Tips for Selling a Used Boat

A glut of used boats typically goes on the market at the end of every boating season. Many boaters decide to sell off their boats at this time so they can find their next ride. 

Used boat selling tips

Because so many used boats go on the market, it can be a challenge to get yours to stand out from the crowd. Here are some used boat selling tips to help you move yours out and make way for a new model next boating season.

Buy boat cleaning supplies

Buy boat vinyl cleaners

Empty Out Your Boat

The moment you decide to sell your boat, you need to transform it into someone else’s. In other words, it’s time to get your stuff out! Remove your personal items and empty the stowage area. 

Tips for Selling a Used Boat

Just like removing personal belongings from a house you’re selling, you want potential buyers to visualize their own possessions on the boat. So get your stuff out of the way for them to imagine it as their own, and also to make the boat look more spacious.

Clean Your Boat

As you would if you were selling a car or house, of course you want to clean your boat to make it more attractive for a potential sale. Make sure all brightwork is clean and rust-free

Used boat selling tips cleaning

If you have a pet that boats with you, get a deodorizer to eliminate any pet odors. Use carpet cleaner and an ozone generator to freshen things up. Clean up any mold, as any musty smells are a huge red flag for potential buyers about hidden repair costs. Don’t forget to clean the bilge and any holding tanks, plus the engine and all windows. Basically, clean everything!

Used Boat Pricing Hints

When you’re writing the listing for your boat, be as detailed as possible. For example, if you’ve got a trolling motor, specify the make and model. An engine inspection is also a plus. The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors can point you in the right direction on how to get that done. You’ll also want to take a look at a NADA guide and something like Boat Trader to get an idea of what comparable boats are selling for.

Used boat selling tips pricing

Take Quality Pictures 

Before you snap any pictures to advertise it, remove all clutter from the boat. Besides the exterior “glamour shots”, take hi-res, horizontal (landscape) photos of the helm, refinished areas, bilge pumps, and any cabin areas.

Selling a used boats pictures

Know What to Say

A potential buyer will ask why you’re selling the boat. Be prepared to answer that question carefully and confidently. Think about what you’re going to say. Because if you stumble through your answer, it may spook off a prospective buyer, make them think you’re hiding something or potentially ruin negotiations.




Commercial Discounts

Special discounts for companies in the marine industry


Government Sales

Discounts for federal and most state and municipal agencies