Tips on how to prepare your boat before selling it

Ready to sell your boat and want to know more about how to get the best price? Overall there are two variables that sellers can adjust in order to have their boat sold in a timely manner. These variables are price and condition. As yacht brokers, one of the biggest mistakes we see is a seller asking for a price that is above what the market will pay. This simply makes comparable boats with lower asking prices look like bargains.

It’s important to research similar boat listings first, in order to determine your boat’s market value. This is one of the many reasons hiring a professional yacht broker is very advantageous, as your broker we will help you come to an accurate asking price that will develop into timely leads.

In terms of condition, it can be difficult to know if you’re boat is ready and will appeal to a wide range of buyers, especially if it’s been owned for many years. It’s important to remember that it’s all about the first impression. Try to recall what made you fall in love with the boat when you initially bought it.

Below are some practical tips, that often go overlooked, to help you prepare your boat for sale and ensure you get a better price. This is not a comprehensive list of everything you can do, but rather an overview of our basic recommendations.

1. Check and fix mechanical issues:

First, you want to make sure the boat’s key systems are in proper working order. Test all functions and check the wiring to make sure the boat will run optimally and fair well in a survey and sea trial. General maintenance to smaller, less significant systems is also very important. Be sure to thoroughly check the following:

  • All mechanical, electrical, and navigation systems
  • All cabin lights, navigation lights, window latches, water taps, etc…
  • Air conditioning and refrigeration systems
  • The engine room to make sure there are no fuel, oil, or water leaks
  • All bilges clean and dry

2. De-clutter and clean your boat:

Similar to selling a home, if your boat is cluttered with excessive personal items, it will be hard for buyers to see past them and picture their own outfitting of the boat. Make sure to remove as many personal items as possible, maximizing the boat’s interior and exterior space.

In addition, have the boat’s exterior completely washed (compounded, and waxed is recommended but not necessary). Polish all stainless and aluminium. Be sure to have the decks washed and tidy, removing any unused lines and deck equipment. The engine room should be bright and clean (removing any rust or corrosion), as well as removing mold buildup from any compartments or bilges. The interior should be de-cluttered and cleaned thoroughly, making sure all countertops are clear.

Having your boat feel clean and orderly will minimize any uncertainty or doubt in the mind of the buyer, who is trying to determine if the boat has been well maintained. If the boat feels messy and dirty, the buyer will assume it’s been neglected and therefore, will be a high risk to purchase, with future problems due to lack of maintenance.

3. Photo and video guidelines:

As explained previously the first impression is the most important, therefore, it is important to take the best photos and videos. Pick a sunny day and follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure the boat is de-cluttered and cleaned (interior/exterior).
  • Switch on lights and/or open up all blinds.
  • Check your camera settings for the highest photos/videos quality (1080p being the best).
  • If you use your mobile phone take picture and record videos in landscape mode.
  • Start from the outside and walk your way in
  • Move slowly and smoothly

4. Prepare all paperwork:

The boat’s maintenance log and recent survey are great sales tools, which help make the buyer feel confident in moving forward. Make sure to have all relevant paperwork prepared, including the title, registration, and loan information for when an offer is accepted and you’re ready to close the sale.

Having your boat clean and orderly will minimize any uncertainty or doubt in the mind of the buyer, who is trying to determine if the boat has been well maintained. If the boat feels messy and dirty, the buyer will assume it’s been neglected and therefore, will be a high risk to purchase, with future problems due to lack of maintenance.