Important things to remember when selling a boat
There’s lots of advice out there if you’re looking at selling your house, but not so much on selling a boat. A professional approach is really important, whether you’re using a broker or selling your boat privately, you don’t want to give a potential boat buyer any reason to say no.
We’ve put together some of the all-important things to remember when selling your boat to hopefully help you have a smooth, speedy sale.
Selling a boat – what to do down below
Less is more when selling your boat – take almost anything that’s not screwed down off your boat. This includes charts, pilots, crockery, cooking equipment and food and drink. A potential buyer needs to envisage themselves as owners; the more of your kit onboard, the harder this will be for them. Boat tool kits and spares should be taken off your boat and stored as well.
Once your boat is stripped on the inside, give it a really good clean. There are lots of boat valeting companies that do a really good job if you’d prefer to get a professional to do it. This is money well-spent to get your boat gleaming on the inside, especially on a newer boat!
Bad smells on your boat can be really off-putting for potential buyers – a damp-smelling boat shows neglect, so do everything you can to keep the air fresh and dry – dehumidifiers and heaters are a must in the winter months!
Selling a boat – what to do on deck
It can be a good idea to get the exterior of your boat professionally cleaned, as a thorough polishing of the deck can bring back that showroom gleam and will draw in buyers. Touching up patches of gel-coat can also make a really good impression. A new coat of antifoul and polish will definitely help speed up your boat sale and drive up the price – after all, no-one would buy an unwashed car!
Check your lines and the mainsheet, if they are looking a bit tired and mouldy then it’s worth replacing. Old spray hoods and weather-beaten buoys should be removed, as they can make a buyer think about the amount of sea miles you’ve already done on your boat.
Selling a boat – Should I use a Boat Broker or make a Private Sale?
There are lots of benefits to going with a boat broker – they do everything for you and know where your boat will most likely sell. If you are going with a broker, choose with care, many specialise in a builder and their books will be full of clients who are after a particular make or model.
Going with a specialist can also allow you to tap into buyers who were after a new boat, but realised they can’t afford it, so decide to go for a used one. Always check what the brokers service includes, and don’t be afraid to barter, discounts may be available if you’re looking to buy your next boat from the broker that sells your boat.
If you’re looking at selling your boat yourself, it’s a good idea to start by looking through the adverts in magazines like Yachting Monthly and Practical Boat Owner to get a feel for where is best to place your boat. Think about the best location you can place your boat so it’ll be seen by the right people, and whether it’s best in or out of the water. If you’re looking for a quick sale, it’s best to be out of the water as few people will buy a boat without a hull inspection.
Think carefully about what you’d like to include with your boat sale. There is no point in including an item that you will need to buy for your next boat, but some extras are a nice touch. A liferaft, dingy, flares and crockery won’t be deal breakers and if they were not onboard for their viewing the buyer won’t feel hard done by if not included. Boat electronics should not be removed as this does not create a good impression and might put the buyers off.
But also don’t feel like you need to add items to make a sale – radar and roller furling may look good to a prospective buyer, but a well-turned out boat without these extras will out win out over a scruffy boat of the same price. The final important extra you can give your buyer is a mini survey. Spend a few hundred pounds on a basic boat examination that you can make available to buyers and you will stand out from the other boats for sale.