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Preparing your Boat for Sale

There is a strong financial incentive to prepare a boat for sale. Detailing a boat is the single most important investment of time, energy and money a seller can make because a clean and shiny boat sells faster and for a lot more money. I strongly recommended that a seller enlist professional assistance to do a quality job. Sellers that opt to do it themselves should consider the following tips:

1. Wash and wax the exterior, polish any metal, refinish any woodwork, repair or replace canvas and cushions.

2. Clean the interior thoroughly, steam clean or replace carpets, clean upholstery or re-upholster. Unwanted odors must be removed especially from the head, so get some air fresheners and disinfectant. Any personal effects or items that make a boat look cluttered should be removed.

3. After the initial cleanup, schedule regular wash downs to keep a boat in top shape. Consider cleaning the exterior/interior every two weeks and the bottom should be clean of any marine growth and a new application of bottom paint.

In addition, a seller should consider having me conduct a marine survey before launching a marketing campaign. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a boat will save time, energy and money later. I can determine if a boat needs repairs and furnish a list of items that need to be fixed for the boat to be in top condition. Buyers are looking for a boat that has been well maintained with receipts and maintenance log available; so uncovering any potential structural or mechanical problems early gives you the opportunity to have them corrected and command your selling price.

Making any necessary mechanical repairs at the beginning of the sales process will prevent costly delays during the negotiations and closing. Boat owners incur monthly expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance, slip and/or storage fees and maintenance. Also, non-use can be more costly than using a boat regularly, which increases the likelihood of additional repairs. Consider the following tips:

1. A boat must be in top mechanical condition before launching a serious marketing campaign. Have the engine(s) and generator checked out by me and make all necessary repairs. Clean and paint the engine(s) and steam clean the bilge.

2. All equipment, wiring systems and electronics must be in good working order. Repair or replace items that are not. Also, insure that all safety items such as navigation lights, horns and bilge pumps are in good working order and all USCG safety gear is current.

Remember that all offers are subject to a marine survey, sea trial and mechanical survey. Buyers must be satisfied by a boat's condition, performance and eye-appeal to complete the purchase.


SouthCoast Yacht Sales Inc.

Main Office: 2 River Ave, Fairhaven, MA 02719
Fairhaven, MA 02719, United States

Tel 508-452-6068
Fax 508.300.6045
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