Guide to buying used and second-hand rowing and sculling boats
The WEROW guide to buying a secondhand rowing or sculling boats is brought to you by WEROW Rigger Jiggers!
- Where possible always seek the advice of a professional boatman or experienced rowing or sculling boat owner. Experience will always win the day and in most cases members of a boat club would be flattered to have been asked to help.
- Like any purchase do not be rushed into making a deal. Make sure you have covered the basic checks – buying a second hand or used sculling boat is not straightforward as there are many factors to consider, some of which may not be apparent on a cursory glance.
- Don’t go by photos alone. If the scull or boat is not local maybe consider asking a friend that is to make the first viewing. In any event get as many high resolution photos as possible before setting off on a long journey to a boat club. Consider asking the seller for a short video.
- We strongly recommend taking a friend with you – that way you not only considerably safer but you will also have a second opinion if you come under pressure.
- If you are buying a boat to compete in we recommend you do not buy an ex-club boat which will have had a lot of use & abuse unless it is in exceptional condition. You want to buy the best you can afford so that you do not have to trade up shortly after your purchase.
- When you find the sculling boat for sale that looks suitable make sure you arrange to take it out for a spin on the water. That way you can listen out for creaks and squeaks from the boat. You will also get a feel for the rigidity of the craft, riggers, slide, seat etc.
- Visually inspect inside the hatches of sculling and rowing boats before and after you try the craft.
- Inspect the hull of the sculling or rowing boat carefully in daylight. Be on the lookout for any injuries to the shell that might look like it has been penetrated or pierced. Also look for lamination issues where water might have got under the topcoat of the shell – these will usually show up as discolouration or swelling.
- Check the riggers are solid and true; check for corrosion and bends.
- Make sure the boat is insured before you take it home or to the boat club.
- Within reason, most issues can be fixed by a competent boat repair service. However, it is better to be aware of the bills you might face when negotiating the purchase price rather than get a surprise bill in your first season.