How to Sell a Boat the Right Way


Many boat owners may need to sell their vessels due to various reasons, such as moving or outgrowing their interest in boating. Look into the Best info about cash for boats.

No matter the reason for selling your boat, it is crucial that you understand precisely how the process should unfold. There are a few steps that should be followed in order to make the selling experience as hassle-free as possible.

Do Your Homework

When purchasing a new car, research your boat sale thoroughly before doing anything else. Search local listings as well as online marketplaces for comparable boats for sale to gather an idea of their fair market value using resources such as the NADA Guide. Make sure that any equipment listed for sale will actually be included (or at least available upon request).

Before listing your boat for sale, ensure it is clean. Buyers prefer visually appealing vessels, and a dirty interior or exterior can drive buyers away. Take the time to wax the hull and scrub every inch of carpeting and upholstery. In addition, remove personal items like clothes, pictures, collectibles, etc. If possible, charge up the battery before cleaning and charge the dock lines before listing.

Video footage can also be an excellent asset when marketing a boat for sale, giving potential buyers an immersive experience from their own homes. If narrating yourself is uncomfortable, consider hiring an outside company; video can offer views not possible in photos and help close deals quickly.

Hire a Broker

A knowledgeable broker will help you set an appropriate asking price for your boat, using value guides and market knowledge to ascertain what similar boats are selling for and then adjust accordingly. They may also assist in identifying a minimum acceptable price, which they’ll include as part of the listing; this helps buyers avoid being turned off by asking too high a price while giving you negotiation leverage.

As part of your boat sales pitch, be honest with potential buyers. Please don’t attempt to deceive them into thinking their boat has a value that it doesn’t by using hyperbole in your description or listing; that will quickly turn away the most serious buyers. Furthermore, be prepared to answer questions regarding its performance and capabilities, as serious buyers will want sea trials with your vessel and expect you to be available for them.

Once you’ve found a buyer, only secure payments must be accepted – cash, certified checks, or money orders are ideal; bank checks don’t offer as much security and may quickly be canceled, just like personal checks. Most brokers use an escrow account that allows them to hold deposits until all conditions of the sale have been fulfilled, providing another layer of security unavailable to private sellers.

Make the Right Offer

If you are serious about buying, make a formal written offer with a deposit if making a serious bid on any boat. A formal written offer will be taken more seriously than casual verbal offers, so before making a low offer, try and learn what the seller needs in his boat; this will prevent offending him while opening up more negotiations and creating more negotiation room – this can be assisted with by hiring a good broker.

When setting a price, you must factor in costs associated with advertising, storage, and maintenance while the boat is for sale. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to research what comparable boats have sold for in your region – value guides may provide helpful starting points while working with an experienced broker who can also give valuable historical sales data.

Some sellers can be emotionally and physically detached from their boats and want them out of their lives – this can work to your advantage as they will likely be more open to negotiation. They may have had a bad experience in the past and want it over with. Furthermore, it would be helpful if you learned as much as you reasonably can about both their financial status as well as what their expectations may be – this information will prove invaluable during the negotiation process.


Once your boat has been thoroughly cleaned and serviced, and you have agreed upon an asking price, the time has come for negotiations. Achieve success through these discussions by understanding who is involved – is the seller a professional dealer or just trying to unload an asset they no longer wish to own? Are payments still ongoing on it, or does the owner own it outright? Knowing answers to such questions will provide a better idea of how far negotiations should go.

Consider that your boat is only worth what someone will pay for it, which may depend on current market conditions and can make selling difficult even with immaculate conditions. Some sellers list at an initial high point to gauge interest before gradually dropping it week by week or month until they receive a severe offer to purchase.

Be ready to respond quickly to offers you receive and counter them intelligently and convincingly. Know your bottom line and present it honestly and convincingly, as well as having ready all of the documents a buyer may require depending on their state of residence. Also, ensure you respond quickly when emails and phone calls from interested buyers arrive – serious buyers will want a sea trial/survey conducted, so be ready for that, too.

Read Also: 2 Pond Park Road in Hingham, Massachusetts