Readying Your Boat for Selling

Cleaning your boat

You’ve decided to sell your boat. Whatever your reasons for selling, you’ll want to get the best price possible for it so it’s worth putting in some effort to make it as saleable as possible.

Fully Detail The Boat

Many buyers will understandably ask a lot of questions about the boat such as what type of engine it has, what sails are included, what navigation equipment is installed and so on. Wouldn’t it be great to have the answers to all these questions to hand? Walking through and around the boat noting down as much detail as possible to start with will save you time and effort answering queries later especially if your boat is moored up some distance away from your home.

If you’re advertising your boat for sale online or in a magazine, a good, detailed description will make a quick sale more likely. If a piece of information is missing, from a boat’s description, buyers will often not bother to contact the owner to ask especially if another similar vessel’s description includes it. Photographs will really help here; quite often magazine and internet classified adverts without pictures hardly get noticed at all.

A detailed description will also save you time answering unnecessary questions. For example if your boat has a diesel engine and you state that in your advert, you’ll avoid being bothered by calls from buyers who are interested only in petrol powered boats.

Repair Any Damage

Any dents or chips in the hull should certainly be mended prior to selling. Apart from looking unsightly, further damage tends to ensue. A damaged gel coat can let in water leading to de-lamination of the fibreglass. Likewise, chips and scratches in paintwork and treatments on metallic and wooden hulls cause rust and water-logging respectively and have your buyer running a mile.

If there are any problems that you cannot fix yourself or have fixed by a professional, be honest and up-front about them. Indeed, you may not have the time or money to have a certain problem repaired which may be the very reason you are selling the boat.

If you try to hide a problem, the truth is likely to come out eventually, especially if the buyer arranges a survey of the vessel. Once the cat is out of the bag, they’ll be wondering what else you’re hiding. Buyers will respect your honesty and be confident that what they are seeing is what they are getting if you’re truthful about any defects from the start. Again, it could save you considerable time and effort showing people around the boat if it is not suitable for them.

Clean And Shiny Boats Sell Better

Appearance is everything and can make or break the sale in the first few moments of the viewing. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Make sure the boat is thoroughly clean and shiny inside and out, paying particular attention to any damp, musty or otherwise unpleasant smells emanating from the interior. Giving upholstery a good clean will help with the interior look and eliminate some smells, but if there are any damp problems caused by leaks, these should be located and fixed at the source.

When a buyer sees a clean, shiny boat, they will be comfortable that it has been well looked after by the owner and will be more inclined to buy and less likely to knock you down on the price.

Take out anything that is not part of the boat. This does not include safety equipment, fenders, navigational equipment and the like. Rather, remove anything that is personal, for example, photographs and ornaments. These tend to create a cluttered feel and make it less easy for the buyer to imagine the boat becoming their property instead of yours.

Depending on the condition of your boat and your own expertise, you may be able to undertake some of the work yourself. Other tasks may require the skills of a professional. In deciding who will do what, consider that getting the top selling price for your boat is your goal so getting the job done correctly is paramount. If this entails spending a little more money upfront, it may be worth it in the end.

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