Manufacturer warranties may or may not be transferable, in some cases are transferable for a fee, and in some other cases will be partially transferable. The major portions of a boat warranty usually can be broken down into the following categories:
- Bow to Stern Warranty
- Structural Warranty
- Hull Warranty
- Blister and/or Gel Coat Warranty
A bow to stern warranty covers the entire boat and all its pieces-parts, aside from the engine. Many builders don’t include this in their warranty, some do for a single year, and some builders offer it for a three-, four-, or even five-year period. Bow to stern warranties that last for years at a time should be considered a valuable perk, though they’re not usually transferrable if the boat is re-sold.
Structural warranties are usually limited to the major components of the boat: its hull, deck, bulkheads, stringers, and sometimes other major parts. Again, these vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in duration and in how comprehensive the coverage is. Many builders, however, offer structural warranties for a significant period of time that is often transferrable.
Hull warranties cover just that – the boat’s hull. Catastrophic hull failure is a rare event with modern boats, and this is where you’ll sometimes see extremely long or even lifetime warranties apply.
Blister and gel coat warranties usually apply specifically to blisters, which form when water gets between the gel coat and fiberglass and causes a bubble-like appendage to form. At one time this was a major issue, but with modern boat construction techniques, these days it’s actually very rare to see a boat develop serious blistering issues. Still, it’s nice when a manufacturer has enough confidence in their own craftsmanship to warrant against blisters forming.