Boat Selling Tips

Selling your boat need not be a burden if you approach the task with a little energy and enthusiasm.

How to sell your Boat

Are dreams of upgrading to a new boat about to become a reality? With this comes the necessity of selling your beloved older vessel, and along with that comes a sense of apprehensive excitement. As sad as it will be to say goodbye to your trusty old tub, there's no denying that there's a new and improved alternative calling your name. 

Then the questions start to flow; how do you sell your boat for the best return? How do you move it on quickly? Are there any tricks of the trade that will optimise your return and free up some spare cash to spend on trips away with your new boat?

Selling your boat can be a stressful time. But it’s just like selling any commodity: choose a price that’s a fair reflection of the current market demand; present your boat in the best light by repairing obvious faults and giving it the once-over with your cleaning agents; then advertise through the right media.

Already ready to sell your boat? Then you've come to the right place.

Used boat price

Price is a difficult area. One man’s treasure can be another’s junk so try to be objective.  Boats have traditionally held their value very well, especially those with a better brand name and reputation. 

Take a look at Trade-a-Boat to see the price that similar boats are selling for and try to make an objective assessment of yours. If you have added features or your boat is in impeccable condition, then increase the price accordingly; if it’s a basic model and has seen heavy use then lower the price a bit.

Your price will also reflect the urgency with which you have to sell. If you have to sell in a hurry to recover funds then you might need to sell at a lower price, but if you can afford to hang out for that special buyer, hold your ground at a higher price.

Condition and presentation 

As with any item you are trying to sell, condition and presentation are important. Buyers will be turned off by dents, rust, marine growth and dirt. If your boat suffers from any of these and you want the best price, then spend some time and a little cash rectifying the situation. 

Begin with a good wash to remove accumulated growth, get underneath with the hose and blast out anything that’s clung on down there. While you’re at it, check for hull damage.

Advertising your boat

It matters little how good the boat or how low the price if nobody knows it is up for sale. There are two main options for selling boats, via a broker or doing it yourself. 

A broker serves boat sellers and/or buyers as a representative for the sale or purchase of a boat. It's important to find a reputable broker who you feel comfortable with. A broker can not only assist with finding a buyer but will, in most arrangements, also act as your negotiator with the buyer. They will also be there for any inspections, surveys and sea trails that are requested by the buyer. A broker’s fee is normally a percentage of the final sale price, although this is often up for negotiation. 

If you decide to sell it yourself, don’t miss an opportunity. If the boat is parked in your front yard hang a sign off it.

Place an ad in your local paper, which these days will be cheap and not overly competitive in regards to other boats. The most convenient and best place to advertise is of course on the web. Place an ad on specialist web site There you can not only list the boat features, but you also get online exposure until the unit sells, with unlimited photos and even videos. If you’re seeking top price, then ads that are exposed until sold give you time to wait for that special buyer to find you, as well as putting you in front of the largest possible number of potential buyers.

Rehearse your selling pitch well, at the end of the day it is up to you to sell your boat, and as it is you who has been the one enjoying the water with it, so you are the one best positioned to do the big sell. Be positive, realistic and convincing and you will find your buyer.

Now that you're ready to sell your boat, visit