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What to Look for During a Boat Test Drive


Just as you would test drive a vehicle before purchasing, you absolutely need to be test driving a boat! There is only so much to know about a boat from specs and visuals. You want to be able to feel it when it hits the water. How do you feel driving it? Does it ride the water the way you want? At Buxton Marine, located in Lewisville, Texas, we offer regular test drives and demos on the lake so you can be confident in what you are purchasing. Here are some tips for test drive day:

Have a Plan

Before you get to the test drive, you need to formulate a plan. You need to have a list of “must-have” features and things you want to look over. Bring that checklist with you so you can check each box as your test drive goes on. It can be exciting to be on the lake, and without a solid plan of what you want to evaluate, you may forget to check out certain features that were actually important to you.

Trailer Setup

Before the boat hits the water, check the trailer and even test pulling it for a few miles. Does your vehicle have the capacity to tow it? Is the trailer in good condition (if pre-owned) or will it need to be replaced soon (extra cost)? These are important things to consider before you even get out on the water.

Stop & Start

During your test drive, plan to stop the boat, idle, and restart the boat multiple times. Listen for any peculiar noises or roughness as you transition through these steps. Do not hesitate to ask questions or voice any concerns when test driving any boat on the lake, whether it is at Buxton Marine or not. We would love to talk through all pieces of the test drive. We want you to be comfortable.

Driver’s Seat Comfortability

How do you feel in the driver’s seat of the boat? Are the controls convenient and intuitive? Is the seat comfortable? Is there enough support for a long day on the lake? Imagine yourself spending the day on the lake, would this be a convenient setup for you?


Steering the boat should feel effortless and comfortable, similar to driving any other vehicle. Some boats have a stiffer steering column, so you will want to know that upfront. The goal is for you to feel comfortable and in control as you maneuver the boat through the water.

Cut the Waves

Finally, it is important to know how the boat cuts through waves or wakes. Gently maneuver into a wave and see how the hull responds. Is it a smooth transition or a little rough?


Remember, ask all the questions you want! At Buxton Marine we offer test drives, along with demo days, throughout the year. At each event, our knowledgeable sales staff is there to answer any questions and make sure the boat is the right fit for you before you buy. Ready? Call us today!

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(972) 436-7412