommend printing the checklist when you’re looking a boat to ensure that you’ve checked the main components and make any relevant notes along the way. If you find anything of concern, you can note it down to further investigate yourself or hire a professional.

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What Other Boat Buying Resources Do You Have?

Enjoyed our checklist? We also have a Service History Essentials checklist on our About Us page, and a Boat Purchase Contract. If you prefer video content, we have a YouTube channel @BoatBuy.

About the Author


Aaron O’Donoghue is a qualified Marine Surveyor & Engineer with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. He is an experienced boater from Sydney who grew up on the waters of Sydney Harbour. He left school at 15 to complete an apprenticeship as a Marine Mechanic. In 2015, he founded BoatBuy, where he has inspected thousands of boats and is passionate about helping others enjoy their time on the water. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. Do you have a boating related question? Feel free to reach out to me via email here.

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