After you have decided to get into boating by purchasing a used dinghy, it is time to research the different dinghy models to find the one that will suit your needs the best. Most dinghy models are fairly similar, as these boats tend to be simple and small, though variations do exist and it will be wise to research them so you can recognize high-quality models over lower-quality models when you go shopping. The used dinghy you choose should be in usable condition, and it if is not, the price should reflect this.
Consider how much refurbishing you are willing to perform on a used dinghy before you go shopping for one. You will be able to purchase a used dinghy in need of refurbishing for a lower purchase price than a vessel that is ready for the water, but remember that the refurbishing costs can add up as well. It may be wise to purchase a dinghy that is ready for the water if you don't have the time, skills, or space in which to do the repairs. Otherwise, be sure to research common repair techniques and costs associated with these processes before purchasing.
A visual inspection of the used dinghy will be necessary. If possible, take the boat out on the water to ensure all the components work properly and the sails are in good shape. Look for mold on the sails as well as in the boat itself, and take note of any leaks that the boat has; these leaks will need to be repaired, so you can use this as a bargaining chip if the damage is not too bad. Inspect the hull if possible for any damage or signs of past repairs. Inspect any spars as well as the mast for cracks or other damage.
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Become knowledgeable about the common retail values of the dinghy models you are considering before you go looking for a vessel. This will ensure you get a fair price for the used dinghy you are considering. If you feel the seller is asking too much for the boat, don't be afraid to negotiate or walk away from the sale. If you are buying from a store, be sure to ask about any warranties or repair options that may be included with the purchase of the boat, and if you are buying from a private seller, ask about any existing warranties that may still be valid on the vessel.