Boat Buying Guide & Encumbrance Check

When it comes to buying a boat, boat selection is about knowing your own requirements. Determine what you want the new boat to do and in what conditions it will operate, then choose a suitable vessel. Remember that no single vessel will perfectly suit all uses. Therefore you can either buy lots of different boats or be prepared to compromise. Ultimately you may have to compromise on price but avoid any compromise on safety.  

As with any substantial purchase use your common sense when you buy a boat:

  • Know the value of COMPARABLE BOATS
  • Arrange BOAT FINANCE if required. Get your obligation free BOAT FINANCE APPRAISAL
  • If you are buying a used boat, pay for an independent INSPECTION of the hull, engine and accessories
  • Check for encumbrances - online PPSR ENCUMBRANCE CHECK
  • Execute a legally binding Sale & Purchase Agreement with all accessories and any warranty terms listed
  • Arrange for Boat Insurance
  • Beware of SCAMs - read more ...


ppsrThe Australian Government offers a service for checking if a vessel has money owing to a lender. REVS, which stands for the Register of Encumbered Vehicles, is no longer available and has been replaced by the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). You can do an online check at the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). The purpose of PPSR for Boats is to safeguard purchasers of boats from unnecessary financial loss. If you buy a boat without knowing it is financially encumbered (money owing on it) you could have it legally repossessed and lose your investment.


Well established and reputable boat brokers offer an excellent service to the boating public by:

  • Concentrating a selection of boats in one location
  • Setting realistic prices - a boat broker needs to sell listed vessels
  • Providing practical boat buying advice and after sales service
  • Being a member of the BIA (Boating Industry Association) - check for the BIA logo.


It is important to research your potential purchase carefully. Thankfully there are many sources of boat buying information including:

Fishing, water sports, cruising, sailing or entertaining. Whatever your inclination, Yachthub are sure to have a boat to suit you. However it isn't always easy to know exactly what boat to choose. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the enormous variety of boat types, models, sizes and more. Not to worry, below we have a list of things to consider so you can buy your boat in confidence.

Type of boat
When choosing a boat the first and most important question to ask yourself is - what will you be using the boat for? Generally, boats are designed with a specific activity in mind whether you want to fish, ski, cruise, sail entertain or take long trips, just to name a few. Choosing the right boat means ensuring you get the best performance, comfort, safety and enjoyment you are looking for. We recommend you start by making a list of the top three activities you wish to use the boat for, placing your number one preference at the top. Depending on the activities you list, you may find a boat that closely matches your desires. Or, you may find you need to compromise on an item to get the boat that makes your water activities easy and fun. To help you out, below is a list of the most common water activities and the boats which suit them:

Fishing : Inboard Cruisers, Sedan Bridge, Sportsfishing Boats, Center Console, Fish and Ski, Flat Boats, Bass Boats, Fishing Boats, Multi-Hull Cruiser, Multi-Hull Power Boat, Closed Bow Runabouts, Walkaround, Bowriders, Cuddy Cabins,

Water Sports: Fishing Boats, Fish and Ski Boats, Bass Boats, Stern Drive Cruisers, Bowriders, Closed Bow Runabouts, Cuddy Cabins, Deck boats, Inboard Ski Boats, Inboard Wakeboard Boats, Jet Boats Entertainment: Pontoon, Deck Boats, Motor Yachts, Inboard

Cruiser Cruising/Trips : Cuddy Cabins, Motor Yachts, Sedan Bridge, Inboard Cruiser, Sportfishing Boats, Stern Drive Cruisers, Trawlers, Cruising Sailboats, Multi-Hull Cruising Sailboats

Your budget
Your budget is likely to determine the type, size and additional features of your boat so it's good to know your limit early. New boats and pre-owned boats can be financed so you can take advantage of monthly payments. You can even organise boat finance approval in advance so you know exactly how much money you have to spend and are ready when the right boat comes along. As with cars, pre-owned boats typically cost less than a similar new model and may come with additional features which have been added over the years.

Size of boat
This depends on a mixture of how many people you expect to take on the water, where you plan on boating and your budget. Every boat has a maximum carrying capacity that tells you how many people you can safely have on board and this should be a major factor in your decision. You'll also need to consider the amenities on board such as cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities. And while a bigger boat may be ideal it's a good idea to ensure you have the boat handling skills to captain it.

Where to boat
Consider whether your boat will be heading for the lake, river, estuary, harbour or ocean. While a sail boat may be great on the open waters, you'll have a hard time navigating it down a river and while a little runabout boat may be perfect for fishing in your local river or estuary it could be dangerous on the open seas. Boats have different sizes, hulls and equipment suited to where you will be taking your boat.

Engine capacity
How much power your boat needs will depend once again on what you will be using it for. While water skiers will expect maximum power, fishing boats or cruisers may require less. Your engine will have a minimum and maximum capacity for you to work within. Engines can come in inboard, outboard or jet and can be diesel or petrol fuelled. Today's buyer can also choose from new-tech engines that are more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

Storing & transporting your boat
Where do you plan on keeping your boat? If you're going to be towing your boat home, you'll need to consider the size of your boat for storage, as well as to ensure your car is capable of towing the load. Alternatively you could moor it locally or keep it at a marina where you can simply walk on and off. Australia has a massive coastline and secure moorings are available at many marinas within close proximity to launching facilities.

Make of boat
All of the above leads you to what your boat will be made out of. The type of hull will usually be determined by where you will be taking the boat and where it will be stored. Also ride characteristics and weight are important characteristics for hull material. The hull can be made from aluminium, fibreglass, steel, timber/ply, composite, ferro, inflatable or plastic. You may also have a preference between single or multi hulled boats.

Talking to an expert
When you have considered all of the above it's time to begin searching for your new boat. You can search online right now with Yachthub. We also recommend speaking to a boat broker / boat dealer who will be able to show you boats which meet your requirements. By dealing with a professional you can be confident you are getting sound advice to buy the boat which is right for you.