1. Buy a boat that matches your intended use.
2. If you are trailing, make sure your vehicle can pull the weight of the boat and trailer.
3. Buy from a dealer who will educate you on all the systems on the boat.
4. Test the line of vision from the helm to make sure you have clear visibility.
5. Check various compartments to see how accessible maintenance will be.
6. Hire a qualified marine surveyor to inspect, spot problems and recommend corrections.
7. Choose a boat built to ABYC Standards with National Marine Manufacturers Association certification.
8. Have repairs made and equipment added by an ABYC-certified technician.
–from The American Boat & Yacht Council
Since 1954, The American Boat & Yacht Council, a non-profit organization, has developed safety standards for the design, construction, equipage, repair and maintenance of boats of less than 150 feet. Its mission is to improve boating safety and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.