How do I prepare my boat for sale?

Boating is a wonderful privilege; when done well, it is a marvellous joy. There’s no reason why the boat buying and boat selling part should be any less a joy; the excitement of acquiring your new vessel with eager expectation of all the adventures to come and the next step in the journey when your boat passes to the next excited owner.

Presumably, when you bought your boat, whether new or used, its condition met your expectations. When it comes to selling your boat, it will serve you well to plan to meet the expectations of a reasonable buyer.

  1. Clean – Although the boat is used and may have significant age, there’s never an excuse for uncleanliness. So roll your sleeves up or even better, get a professional interior and exterior detailer. It’s worth noting that there is seldom a detailer who is really gifted in both internal and external detailing. Its best value to hire a specialist for each area and get the job done right the first time.
  2. Maintain – As you will be well aware, boats require constant maintenance. You want to give a potential buyer as much evidence of maintenance as possible. The fibreglass hull requires cut, polish and wax annually to protect it as best as possible from age, the elements and wear and tear. Teak, although it technically requires no treatment, presents best after a two part chemical cleaner to return its original amber colour. Any overdue items in need of repair ought to be attended to. Antifoul should still have plenty of life left in it, or better yet, a fresh coat for the new season.
  3. Service – Engines and generator should have been serviced according to the manufactures schedule, generally once a year. Records of servicing are a valuable source in helping to determine the current condition of the boat. Stating major service milestones in advance can help to achieve the best purchase price possible. Getting an up to date service will not only avoid embarrassing ‘no start’ problems but will reveal any issues sooner than later that can be easily addressed to ensure a sale goes through.

Sam Davis

Growing up on the Cornish Coast, sailing family yachts, I have always been surrounded with boating life. Based at the Spit Marina in Mosman, Sydney, I have sold hundreds of boats in the luxury cruiser market. I love to help people to find the right boat. Whether you are a buyer or seller, looking for new or used, I can help you with the whole process from search right through to survey.