Boaties in Australia and New Zealand are being warned against buying boats that could have been damaged by ex-Hurricane Sandy.
When the giant storm hit the U.S. East Coast a few weeks ago, boats worth about $650 million were damaged or destroyed.
“In total, some 65,000 boats were affected by the storm, and we’re concerned a fair few of those could end up coming down under,” said John Temple, Chairman of the Outboard Engine Distributors Association (OEDA).
“It’s happened in the past. We’ve seen the heartache when boaties buy what they think is a ‘great deal’ from the U.S only to find they’ve bought a hastily repaired storm-damaged boat that needs thousands and thousands spent on it.
“Unscrupulous sellers are happy to do it, of course, because they’re half a world away and virtually untouchable,” John said.
For boat owners, Sandy was the most damaging storm in U.S. history, creating a four-metre storm surge which smashed into the heavily populated coasts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Sandy’s $650 million bill surpassed the $500 million worth of boat damage created by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
The waters piled boats into heaps. Some were found two miles away.
“With such an incredibly large number of damaged boats now sitting in the States, it’s certain that some are going to be falsely marketed to people in Australia and New Zealand,” John said.
“We strongly recommend that people buy through local reputable dealers, so that you really know what you’re getting and, if anything does go wrong, you’re not alone.
“When you’re shopping on the internet keep in mind the old truism ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is’.”
OEDA members manufacture conventional 2 stroke, 2 stroke Direct Injection and 4 stroke engines, and represent approximately 70% of all outboard sales and 70% of outboard dealerships across Australia.