Compass Headings
Dedicated to raisng the bar


The Checklist:

Weather Planning
& Resources

Spare Parts &
Boat Outfit

& Equipment

Celestial Navigation
Vessel Conduct
Rules of the Road

Safety Equipment &
Vessel Paperwork

Trip Planning
Maneuvering, Anchoring
& Enroute Checks

Bar Entrances, Passes
& Narrows

Distances Reference
Mariner Math
Port Information
Panama Canal

Vessel Delivery
Selecting a Vessel
Selling Your Boat
Service Providers

Purchase Checklist

The Boat Selection Process

In a perfect world, your boat would be an ideal blend of Form and Function that is just right for you and your boating desires.

But as we know, life is a series of compromises and boats are no different. We can however attempt to be more objective in what can be a very emotional and subjective process.

Before the Search

Ask yourself these questions:

Why do I want a boat?
The fantasy or dream of adventure?
A specific purpose. Fishing, Cruising, Condo,
Entertaining, Live-aboard, ect.
Where will I go?
Cruising protected waters?
Transiting large bodies or offshore.
Weekend trips or extended cruising.
Will this be owner operated or will you have a captain.

Consider the following factors:
Number and types of staterooms.
Range/performance/fuel economy
Hull design
Sea keeping characteristics
Equipment/ Electronics/ Systems Redundancy?
Number of hours on the engines Gensets and systems. Tank capacities Water/Fuel/Holding
And don’t forget:
Future resale
Brand Name
Vessel history
Maintenance history

The Search

Educate yourself.

Make a list of your parameters/needs/likes/dislikes.

Is there a particular boat/make/model you have in mind?

Are there are other boats/makes/models that may work?

Talk to other owners, captains.

When you find something you like:
Spend as much time onboard as you like.
Let yourself get a feel for each one.
Take your time.
Consider each piece of equipment, appliance and system.
For type, name, location, installation and maintenance.

Don’t allow yourself to be hurried or pushed.

Keep to your list of parameters.

The Survey/SeaTrial

I cannot stress the following enough!

Get personally involved.
Work closely with your surveyor.
Ensure that he/she is doing a thorough job.
Be apart of the process.

The seatrial is to demonstrate the vessel.
Spend as much time on the seatrial as you require.
Conduct a second or even third seatrial if needed.

Remember, you can walk away from any boat during this process before you have officially accepted the vessel.

Make sure this is the right boat for you.

Ask the Captain
The Checklist
Purchase Checklist

Purchase books, cards CDs and Calendars
Books, cards and prints
offered by author
Chris Couch
Compass Headings Publishing.