Boating Tips

Marry your boat to the right buyer

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Every year there are literally thousands of second hand boats on the market. With so much competition to find the right buyer, how can you as the seller put together a presentation that has people lining up to sign on the dotted line? How can you get your boat sale-ready to improve your chances of finding a buyer? Let’s take a look at some of the important tips for making the sale of the century.



Before you take the high resolution photos of the boat, it is imperative that you give it a thorough clean from top to bottom. Remove all rubbish, unnecessary items, clutter and trash from the boat. Repair any torn canvas, fix any hanging doors and give the boat a good scrub to bring out the shine. Don’t skip any of these steps. It might take a few days, but knuckle down and do it. It will benefit the eventual sale.


Whether you’re advertising your boat in a local or national newspaper or in the Leisure Boating classified section, it is vitally important to have good clear high resolution images that make the boat look inviting to the buyer. Take a variety of interior, exterior shots as well as shots of the boat underway on the water. Use a good DSLR camera to take the photos as a cell phone camera just won’t do your boat the justice it needs. Also take photographs of the helm station and other important accents found on the boat to generate improved buyer interest.


It is important to take photographs of the boat in and out of the water. Visually, the shots taken on the water will paint an exciting picture for the buyer and the view of the boat out of the water will give the buyer the necessary assurances that the hull is in good condition. When the boat is out of the water, it is the perfect time to get great shots of the outboard motors of sterndrive and the propellers. When taking the shots of the boat out of the water, try and place the boat in an area free of distractions such as tow vehicles or cluttered parking lots. Your aim is to promote your boat for sale, not promote things around the boat.


Remember not to take interior photographs in bright sunlight as it casts harsh light and creates strong shadows. Overcast conditions are much better for photographing a boat and it allows for softer more pleasing images. Exterior shots can be done in sunlight because every buyer will be looking for a boat to enjoy with family and friends in the sun. A few shots of people enjoying themselves on deck will simply add to the desire of the boat. Rent a crowd of partygoers if you have to so that you get the photographs you need.


There are numerous online sites to advertise a boat which offer the seller a free advertisement and the ability to upload a selection of photographs. Leisure Boating offers premier, free digital advertising via our website to sellers, and the easy to follow upload and description process can be completed in a matter of minutes. Putting your boat onto a variety of platforms increases your exposure to buyers and consequently improves your chances of making a sale.


When it comes to describing the boat, don’t leave anything out, especially if it adds value to the sale. Describe all electronics, accessories, engine types, galley appointments. Add in details of the service history as this is always a good selling point. Engines that have a full service history with documented low hour usage will make you boat much more desirable to purchasers. Do not make the mistake of misleading buyers with inaccurate descriptions of the boat as when they come to view the boat, they will notice these irregularities. Describe your boat as honestly as possible.


To ensure you have the best possible photographs, clean up and repair things that need attention on the boat. Spending as little money of the repairs will pay off by the boat realizing a higher purchase price. That rusting gas cooker top and the broken generator need to go, as does the faded picture of the Scope centerfold from the bonus all-star edition housed above the helm. Sometimes getting rid of the “stars” that you’ve populated the boat with is best for your boat-selling endeavours and what’s more, sultry Suzette might not be trash but she certainly needs to go into it.

Spend the time wisely preparing your much-loved boat for sale to a new owner. Make her shine, bring out the bling, let the boat sing … and soon enough you’ll find a proud new owner at your fair asking price.


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