It’s a lot easier to buy your boat than to sell it. I guess that’s why you see far more articles and books about buying a boat than about selling one. To sell your boat takes time, money, patience, and finding the right buyer. Having to sell your boat first, before upgrading to a nother boat, can add pressure and be frustrating. But, if you know the seven tips below, there’s a good chance your boat will sell faster than it otherwise would have.
7 Top Tips to Selling Your Used Boat:
1. Make your boat more saleable-take these six steps
Declutter your boat and let it shine. A clean boat sells.
Don’t lose interest. Buyers pick up on this. Staying interested in keeping up with repairs and how the boat looks is extremely important.
Fix what’s broken. Don’t expect buyers to fix things. If something breaks or looks worn, either repair or replace it. This shows the potential buyer that you still care about your boat. That energy rubs off onto the buyer.
Clean the engine room. No oil, grease, or paint-chipped parts. Unfortunately, this is the biggest deal breaker. It’s like walking into someplace that has mold on the walls, dirty bathrooms, and greasy carpets-a real turnoff!
Clean the bilge. Make sure it’s not full of dirt, leaves, oil, etc. A smelly bilge is another turnoff, especially for women buyers.
Remove personal items. You want the buyers to imagine or envision their own stuff on the boat. Also, any personal stuff you leave on the boat could, and will, be assumed by the potential buyers to be part of the sale.
2. Determine your boat’s best price
If you decide to sell your boat yourself, do your homework. Search the internet for boats similar to yours with the same features, model, and year. Look at used boat magazines. What are these boats selling for? What condition are they in? Where are they located? Are they being sold privately or through a yacht broker?
Yacht brokers can do more research through various websites and books such as ABOS™ Marine Blue Book, BUC® Used Boat Price Guide, and PowerBoat Guide. These books give them an idea of a boat’s current value. The websites they use can tell them what a particular boat sold for in the past. If, in your research, you see a comparable boat being sold via a yacht broker in your area, there’s a good chance that you should be pricing your boat similarly.
Once you have an idea of how much boats like yours are selling for, you can then make a logical decision on how much to sell yours for. Don’t get trapped into thinking that your boat is worth more than it really is; or, if you still owe money for your boat, that you can sell the boat for the loan balance. Timing is everything, and pricing your boat appropriately is what helps it be seen, then sold, promptly.
3. Take photographs
Boaters love looking at photographs of boats and their parts-the more, the better. Think about the types of photos you like looking at. Take a walk around your boat and take lots of photographs from different angles of the port, transom, starboard, stern, and bow. On sailboats, take photos of the companion way, mainsail, and mast. If you can get pictures of your boat from the water and/or pictures of your boat in the water away from docks, that will be even better.
Next, take inside photos. Before you do, make sure the inside of your boat is tidy and clean, and that everything you’re not selling with the boat is out of the way. In other words, if you are not selling that flat screen TV in your salon, don’t have it in your pictures. Take photos of the electronics, forward cabin, engine room, engines, heads, galley, salon, state rooms, v-berth, etc. You’ll also need photos of the helm, fly bridge, companion, and mate helm seats. If the boat is on the hard, take photos of the propellers, rudder, and/or keel.