Monday, July 22, 2024

How To Sell Your Boat Privately

Pricing Your Boat Accurately

How to sell your boat privately.

The next thing you need to do is come up with a reasonable price based on the boats value. The average value of a vessel may not necessarily dictate your asking priceespecially if you want to sell the boat fast. If youve made extensive modifications that may greatly increase the value of the boat, be sure to include those points within your listing description. But also remember that most accessories will not increase the price of your boat.

There is always a tendency among boat ownersor enthusiasts of any kindto harbor an overinflated sense of what their boat is worth. Its normal. It happens because boats are emotional purchases, which have often produced a lot of happy memories for an owner. This contributes to the exaggerated sense of value in many cases.

The goal is to get the highest price for your boat so you can have more money to spend on your next one. However, you want to be as realistic as possible about the price of the boat youre selling.

Boat Traders Emma Coady recommends to, Set your rock-bottom sales price in your head before listing your boat for sale. This will ensure you will not walk away from the deal disappointed. Knowing your rock-bottom price will give you a baseline for negotiating with potential buyers!

What Paperwork Do I Need To Sell My Boat

You will need the title, registration and any relevant Coast Guard documentation for your boat. Also, make sure you have title and registration documentation for any associated trailers. A bill of sale is typically used to document the transaction and includes things such as hull or vessel identification number, description of the boat, purchase price and transaction date. If a licensed broker is involved, there is typically additional paperwork that serves to protect the buyers and sellers involved in the transaction. Other paperwork you should have includes insurance documentation, maintenance and service records and any warranty information.

Topics Discussed In This Article

  • When is the best time of year to sell my boat?

  • How much should I sell my boat for?

  • How much does a boat broker charge?

  • Prepare your boat for selling

  • Taking Pictures To Sell Your Boat

Unfortunately;for most sellers, and even boat brokers, our boats will end up where they usually do:; On a lot, in our driveway, or at the docks collecting dust, rust, and even more in additional repair bills.; To make matters worse, the longer your boat takes to sell, the lower the amount of money you can ever hope to get for it becomes.

I have used many boats over the course of my life, but more importantly, I was blessed to have the opportunity to sell them for a few years in my own Florida Dealership.; Luckily for me, I now get to spend my days creating Boat Pictures!

I am writing this article to help get you over that steep learning curve that I experienced so that you know exactly how to sell your boat fast, and get that money back to buy another one!

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Focus On The Cleanest Areas

To create that wow effect, capture the cleanest places on the boat. You want buyers to see it and start thinking of how to make it their own.

Highlighting the best parts gives prospective buyers the impression that you took great care of your boat.

If the aesthetics are excellent, they will expect the engine and other systems to be in top shape.

Take Pictures in Good Lighting Conditions

The best pictures are shot when the lighting is perfect. So even if you are planning to sell your boat offseason, wait for that perfect time when the photographer can capture the vessel in rich detail.

When people see pictures of your boat sparkling in the sun, they automatically envision themselves piloting it or having a party on the deck.

So help them visualize owning the boat and it will be easier to sell. Plus, premium-quality pictures propel you above the competition that used poor quality photos.

Buying Or Selling A Boat: What You Need To Know

Selling Your Boat Privately

by James L. Rudolph

When you buy or sell a boat, there are plenty of legal issues and potential complications, not unlike when you buy or sell a home. In fact, some boat transactions are more complicated than home purchases, as they can involve local, state and federal regulations.

Furthermore, if you want to finance or insure your boat, you will discover that lenders and insurers have additional requirements beyond those of regulators. That is why it makes sense to enlist the support of qualified professionals who can assist you with significant boat transactions. You should be prepared to deal with all of the following issues.

1. Costs of Acquisition and Ownership

When you purchase a boat, you must remember to budget for more than the purchase price, considering the costs of registration, applicable taxes, fuel, maintenance, insurance, inspections, mooring and winter storage fees. All of these costs can vary depending on whether you want to use the boat for fishing, water-skiing, party cruising, or transportation.

It pays to figure out the annual cost of ownership per use, so that you can decide whether it makes more sense to rent or charter a boat as needed, instead of owning one.

If you do decide to purchase, it is wise to check the reputable published guides to wholesale and retail values, such as BUCValue Guide, the NADA Marine Guide, and the ABOS Blue Book. Consider too that boat prices tend to be higher at the start of boating season and lower in the off- season.

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Preparation: Is Your Paperwork In Order

Whether youre opting to enlist the services of a broker or dealer to sell your boat, or aiming for a private sale, youll need to spend some time gathering all the relevant documents that will help impress potential buyers. This will also make life easy at the point of handing over the vessel. ; ;

The main documents you need are the Builders Certificate and Bills of Sale; evidence the boat is VAT paid such as the original invoice; registration documentation, evidence of RCD compliance, where applicable; service information for the engine, generator, sails, water heater; Owners Manual and further manuals for all the equipment on the boat; and financial records and receipts of any large repair bills.; ;

Its also worth sorting out the boat insurance situation. Paul Birch, Managing Director of boat insurance specialist Bishop Skinner says that if youre selling the boat you need to advise your insurers what the sale price is. This should be reflected in the sum insured in order to make sure the boat isnt under, or over, insured. You should also confirm the boat is still being used in the same way. For instance a boat might be laid up while up for sale, but the broker might need to sea trial it and the insurance will need to be extended in order for cover to use the vessel afloat. ;

Presenting The Boat To Buyers

Depending on the location of the boat it can be a challenge to show to potential buyers. For example, if your boat is on a mooring, it will be harder for potential buyers to see its exterior as you will need to skiff people to and from the boat every time someone wants to take a look. The best possible option is to have your boat stationed to a dock for easy access, this way buyers can get a true sense of what its like to be on your boat in the water.

If docking is not a viable option, the next best and cheapest way of viewing is to park your boat on land. Either placed in a trailer or positioned on a stand.

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What’s Your Best Price

I cringe every time I hear this, and you should too.; Whether innocently or intentionally, its a method of getting you to discount your boat twice!

First, you accept the idea of taking less, and then when they show up and Find something you didnt put in your description, magically- They want more money off because you left that out; And with a boat, people will find something you missed in your description!

Offer to gladly negotiate prices AFTER they inspect the boat.

No Two Used Boats Are The Same

Top 10 Tips for selling your boat

One thing that is for sure, unlike a car, is that you are not going to find your identical boat out there.; Someone will have the same hull but upgraded motors.; Another boat owner will have the same motors but more/less electronics.; You will get in the ballpark easily, but the rest you will have to use your best judgment.;;

Best practice here is to consider what it would cost someone to upgrade then back down from that .

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Purchase And Sale Agreement

There are several sample Purchase and Sale agreements for boats available to download. Contract law varies by locale, so find one appropriate for where you live. With a boat complex enough for a survey or expensive enough to make you uncomfortable, an agreement is wise.

In a brokerage transaction, they make offers with a signed P&S and a deposit check so there is always something in writing. A private sale isnt as formal, but once you reach a price, you should ask for a deposit if the offer didnt include one. A buyer unwilling to make a deposit on a more expensive boat usually isnt serious.

That’s also a good time to present a Purchase and Sale agreement, since a well-written agreement protects the buyer and the seller its in everyones interest.

What Information Do I Need To List My Boat For Sale Online

That means at a minimum you should ensure there are no typos, spelling or grammatical errors. As we in the journalism business like to say, If you couldnt be bothered to spell things correctly, people are going to wonder what else you got wrong. People will stop reading a sloppy news story. With a clunky classified boat listing, they might just move on to another ad.

Provide as much detail as possible within the allotted space on the website where youre listing your boat. Use exact builder specifications for the boats dimensions, including length , beam, draft and gross weight. Provide bullet points to highlight improvements, optional upgrades and aftermarket equipmentsuch as additional seating, electronics and navigational systems. Dont forget to include model numbers and brand names for any equipment onboard as well as details on the boats electrical system. Overall, make it easy to read and digest.

Include details about every feature on your boat including upgrades and equipment.

Also, for buyer and seller peace of mind, consider a Boat History Report for your vessel. For a while, buyers purchased the reports , but now sellers are providing the reports upfront too. You can purchase a report at, a nationwide database that details boat histories by hull identification number . The site has roughly 100 million boat registration records on file. Obtaining a boat history report as a seller is another way to ensure a quick sale of your boat!

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Make Your Listing Stand Out

Crafting a listing is an art. You and your broker should spend some time talking about your boats specifications, along with key selling points that will be relevant to searchers, as this is the basis of your digital footprint. Buyers are spending increasing amounts of time online and are consuming more content through photos and videos. Because of this, it is critical for you to have quality pictures taken of your boat! Here are some tips for making your listing shine:

Once again, your broker should be your guide through the entire listing process. At Bluewater we pair you with a broker and a closing admin to make sure that all your questions are answered prior to the sale of your vessel. The listing process can be arduous, so having this extra support is sure to help.

Determine The Market Value Of The Boat

The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Boat Privately ...

The biggest mistake that can make or mar the sale of your boat is to either price is too high or too low. And the reason many boaters fall into this trap is that they dont do basic market research.

Too low, you will lose money and too high you will drive prospective buyers away.

Thankfully, there is a wealth of resources online and offline to help you identify the best price for your boat.

Use the following resources when pricing your boat:

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Negotiating Price And Closing The Deal

Once the buyer is ready to sign on the bottom line, its smart to work with a broker to sort out contract, tax, registration and insurance details, depending on the state of sale and the boats future home. Dont call one broker and go with him; interview several, and find one not only who knows the ins and outs of the legalities, but who also can help the buyer feel that your boat is just as special as you have promoted it to be.

In the end, youll hopefully be giving the buyer a great boat as well as his own first great story to tell about becoming its owner.

/ Selling Your Boat Privately

Our world and community have been changed significantly with COVID, and this issue now adds another level of thought when bringing strangers to your home to sell your boat. Selling privately takes effort and patience.;


  • Pricing it right, should see a reasonably quick sale.;
  • If you want to be in control of the sales process, this way is for you.;


When you find a potential buyer, they will want to come and inspect the boat, remember the golden rule – first impressions are everything when it comes to selling a boat! Ensure you have removed your personal items, cleaned and detailed the boat, polished the sides, repair any torn or worn upholstery, ensure the cushions are clean and the underside of the cushions free from any mould and no salt on the engine block, tyre shine the tyres and ensure they are inflated, aerials up, clears fitted and zips lubed, toilet clean etc. Although this is again more work for you, a tidy and clean boat will help you in a successful sale.

In the end, more money back in your hand but still a lot of effort and higher risk.;

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Working With Boat Brokers And Dealers

If you understand how to sell your boat, but you really dont want to invest all the necessary time and effort, you can always enlist the help of a professional boat broker or dealer. Or, you could simply trade in your boat if youre buying a new one from a dealer who accepts trades. Both options are easier than selling a boat yourself, but there are some pitfalls to either approach. Brokers will take a cut of the proceeds, and you rarely get anything like top dollar on a trade-in. To learn more about these options, be sure to read Trade-In or Sell Your Boat.

Advertising The Boat For Sale

Best Step by Step Guide to Selling your Boat | How to sell a used boat

Creating a great listing can be just as important as preparing the actual boat for sale. Great listings start with excellent photography and even video assets depending on the potential sale price. Ensuring all the details are included in the listing is important as well. This includes things such as specifications, dimensions and all the features you believe will be crucial to communicate to possible buyers. Other things to consider are things such as services completed, upgrades done on the boat and any warranty information that might be relevant.

Brokers have a great deal of experience creating listings to sell boats. A good broker can guide and take care of all the important elements of preparing and creating a quality listing that will attract buyers. This includes getting appropriate photography done and knowing what information should be included.;

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How To Write A Bill Of Sale For Your Boat

If you have been wondering what it takes to create a bill of sale you can find instructions here. A bill of sale is a document that is used in the transfers of sale from a boat owner to its new buyer. It is an important document that serves the purpose of providing proof of the buyers ownership. If the vessel in question is registered under the Canadian register of vessels or the Small Vessel Registry you may simply use the Form 6 Bill of Sale and fill in the applicable fields on this form. However, if your vessel is licenced under the Pleasure Craft Licence system you will have to create a Bill of Sale or find a template that contains all applicable information. Creating a proficient bill of sale involves answering a few questions like: what is the price of your boat? What model of the boat are you selling? Who is the person that is buying the boat? Who is the person that is selling the boat? Youll be providing a bill of sale to a licensing agency or to or the Canadian Coast Guard but it depends on which agency you boat is registered with.

How To Advertise A Boat For Sale

With the boat fully prepped and an asking price in mind, its time to start generating some leads. In this day and age most people advertise their boat on a number of different internet sites that offer classifieds. Some are free, some are not, and all offer unpredictable results. You may also want to advertise in a local paper or boating magazine. And dont neglect the tried and true tactic of simply hanging a For Sale sign on the boat and placing it in a high-visibility area near a busy road or marina.

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