Sunday, May 26, 2024

Should I Sell My Boat

What Will Increase A Boats Value

Should I Sell My Boat?

Good cosmetics and visual appeal always add value or at least they get the boat noticed by a potential buyer. A washed, waxed and covered vessel shows it has had good care and that raises the perceived value.

Good cosmetics and visual appeal always add value and help the vessel get noticed by interested boat buyers.

A well-documented history and maintenance records help immensely. Regular upkeep, proper winterization and frequent oil changes all show that a vessel hasnt been neglected and the boat will command a higher price perhaps 10% 20% over the listed average.

Craigslist & Social Media

Social media sells things. And social media wants to sell you advertising, but there is free advertising to be found.


You can sell almost anything on Craiglist, and it works well for boats and offers good regional coverage. As of this writing there is no charge to sell boats, though they have added nominal charges for some items and services. You can use a lot of pictures and text, so it’s an excellent place to get a full listing. One listing should be sufficient regional searches show nearby boats to buyers and boat buyers will use them.First one with the cash is the rule on Craiglist. Dont hold something for someone unless you get a deposit, as buyers are often unreliable and you may turn away legitimate buyers waiting for someone who never shows.

Facebook has paid advertising, but there is also the Marketplace with free listings. There are also dozens of “boats for sale” groups on Facebook where you can list your boat for free to communities of boat buyers.

You will have to Join those groups and comply with their rules. Some groups are general, such as Boats for Sale.” Others may be more much specific , with limitations on types or boats, price, or geographic location.

Facebook may prompt you to “boost” your ads. You can do it, but you can put it up there without a boost to see how it does.

Twitter, Instagram and others

How Much Should The Listing Price Guide My Offer

Listing prices for boats, cars or homes are just an initial request. Savvy sellers/brokers may have priced a boat accurately and the sale may be quick and the amount will be close to the initial request. However, poorly researched and unrealistic listing prices can be thousands of dollars off the mark. Do your research first, consider the condition and outfitting of the boat and then make a reasonable offer. Dont be swayed by the listing. If the seller makes only a small concession in a counteroffer, walk away. Its not unusual for initial offers to be 20% lower than the asking price.

Editors Note: This article originally appeared in September 2019, and was updated in April 2020 and March 2021.

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Preparing The Boat For Sale

Presenting a gorgeous boat that runs extremely well is crucial to quickly sell your boat. Cleaning the inside and outside of the boat is a must. Making the boat spotless in the obvious areas is important, but dont forget to thoroughly clean even the not-so-obvious areas such as inside storage compartments. If someone is inspecting the boat and opens up various compartments, you will want them to see very neat and clean areas. This will give potential buyers confidence that the boat has been well cared for. Need some specifics to consider? Here are specific tips for cleaning and making the boat presentable:

  • Ensure that exterior gelcoat and paint surfaces and cleaned and waxed. You want to see a nice shine on these surfaces.
  • Polish any metal surfaces and fixtures.
  • Replace any exterior cushions that have visible damage or fading.
  • Have carpets cleaned so that they appear fresh and without stains and odors.
  • Remove all personal items from the boat and declutter the boat as much as possible.

Buyers will also want to know that the boat runs without problems. Make sure any potential issues or malfunctioning systems are fixed and working properly before listing the boat.

Even more importantly, by making it abundantly clear and obvious that the boat is in great condition and properly serviced, buyers can focus on the emotional positives of boat ownership which tend to increase the perceived value and sale price of a listed boat .

Are There Any Boat Value Guides For Used Boats

Should I sell my boat through a dealer?  Hunts Marine

Yes. Much like the Kelly Blue Book is used for valuing automobiles, there are three different price guides used for valuing boats: NADA Marine Appraisal Guide, BoatWizards SoldBoats database and the ABOS Marine Blue Book. Each uses a different method of calculating values, which can vary significantly. A broker may use all three sources including the SoldBoats database and YachtBroker data, which are more detailed than what is available to individuals. BoatUS also has their Value Check program, which provides pricing guidelines for their members.

Prices in NADA Guides are given in ranges and may vary up to 10%. They are based on sales via brokers and dealers, not private party transactions. NADA guides include prices for personal watercraft, sailboats, outboard motors, powerboats, trailers and more.

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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.

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.

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How Much Does A Boat Broker Charge

Typically a Boat or Yacht broker is going to charge a commission fee of between 5% and 10%. Thats typically and the factor that is usually going to affect what you will pay is the size of the boat. A broker selling an 80ft Yacht can and should charge more for their services than someone who is simply listing your 20ft center console for you.

You Only Get One First Impression

Should I Buy Or Sell My Boat

When a potential buyer steps aboard, you want your boat to be cosmetically impeccable in all aspects. Be prepared for buyers to open drawers, check under the soles, and peer into lockers. Stained and sun-faded upholstery, scratched woodwork, and strong odors discourage buyers. Consider contacting your service manager to get your boat detailed to ensure white-glove cleanliness with nothing overlooked. Before she even gets off the dock, your Hinckley should be looking, smelling, and sounding great. Dont give a buyer any excuse to turn to another boat.

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Why List With Annapolis Yacht Sales

· We are consistently the Leading Brokerage House in the Mid-Atlantic with over 65 years of serving our customers along the Bay.

· We invest to advertise your boat in a variety of media including print, e-mail and online.

· We are members of the Yacht Brokers Association of America, holding our brokers to a strict code of ethics and providing annual training.

· We have won more CSI awards than most of our competitors put together and our service department is renowned throughout the country.

S Involved In Selling A Boat

Selling a boat is like selling a house but few people see it that way.

If you want buyers to drool over your vessel and start dreaming about owning it from the moment they see it, you have a lot of work to do.

Its important to have a process when selling your boat to reduce prepping time, expenses and time to close the deal. Start by determining the boats worth.

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Maintaining The Boat Takes Too Much Time And Effort

Boat maintenance requires both time, energy and money, even if you like putting your own elbow grease into your boat or prefer to hire the work out to someone. Even if you, like many boat owners, do some of the tasks yourself and leave other tasks to the professionals, boat maintenance to keep it truly in great condition is costly. When you no longer are spending the kind of time on the boat that would make the maintenance needs worthwhile, that is the right time to start considering your options as a yacht owner in the sales market.

How To Sell My Boat Quickly

Why should I choose a broker to help sell my boat ...

Whether you need quick cash, want to move up to a bigger boat, or are just ready to move onthere are a few options to consider if you want to sell your boat quickly. Boats can often take months to sell and the costs can quickly accumulate and put pressure on your bank account. Fortunately, the following techniques will speed up the process and will get you onto your next boat much faster. Be sure to take a quick glance at our post on Preparing to Sell Your Boat for basic techniques on pre-sale preparation for even more info.

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Can I Trade In A Boat I Still Owe Money On

Yes, you can trade in a boat you still owe money on. If your boat has a trade-in value of $20,000 and you still owe $10,000 on the boat, when you trade in the boat, the dealer is purchasing the boat from you for $20,000. $10,000 will go to the bank to pay off the loan and the remaining $10,000 balance will go to you.

In the case of a trade-in, that $10,000 that is coming to you will be applied to the purchase price of the new boat.

Another scenario that I hope you dont find yourself in, but many people do is referred to as being upside down in your boat. This is when you owe more than your current boat is worth.

If you are trading in a boat that you are upside down on the payments, then you can assign the additional debt to the purchase price of your new boat.

The debt does not go away, but it is tied to the new boat so you have the benefit and enjoyment of the new boat, but the responsibility to repay your debts in full.

With this said, all of this is based on your credit score and the ability and willingness of the lender to work with you when you are trading in a boat you are financial upside down in.

Research Local Boats For Sale Listings

Whether youre looking at a local newspaper, magazine, or localized internet listings like those on Craigslist, since the volume of listings will be lower than the national numbers you may have a tougher time finding directly comparable makes and models for sale.

That said, if you do find similar boats listed you may see a more realistic number because the location the boats being sold in is the same as your own and location does impact value. On the flip side of the coin, its still normal to see somewhat inflated numbers as boats priced properly tend to sell faster and be listed for shorter periods of time than those that are overpriced.

After looking at these three sources you may feel like youve managed to uncover how much you should ask for your boat, but there are still variables you need to account for before you can answer the how to price my boat for sale question. These include:

  • The boats condition
  • The quality of its electronics and how modern they are
  • Accessory gear and/or upgrades youve made to the boat

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Setting Your Boat For Sale Price With Nada Guides

The NADA Guides for boats lets you look up a make and model by year, and includes a very comprehensive database of different boat models for everything from personal watercrafts to power cruisers. It even allows you to check off the boxes for specific options a manufacturer may have offered, different sized powerplants, and electronics, all of which have an impact on how to price a boat.

Taking all these different details into account, the NADA guides provide information on the boats suggested list price, current low retail value, and current average retail value. There are several very important variables the NADA Guide cant take into accountmore about those, laterbut the numbers youll see in the NADA Guide do give you a fairly reasonable starting point to work from.

How Can I Sell My Boat Fast


The speed at which a boat will sell varies. Advertising the boat in as many places as possible is typically faster than listing in one place. Price is probably the key determining factor in how fast a boat will sell. Listings priced below market values will sell typically faster. If you follow the steps above, you should be in good shape to off-load your boat in no time!

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How Does A Boat’s Condition Affect Price

The biggest single determining factor in just how much a boats value will vary when measured against other boats of the same type and age is its condition.This includes both mechanical and cosmetic conditions.

Obviously if the engine doesnt run, you have to expect to price your boat at a fraction of the competition. Cosmetic condition is nearly as important, because no one needs to buy a boat and its usually an emotional purchase. So a great-looking boat that a buyer falls in love with at first sight can command a much higher price than one that looks old and drab.

In many cases, its worth investing in some repairs and/or elbow grease, before you price and sell your boat. Trying to sell one that doesnt run can require extremely low pricing or even be virtually impossible. And spending a day or two waxing and shining up a boat makes it much more likely youll be able to get top dollar.

Ask Yourself: Can I Sell My Boat For Free

The quick answer is, you can sell any boat for free. However, some boats may not sell quickly or for a good price unless you spend a little on advertising since you may not reach all the sellers you need to.

What boats sell well for free?

  • Sailing dinghies, like Lasers, Optis, and other small day sailors. I’ve sold several this way.
  • Canoes, kayaks, and rowboats
  • Smaller sailboats
  • Anything on a trailer

The key to whether you can sell it for free is finding out the market. Who is your buyer, and how far will they travel for your boat? Once you know that, you can figure out how to get your boat in front of the buyers and where it makes sense to advertise it.

One consideration on your market is portability of your boat. You can strap a Laser dinghy on a rooftop, but a Capri 22 keelboat needs to be on a trailer if it’s outside of cruising range. A forty foot cruising sailboat has takes commercial trucking or delivery on its own bottom.

Boats which are portable are easier to sell. If you try to sell that Capri 22 but don’t have a trailer, it will be harder to sell outside your home waters. Someone can drive two hundred miles to pick it up on a trailer, but they may not want to sail a small boat that far, so they won’t buy it if they can’t get it home.

Large and expensive boats which need to attract buyers from a distance are harder to sell for free.

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Top Boat Photography And Selling Tip

If there is something that doesnt look good, but that you know people will see, dont run from it, in fact, highlight it. People are skeptical of you and are trying their best to find problems:

Beat Them To it!

If the buyer finds a problem, its perceived to be that they found a reason to ask for money off . However, if you present the issue upfront, there is more of an assumption that this issue must already be factored into your price which is exactly how you should frame it.

This needs to be repaired which is why I am only asking X. If were good I would be asking for more money.

How Much Should I Sell My Boat For

Should I Sell My Boat?

For most people selling a boat, the priceIsnt Right. And what I mean by that is that they either set their price to low or too high .

What is essential when pricing anything, much less an item as expensive as a boat, is to research the heck out of it and then price it just a hair higher than you conclude. We will get to the why in a bit.

The most obvious starting points will be public listings. If you want to know the best places to look for boat sales try these websites first:

  • BoatTrader
  • Yachtrader

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