Secrets to Selling Your Boat

So, it’s time to sell…do a little research. How much is your vessel going for on the market? Look at websites selling used boats, such as:, and to get an idea how your boat should be priced. Price your boat right, and it will sell it a lot faster. Other sites that may help you determine the right asking price include and The size of the engine, engine hours and the year your boat was built are the biggest factors impacting price.  Freshwater boats often sell for more because of the lack of saltwater corrosion. If including the trailer, be sure to price accordingly.

List all important features. You never know what might catch the buyer’s eye. Mention whether the engine is inboard or outboard, has bow thrusters, a refrigerator, air conditioning and/or heat. Most boat sales websites will prompt you to answer the most basic features. Be sure to fill in all that you can. Updates, such as new canvas and electronics, are important.  Are you including boating equipment, like fenders, lines and flares? If selling your trailer, state its features also. Potential buyers like to make an informed decision when considering the purchase of a boat, so be sure to list details.

The quality and amount of pictures influence whether a prospective buyer will even consider contacting you. Snap a photo of the engine hour meter. This makes buyers more comfortable with the engine hours number. Take pictures of the interior and seating in detail, along with the bilge and engine. When possible take a picture of the bottom. Videos of the boat being started and driven are even better. A good broker can do these things for you, if you are not comfortable or don’t have the time.

Is the boat ready for a sea trial? Make sure the engine is in working order. Fix anything that may be obviously broken, if you can. Don’t forget the trailer when considering maintenance.  The trailer’s tires, brakes and bearings should be inspected. Consider hiring a mechanic. If your boat has a lot of damages or needs repairs that you do not want to tackle, you can list it as “a project boat”.

Selling your boat is not unlike selling your house. A clean, staged boat will sell more quickly than a dirty cluttered one. Get rid of all that stuff that accumulates on counters and beds. Clean the refrigerator and empty it out for pictures. Wipe down all surfaces. A professional detailing may be necessary. If you have a trailer, give that a wash too.  Get the best price for your vessel. Don’t give the buyer an excuse to lower the offer because of a dirty boat.

As the saying goes, “A boater’s best day is when she buys and sells her boat”. Make it the best day!

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