Hints and tips to help you sell your boat

Post by: TheYachtMarket News
18 February 2010

Hints and tips to help you sell your boat

Just like selling a car, or a house, a buyer’s first impression of your boat is so important! If your boat’s appearance does not wow the buyer, they are unlikely to consider buying it.

 There are four key areas involved in a selling a boat:

  • Deciding on a price
  • Deciding how to sell it
  • Preparing for sale
  • The final paperwork

Deciding on a price

Research, research, research!  Check current market prices in boat magazines and on the internet. The price should then be set according to the boat’s condition the accessories.

How to sell your boat

You have three options:

  • Private sale
  • Trade in
  • Through a boating broker

By using a broker, your job is made easy. But again, research is vital. Compare brokers before choosing one. Selling the boat privately means you are left with most of the money but this involves a lot of hard work. You could advertise your boat in the local paper, on a club notice board, in specialist magazines or use a sites on the internet. Trading a boat in when you buy a new one will leave you with least amount of money but will save you any bother.  Boats sell at their best from spring through to October, so it is best to start attracting buyers early on when they are keen.

Prepare for the sale

Think about carrying out some extra cleaning and get round to those repairs you’ve been putting off. Spending a little bit of time and money will be worth it in the long run. The boat needs to appear as if it has been looked after well during its lifetime.

Here are our top 10 hints and tips to help you sell your boat:

  • Wash and wax the deck and hull
  • Polish the metal
  • Carry out any repairs
  • Wash canvas, sails and poles
  • Clean and coil lines neatly
  • Clean and tidy the inside
  • Get rid of any mildew smell with air fresheners
  • Make sure that there are no fuel or water leaks
  • Be sure that all safety equipment is working, up to date, and readily accessible.
  • All navigation and cabin lights should be working.

The final paperwork

To get the best price for your boat it is essential to have all your documents in order:

  • Declaration of Conformity, stateing that a boat complies with the EU Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)
  • The boat’s original sales invoice showing the VAT was accounted for
  • The boat’s original operational manual
  • Copies of invoices detailing the boat’s service history
  • Any relevant licences such as the Boat Safety Certificate

If your boat was manufactured before June 16th 1998 or imported outside the EU will likely not have Declaration of Conformity.

The sales invoice is also very important as any buyer seeking to borrow money to buy your boat will need to see a copy of this document.

Investing a small amount of time and effort, as well as a little bit of cash, to make sure your boat is in the best working order, you’re more likely to get a quick sale - and more importantly, get the price it deserves.