Sell Your Boat

Selling a boat is a bittersweet moment – unless, of course, you’re buying a new boat.

But either way, selling your current boat can quickly become a headache if you don’t go about the process the right way.

The most important thing to do is to sell your boat as quickly as possible. The longer it sits, the longer it goes without the regular maintenance a boat requires. Boats are notorious for depreciating in value quickly, but that process only accelerates the more your boat sits while waiting to be sold.

So what can you do to sell your boat fast? Let’s go over a few tips.

The Price is Right

“What is my boat worth?”

That’s a question every boat owner needs to ask and answer before they get ready to sell. The biggest problem boat owners have when trying to sell something on their own is that they don’t price it right. Owners usually think that their watercraft is worth a lot more money than it really is.

So, how do you know how to price a boat effectively?

If you choose to sell it on your own, instead of a trade-in to a dealer, then it’s a good idea to call dealers and brokers to get a feel for the price points boats are selling at as well as little on how pricing works. It also wouldn’t hurt to look up JD Power numbers since they, although inaccurate, are usually used by banks for loans. Once you figure out where your boat sits, based on age, engine hours, and other details, then you’re able to more effectively price what you’re offering.

You’ll almost always want to price it higher than what you’ve decided is your “bare minimum.” That gives you some negotiation room to make potential buyers feel like they’re getting a deal for the best price.

Clean that Thing

Selling a boat is just like selling a car – first impressions are everything. If your boat doesn’t look like it could’ve just rolled out from the dealers parking lot, you’re not getting top dollar for it. If you really want to sell your boat, you’ll take the time necessary to clean it thoroughly.

A few things to check off on your cleaning list include:

  • No cracked vinyl on the seats
  • Clean windows and gauges
  • Clean carpet or floor
  • None of your belongings (fishing tackle, water sports equipment, etc.,) left behind
  • Engine prop cleaned
  • Engine oil replaced
  • Full tank of fresh gas

Doing these little things is a surefire way to help your boat sell quickly.

Reach the Right People

Once your boat is priced right and it’s clean, it’s time to let everyone know that it’s for sale.

Local online classified sites are a great place to start but don’t overlook Facebook yard sale groups. These groups are incredibly active, with people always looking for a great deal. If you can price your boat right, you may have it sold within a few days if you post a listing of it in a Facebook group.

You can always park the boat near a high-traffic area to generate interest that way, but you run into the problem of potential damage to the boat. Keeping it at your home, or in dry storage, is the best option.

Selling your boat isn’t a process that has to instill fear or dread in you. It’s simple, straightforward, and if you do it right, you’ll have the boat sold quickly and walk away with a bit of extra change in your pocket.

Boat Selling FAQ

Do I sell my boat by myself or with the help of professionals?

Most small or old boats are sold directly by their owners, because of the simplicity of the transaction. A professional broker will be able to promote the sale of your boat, through his network, as well as organize the escrow of the funds and guide you through the registration papers of the sale etc.

Should I have my boat surveyed?

Having your boat professionally surveyor by a professional expert is a good way to know its true value, but also to reassure the potential buyer.

What documents should I present ?

It is advisable to present all the invoices for the equipment you have on board the boat, as well as a complete and up-to-date maintenance booklet. It is also important to have a complete inventory of the boat.

Should I plan a sea trial?

Your potential future buyer will surely ask for a sea trial and this will be at his expense.

How do I price my boat?

Study the market and the price of similar boats available for sale. Above all, be realistic! Here the help of a professional will be a true added value. He will advise you on a fair price according to the year of construction of your yacht, the yard, the engine hours and the maintenance done over time.

How to change the owner of the vessel?

The change of owner must be reported to the customs office where the vessel is located. This formality can be carried out by the seller or the buyer and allows them to proceed to the change of ownership.

How to change the home port of the vessel?

To apply for a change of home port, the application must be filed in duplicate at the customs office of the port where you are currently registered.

Can I sell my vessel that is being leased with an option to purchase?

Yes, but the lending institution will remain the owner until the end of the financing, and this is only a transfer of the LOA.

Learn more about financing a boat with Southeast Financial today.