Used Boat Selling Tips

The end of boating season is usually followed by a glut of used boats hitting the market, as owners look to trade up once they’ve gotten their thrills off one vessel.

If you’re one of the people looking to sell your boat, you want to make sure your particular vessel stands out from the rest of the pack. Watch the video above or read on below to get some tips for selling off a used boat.

Remove Your Stuff From the Boat

The first thing you want to consider is that a prospective buyer shopping for used boats wants to visualize the boat as theirs, not yours. Keep the mentality that the second you decide to sell your boat, it belongs to someone else. Before you do anything, get all of your stuff out of the boat. This makes it easier for an interested buyer to see the boat as new to them, rather than as a secondhand vessel that belongs to and was broken in by somebody else.  

Selling a used boat tips

Used boat selling tips

Clean Your Boat

After you get all of your stuff off the boat, it’s time to clean it. Don’t cut corners when cleaning it up. Make sure you deep clean every nook and cranny from latches to hinges, the bilge, the holding tanks, etc. 

Selling a used boat tips cleaning

You want the boat to look and smell like new. Clean the engine, the windows, the carpets, the upholstery … everything. If your boat has a closed cabin, use an ozone generator to get rid of any smells.

Buy boat cleaning supplies

Buy boat vinyl cleaners

Take Clear Pictures of Your Boat

Once the boat is thoroughly washed and waxed, take clear hi-resolution photos in landscape (horizontal) format. Think of them as “glamour shots” of your soon-to-be former prized possession. Photograph the entire boat, including good shots of the helm, the bilge, the cabin and any and all refinished areas. Don’t forget to get a good shot of the engine too.

Selling a used boat tips take pictures

Used boat selling tips engine

Set a Price for Your Boat

The last thing you need to think about is getting a listing and setting a price. But before you do, get an engine inspection. The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors is a great resource to help you find an inspector. Once the engine and the boat have passed inspection, it’s time to set the price.

A NADA guide is a good starting point for price estimates. However, local markets can vary, so check out what used boats like yours are going for in your area before settling on the price

One last tip: While you’re cleaning your boat in preparation for a sale, make sure you clean and refinish any and all wood. Watch the video above to get some tips on how to refinish teak wood on a boat