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6 tips on how to sell your boat for the best price

Sell your boat


It can be a challenging task to sell your boat, especially if you want to get the best price possible. Whether you’re upgrading to a newer model or just looking to cash in, there are essential steps you must take to ensure you get the most out of your sale. Here are six key points to consider when you are out there to sell your boat:

  1. Invest in Cleaning and Repairing, to sell your Boat :The first step in selling your boat is ensuring that it’s in excellent condition. No one wants to buy a boat that’s dirty, rusty, or in disrepair. Unless you are looking for low ball offers. You’ll need to deep clean the boat. That means clean the bilges, engine room, and inboard diesels, replace broken hoses, worn-out machinery, old pumps, switches, and batteries. The engines and generators need to be serviced. Imagine when you are buying a boat yourself. Unless your brother-in-law owns a shipyard, you will stay away from buying a boat that looks like it might break down in the middle of the sea.  The Hull needs to be cleaned / buffed and waxed if possible. And machinery should look like it is not going to need a repair. Normal folks are most scared of buying used boats that require repairs. Same as people who buy used cars, nobody wants to buy a used car that will cost another chunk of cash to repair.
  1. Make Sure the Interior Is Pristine : If you have a larger boat, the interior needs to be immaculate, or atleast close to it. Nobody wants to enter a humid, smelly boat with torn sofas or see water damage around the interior panels. End buyers don’t like these damages. There are boaters who may understand some minor issues but for non-boaters, they will deem the boat as damaged and walk away when they see minor visible damages. So invest, yes it is money upfront from your pocket to fix these things. And it does not guarantee high price. But what it does guarantee that people will not give you an offer half of what your asking price is.  
  1. List the boat with Professional boat Brokers : Yes, sounds like it is in my interest that people don’t go selling boats themselves right? But hear me out. Again, unless you are in the business of selling boats, and have nothing else better to do and really know the whole process. Then do it yourself. But let me tell you. There is a long process in selling a boat. Marketing, finding clients, bringing them to your boat, finding surveyors, lifting the boat in a yard for inspection, providing clients many other things than just a boat, making good agreements, safe transfer of funds etc. Not a lot of buyers will trust and put deposit into a seller’s pocket. People trust a professional company which has been around for a while. Would you do it when you are buying a property?

  2. Price It Right from the Start : Setting the right price is crucial to getting the best value when you are there to sell your boat. You don’t want to set the price too high, as buyers will likely filter your boat out of their search results. Instead, price it right from the start to attract potential buyers and ensure a smooth and successful sale. If you price it right at least you will attract buyers to come and look at it. But if you price it high and think that you will negotiate it down later, then you will not gather much interest. There are so many boats that are sitting on the water for years and the owners call the brokers to get them an offer. But unfortunately they choose not to list it for a right price.  
  1. Maintain constant Price : If you decide to list it with many brokers, then maintain a consistent price. Especially if you too decide to advertise by yourself in a magazine, online, or on social media. Make sure the price is same everywhere. Because otherwise, you will just deter the professionals from putting effort in selling your boat. Nobody wants to work for a boat owner who has a chance to deal directly with the buyer. Remember lot of marketing that brokers do, cost them effort and money. To expose your boat in the market to potential clients only to find out that the clients can find the owner and cut the broker off. It is a big No No for sales professionals to put effort on.
  1. Keep the boat in accessible place : Imagine, keeping it in middle of no where, or in a club that does not allow brokers access. It is a big deterrent. Buyers like to see boats that are easy to access and they like to see more than one boat in a day. So if there are more hurdles to see the boat. Brokers will show the boats to the clients that are easier to access and put the difficult to reach boats as last preference. You want your boat to be accessed easily, so more brokers can show them to clients.

Lastly these are few things that determine the value of your boat. We wish there was a formula for valuation of a boat and a constant depreciation rate, but unfortunately there is nothing like that.

Market condition : Firstly Market determines the price of used boats, If there are more buyers and less boats available the prices are going to be high. If there are few buyers and too many boats available, the prices are going to be low. Regardless of how great your brand or condition is. There will be people competing to sell or buy.
With-in that market, good market or a bad market , you will have to compete with the other boat sellers in terms of having attractive price, better condition, Well working machinery so your boat is better than the competition.

Selling point : Understanding the selling points of your own boat. Weather it is the size, or high powered engines, specific layout or purpose will help you find the right customer base. If you understand your customer base, Eg. is it suitable for a big family, or a beginner’s boat, or suitable as a corporate boat, maybe great for charter.

Then you can be more aware of your target audience and less likely to settle for very low offers.
For eg. If you believe your boat can be a great corporate boat or for a large family. You will be more confident in rejecting low offer from a first time boat buyer, understanding the fact that when the right client comes and sees the boat they will understand the value better.

Market movement : Normally boat market runs like a pendulum, during a good market time there are many new boats coming and as the economy fluctuates a little bit, then there are more sellers in the market and the prices go down again until more room is created in the market for boats. For a city like Hong Kong. We can easily sell boats overseas so that helps to clear out many used boats and keep the boat market running.

Seasons : Season also matters when you have sell your boat, normally people think about buying boats in peak of summer when its hot. New buyers will not be thinking about boating during winter. Unless someone is an experienced boater and looking to upgrade, they will be looking for boats all year around for a good deal. However, keeping your boat for the summer and then selling it in winter will not fetch you the right price.

In conclusion, selling your boat for the best value requires effort and attention to detail. Ensuring your boat is clean and well-maintained, setting the right price, and making it accessible to potential buyers can all contribute to a successful sale. Hope you found this article helpful. Happy boating.

Click here to see 40-60ft used boats for sale 

survey and sales video of a boat 


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