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Getting Your Boat Ready to Sell


When the day comes to part with your boat, Preparing Your Boat To Sell Is Very Important. Too many sellers make a common and very expensive mistake, not cleaning up their boat prior to putting it up for sale. This is definitely the single most important factor in determining how fast and how much a boat sells for. It is a fact that clean and shiny boats sell much faster and for more money than boats that are dirty and showing neglect. It makes good financial sense to clean and make any necessary repairs to your boat before putting your boat up for sale. The longer it takes to sell your boat, you are incurring monthly expenses such as mortgage payments, slip fees, insurance, maintenance, etc. and these monthly expenses can add up fast. Add to this the chance that your boat may require repairs. Remember that non-use is more detrimental than use to a boat.

Take a lesson from the people that are professionals in selling. Let's look at several different professions. First, let us look at the real estate business. Realtors always recommend to their sellers that they thoroughly clean, and make any necessary repairs and upgrades to a house before putting it up for sale. Look at model homes as another example. They are absolutely beautiful and have been decorated and furnished by a professional decorator. Second let's examine the automobile business. Automobile dealers always clean and detail a car before putting it on their lot. It's simple, clean and shiny cars sell and dirty and dull cars do not sell. Next, let's look at the jewelry business. When a piece of jewelry is displayed for sale, it sparkles! A jeweler would never display anything before he cleans and shines it. All of these professionals know that first impressions are lasting impressions and a good first impression is what sells a product.

Now, put yourself in the position of a buyer of any of the products that we described above. I'm sure that you will admit that you prefer buying products that are in "Tip Top Shape". You are immediately attracted to the clean houses that are for sale. The clean and shiny cars impress you the most. If it's clean on the outside, your impression is that it must be in good mechanical condition. Jewelry, glittering in a showcase, will attract you and put a sparkle in you eye.

Why should your boat be any different? As a seller, you are asking someone to spend a lot of his or her hard earned money to buy your boat. Most often, it is more expensive than a car or jewelry and sometimes as much or even more than a house. To attract a buyer, your boat must be in the best condition possible. If your boat is dirty and shows neglect, how do you expect a buyer to consider purchasing your boat? A bad first impression is a lasting impression that stays with the buyer as a bad impression of the entire boat.

Here are a few tips:
(1) Start by washing and waxing the exterior, polishing metals and refinishing any woodwork, repairing or replacing canvas and cushions.
(2) The interior should be thoroughly cleaned; carpets steam cleaned or replaced, upholstery cleaned or re-upholstered. A very important item is to rid the boat of any odors, especially any odors from the head. Don't forget to remove all of your personal possessions that are cluttering up your boat.
(3) Mechanically, have the engine/engines checked out by a mechanic and make all necessary repairs. Your boat must be in perfect mechanical condition. Don't stop there. Have the engine/engines cleaned and painted, and steam clean the bilge. Don't try to save money and do it yourself, hire a professional to do a quality job.
(4) Make certain that all of your equipment is in working order. If not, repair or replace them. Make sure that all of the safety items such as navigation lights, horns, and bilge pumps are in proper working order.
(5) After the initial clean-up, keep the boat cleaned regularly with scheduled washdowns.
If you are not certain of what to do, ask your yacht broker for his suggestions and perhaps consider hiring a surveyor to do a pre-sale survey.

Remember that when a buyer makes an offer on your boat, the offer is subject to a sea-trial, marine survey and most often a mechanical survey. If a buyer is not satisfied with your boat's performance or condition, he will not purchase your boat.

Lack of preparation before selling your boat may cost you a sale!

Written and provided as a courtesy by,

Bob Merritt
Corinthian Yacht & Ship Brokers


Corinthian Yacht & Ship Brokers

3600 South Harbor Blvd, Suite 113
Channel Islands Harbor
Oxnard, CA 93035-4136, United States

Tel 805-382-6050
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