“Always Buying, Consigning and Selling Queensland’s Best Used Boats Since 1964”

Data shows that there are over 900,000 registered boats around Australia. If you add all the small sail and paddle craft that do not require registration, the estimate increases to close to 1.8 million craft that Aussies of all walks of life enjoy.

‘Old salts’ will tell you that owning the right boat increases your enjoyment on the water immensely. By nature, we tend to take an aspirational approach and look beyond our needs, however that is not always the best path for those looking to get into boating for the first time.

As the skipper, knowing that you have the right boat goes a long way to ensure you enjoy the experience and that your time on the water is not hindered by having a vessel that does not suit your needs. Buying your first boat is exciting for all the family and John Crawford Marine, we genuinely enjoy helping you along this journey.

Buying a used boat is a very personal choice, so take your time and do your research. There are a lot of ways to buy a used trailer boat,  some methods are riskier like from an Auction/Private Sale or Tender. Or you can purchase from a trusted and established dealer whereby your risks are greatly reduced.  Allow enough time to explore different types of boats and different brands within each category.

Begin by narrowing down your choices. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to do with the boat?
  • Where do I want to go boating?
  • Who is going with me?
  • How many people should the boat carry?
  • Will we be going offshore?
  • What is the towable capacity of your car/4WD?
  • Overnighting? Entertaining? Fishing? Water skiing?
  • How much am I willing to spend on boating?

The answers to these questions will help steer you towards making the right decisions by narrowing your choices to a short list of boat types or categories and features you require, features you would like, and features you want to avoid.

Once you have narrowed down your category choices, the real fun begins. It is time to go shopping. I and my team appreciate that you will need to shop around and hers some tips and questions to ask each dealer to compare ‘apples with apples’. You may not know the exact boat you want yet but you know what kind of experience and service you want to have, so do not be afraid to ask the hard questions as listed below:

  • Do you provide and complete pre-purchase inspections with your own in-house employed workshop technicians or do we have to pay and organise independent inspections?
  • Can we see a copy of these reports, what cost is there to us?
  • Do you guarantee title on the boat/motor/trailer and accessories or do we take the risk of t being stolen or under finance to another provider?
  • What warranty is there after we purchase the package or do we take all the risk?
  • Are you a member of the Boating Industry Association?
  • Do you provide either on water tuition or provide a dry handover to help us become familiar with the boat?
  • Can you provide insurance quotes from two of Australia’s leading pleasure boat insurers?
  • Upon collection is the rig packed ready to tow and come with the reassurance that the trailer has been workshop serviced? Does it have the correct trailer plug to marry to our car? R-Clip? Correct tie down strap? Over hand flag if needed? Correct shackles?
  • Do you transfer the remaining hull and trailer registration into our name on our behalf or do we have to navigate this ordeal ourselves? (Qld buyers only)
  • Can you help us arrange a competitive finance quote?
  • Can you help us dispose of our old boat or take a trade-in?

At John Crawford Marine, all the above is included and can be arranaged in our tow away pricing, we are here to serve you with experience, respect and the desire for your satisfaction in offering you genuine reassurance that we want you to enjoy your boating journey.

Buying a late model, quality used trailer boat doesn’t have to be fraught with danger, it makes perfectly good sense to save considerable money by purchasing  a late model rig and no one sells better used boats than our team at John Crawford Marine.

We look forward to welcoming you to the boat yard or purchase online safely no matter where you live in mainland Australia!

Yours in boating,

Matthew Hodson

Managing Director

What Finance Options are available?
At John Crawford Marine we aim to understand your requirements, objectives and to deliver an affordable loan solution. Call our friendly team today to see what options we have available to suit your needs and requirements.

Ph: 07 3890 2322

Who do I talk to?
John Crawford Marine has been very selective in choosing a finace company whom reflects our philosophy of building a relationship with a client and being there for the long term. Please call John Crawford Marine to assist you with  personalised service in answering your questions.

How do I secure the boat I want at John Crawford Marine?
Simply call the Sales Team at John Crawford Marine on 07 3890 2322. A small refundable deposit is all you need to secure your boat while the finance is pending. We strive to make it easy and hassle free!  

Do you arrange secured personal loans?
Yes. Minimum loan is $5,000. We are able to finance boats that are 15 years or younger and our loans will be secured on your purchase at a fixed interest rate.

How long does it take to be approved?
Once you have completed the application form and supplied the relevant supporting documentation, generally within 24 hours for approval, however complex or difficult applications can take a few days. Once approved, original finance documents must be signed and JCM will be paid directly usually within 1-2 days. It is John Crawford Marine policy that a boat cannot be delivered until funds have been cleared.

What are my chances of approval?

There are naturally considertions, such as: have you ever filed for bankruptcy, do you own a home, how much is your current income, how long have you been employed at your current job, how long have you lived at your current address, do you have a credit rating, what is your net worth, and so on.

Our Consultant will then complete a preliminary assessment to ascertain your credit status, determine the security over the loan, your current debt level, your income, and your ability to repay the debt. From this JCM & AMF will discuss loan options available to you.

Are your interest rates competitive?
Interest rates are determined by your personal Credit Score.

Do I need to provide anything with my application?
To assist with the application some of the following may also be requested:-

  • 2 most recent Payslips or letter from your employer
  • Bank account details for direct debit
  • Proof of home ownership
  • Formal identification
  • Comprehensive insurance policy
  • Drivers licence (with correct addresses)
  • Rent receipt (if you’re renting)
  • Bank and Personal Loan Statements

Any further questions?
For further information please call our friendly and helpful team at John Crawford Marine on 07 3890 2322 to assist you further.


John Crawford Marine agrees with the authorities that marine radios are essential safety equipment for communicating with other boats, marine rescue groups and to receive navigational warnings and weather updates.


This article is based on a true story which occurred at John Crawford Marine (JCM). I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the highs, lows, expectations and disappointment that an owner who purchased a boat privately in Sydney experienced when trying to sell his boat at JCM.

For those of you who have not read my short articles before, my name is Matthew Hodson. My wife Anita and I, own and manage Queensland’s largest dedicated second hand trailer boat yard in Queensland – John Crawford Marine (JCM). Our business was established in 1964 and is now one of the most respected second hand trailer boat dealerships in Australia. I have been collating some of my experience and writing so as to pass on some hints and tips when buying second hand boats.

On behalf of John Crawford Marine, I have written this article about several issues that I’m sure many of us have given little or no thought to – paperwork and compliance of government regulations regarding the placement of the hulls registration stickers, placement of the hulls registration label, size of the hulls registration stickers etc.

This topic came to light late last year and I think it is worth discussing to ensure fellow boaters stay informed of current legislation etc. JCM was in the middle of doing an on water demonstration in the Brisbane River, when we were approached by the Brisbane Water Police. The officer on board the police vessel asked the usual questions regarding safety gear. (We are always very careful to ensure adequate gear is on board even though we are in a river!) The next question just stumped us – we were asked if our hull registration stickers were legal, naturally we looked over the side of the boat saw that they were there in full. To our amazement the officer pulled out a tape measure, maneuvered his small police boat next to the rego numbers on our boat and proceeded to measure them.

We were politely informed that the rego numbers on the boat were in fact 50mm short of the Queensland’s Maritime Safety Laws. The boat we were demonstrating was second hand and the registration stickers were put on by the dealer who sold this boat new! The stickers were an elaborate style and cut to suit the style and original graphics on the hull. As illustrated in one of the photos, although these stickers look great they are in fact non – compliant and if caught with them by a Police officer who is checking these to the “letter” pardon the pun, in Qld you will be fined $150.00 on the spot!

Although the boat had legible numbers they did not comply. Due to our circumstances we were told to go back to shore and if the boat is seen again a fine will be issued on the spot. 

Then what do the Guideline’s state in regards to the boat/hull registration stickers? With a bit of research the information is clearly outlined in the http://www.qld.gov.au/transport/boating/registration/recreational/index.html regulations and state that “boats capable of planing must have registration lettering a minimum of 150mm high. The characters must be plain characters in a contrasting colour to the hull of the boat”

In short: 

 Boats capable of planing—at least 150mm high on both sides.

  • Boats not capable of planing—at least 75mm high on both sides or the stern.
  • PWCs— must be at least 100mm high and on both sides.

Boats that are “displacement and non planing, must have registration lettering a minimum of 75mm high. The characters must also be plain characters in a contrasting colour to the hull. There are some exemptions and concessions in some cases and if you are unsure I would advise you to contact your local Waterways authority for clarification.

The Maritime Safety Queensland's webpage also states that tenders that are used from larger mother boats are exempt from registration if they are used within 2 nautical miles of the mother boat. The tender must be marked with the word “Tender” as well as the mother boat’s registration numbers. Again the characters must be a minimum of 75mm high.

Jet Skis also have there own guidelines. All Personal Water Craft (PWC) must be registered. Registration characters must be displayed on both sides, port and starboard, be at least a minimum of 100mm high and also be in a contrasting colour to the hull. Jet Ski registration stickers used to be 75mm high in Queensland but since January 2006 stickers are now to be 100mm high. A fine of $150.00 will be enforced if you are caught with the wrong size lettering.

It is worth getting your tape measure and measuring the vertical size of your lettering. If it does not conform I would advise contacting your local boat names or sticker/sign writer and organizing the correct size. Nothing ends a day on the water worse than fine over a trivial compliance issue.

After consultation with the industry and boating public, MSQ is no longer printing annual hull labels. Hopefully this will save tax payer funds on the efforts and costs associated with printing and logistics.

If you want to search for the current regitration status of your boat (or anything registered in Queensland) simply download the app https://apps.apple.com/au/app/qld-rego-check/id919723338

The trailer registration label is also no longer supplied nor printed by Queensland Transport as of October 2014. However your trailer still needs be kept registered though! You can now simply see if a trailer (car/box trailer/camper trailer etc) is registered via online at this link https://www.service.transport.qld.gov.au/checkrego/application/VehicleSearch.xhtml?windowId=641

All in all these simple checks will ensure you and your rig are compliant on the waterways and the roads. And may also help you avoid a possible fine by not infringing the local laws and regulations that seem to govern our life! If you have any questions pertaining to your rig don’t hesitate to contact your local Marine Queensland member or your local Queensland Department of Transport office.

Yours in boating,

Matthew Hodson
Managing Director
John Crawford Marine celebrating 55 plus years in business!

If you are looking at buying a boat, firstly congratulations on your decision to enter the boating fraternity.

Boating offers the family, couple or the single so much enjoyment and valuable skills. Children learn about responsibility, basic social skills, parents have some genuine quality time together with their partner and children. We all learn how beautiful our waterways are and also how fragile some areas can be!

I could talk about this all day, considering you are reading this section I’m sure I am writing to the converted!!

Disclaimer: This article is written with the intent of bringing to your attention that tyre choice / selection is very complicated, before making any decisions we recommend that you seek advice from your local Tyre Retailer for your needs. John Crawford Marine will not be held liable for misreading, misinterpreting the following information as it has been written in general terms and may not be information that is pertinent to your towing needs and state regulations.

With that aside……

Did you know that one of the biggest costs associated with keeping your trailer road worthy are the tyres under your pride and joy? Tyres are often forgotten about as most of us simply walk past them and if they look inflated we leave them be.

Horses for courses – issues concerning overpowering or under powering your boat. We discuss the repercussions of both and how to determine if the boat suffers from either problem.

One of the many important checks that the team at John Crawford Marine do before buying or consigning a rig is check whether the boat is either over powered or underpowered. Basically a hull is manufactured after a designer has carefully considered the many variables that have gone into the design of the hull. For example if the hull is to be used as a ski boat, the boat will have a very strong transom, sturdy internal design, all to handle high speed and a heavy, high performance engine. If the rig is a lightweight aluminium 12-foot dinghy, then the designer will also recommend a certain weight and horsepower rating relevant to its intended use.

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