Buying a used boat can be a cost-effective move, but only if you do your due diligence to ensure that there's nothing wrong with the vessel. The last situation you want is to complete the purchase, begin using the boat, and realize that certain parts need to be replaced. You'll obviously want to give careful consideration to the hull, motor, and other important elements, but don't discount the value of looking at smaller things, too. Small issues can add up and require you to purchase many replacement parts to make your body ready for the water. Here are some parts that you'll want to confirm are in good condition when you buy the boat.
The cleats are a small part of the boat that you're thinking about buying, but they'll need quick replacement if they're not in good condition when you make the purchase. The cleats are integral from tying your boat to the dock, so you want them to be in good condition. Feel free to grasp the cleats on the boat and attempt to jiggle them; they should maintain a tight fit to the hull, rather than move in even the slightest manner. If they're loose, you'll also want to check beneath them to ensure there's no damage.
The boat you're hoping to buy will have a variety of lights around it, including red and green lights on the sides, lights on the rear, and lights around the steering wheel. In your excitement to check out the main elements of the boat, it's easy to neglect checking each of the lights. However, it's important that you do so. You don't need to just check that the lights work, as this could simply be a light bulb issue. Rather, you want to check the fitting around each light to ensure that it's not rusted or corroded. If there appears to be an issue with a light, don't hesitate to have the seller test the wiring for you.
The drain plug is another small boat part, but one that is integral. You should always carefully inspect the drain plug before you buy the boat — and certainly before you put it in the water, too. Press your finger into the rubber gasket around it. You want the rubber to be supple; if it's stiff and cracked, it won't have the necessary integrity to keep water out of the boat.
To get replacement parts, visit a professional like Boater's Landing.