Boat Warranty's: Reading through the loop holes

JohnFranco Joyce

Boat Warranty's and their limits

Fight through the small print when it comes to boat warranty's. Know what is and is not covered. Understand the relationship of customer, boat builder and boat manufacturer.

The role of the Boatbuilder

The boatbuilder is the person who assembles an actual boat. More often than not, they buy a portion of the boat's parts from third-party sources. These parts include boat engines, electrical components or even a marine steering wheels. Moreover, interior leather or carpet is even bought from third-party vendors. The point being, the fact the boat's components do not come from one source makes it tough when accessing a situation in which a warranty is needed to be put to use. Are you to contact the boatbuilder or the manufacturer of the broken part?

Warranties make products competitive

Not too long ago, companies dreaded the idea of placing lengthy warranties on their products. Yet, in today's boat market, a lengthy and honest warranty enhances the chance for that product to be sold. For example, company A sells an engine that is radically similar to company B's engine in terms of performance, durability and power. What will make the consumer buy product A over product B? Well, company A can set themselves apart by offering an unbeatable warranty. Now that companies are looking at boating warranties this way, both parties [the seller and buyer] are coming out on top.

Boat WarrantyWith that being said, the next time you are looking for a boat product and can't choose between a handful of similar products, strongly consider the warranties offered.

Some manufacturer's offer lifetime warranties on hulls or lengthy coverage on engines. Yet, be sure to read between the lines as there are often confusing exclusions involved within the linguistics of the warranty. While a hull purchase might entail a life-time warranty, the manufacturer might attempt to limit what qualifies as the area of the hull.

A strong selling point for some boating companies is a transferable warranty. Yet, be aware, as this only entails a transfer to the second boat owner. Moreover, a transfer could also cost up to $1,000. Moreover, those life-time hull warranties won't transfer to a second owner in the majority of cases, neither will a blister warranty.

Where to take my boat for warranty work?

Do not take your boat to a local boat shop as manufacturers have specific arrangements for work to be done by individuals specialized with the product. If you do take your boat to a local shop, this will void your warranty. Oh, and it will cost you a lot of unnecessary money!

What is definitely not covered?

Leaving biminis or hatches open that allows for rainwater to leak will not be covered, most certainly. Bottom paint chips, broken windows or corrosive damage to underwater metallic parts are not covered. Another instance in which a warranty will not be covered is if that boating manufacturer is bought out by another company.


A pro-rated boat warranty means that over time, the amount the warranty would cover lessens over time periods.