Selling Your Boat? Read This First

There is an old saying about boat ownership. It states that the two best times in owning a boat are when you buy it, and when you sell it. The rest of the time is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Cleaning, maintaining, invasive species; all play into owning your vessel. And many people planning on buying a new boat have a limited understanding of the nuance.

Which brings us to why so many people sell their boats after the fun has run its course and all that seems to be left are the endless chores. But selling your boat can be quite a bit trickier than just handing over the keys, as it were. When deciding to sell your boat, a few steps must be taken to transfer ownership properly.

How to Sell Your Boat the Right Way

Let us guide you through the steps for selling your vessel without undue hassles. If you follow these steps, hopefully your experience will be quite a bit more pleasant:

  1. What is Your Boat Worth?

    Before picking the right medium for offloading your boat from your list of assets, find out what it is worth on the open market. A boat broker or dealer can give you an estimate, minus their commission. You can guess based on what other boats for sale are going for, but without knowing the intricacies and upgrades, you very well might be selling your boat for a much lower price than it’s rightfully worth.

    You can attempt to estimate the value yourself through research across dealer and broker estimates and your own presumption, and then pepper in what other vessels are going for. But remember. If your boat looks shabby or isn’t maintained and looks neglected, the price will drop like a stone. Take care of it right up until the sale is complete, as if you still cherish it.

  2. Set Your Ad

    Most people advertise on trading magazines and social media. These are an excellent way to get plenty of traffic and interest. The old standard classified ad still works pretty well, too, but people are more likely to respond to a color photo over the black and white printed option.

    When taking pictures, always make sure your boat is in its best shape. Get it professionally cleaned if you wish, but it must be spotless, as if it just came out of the dry dock for its first owner. A picture, in this case, is worth quite a bit more than a thousand words.

    Hiring a writer with a head for marketing is a good idea if you want your ad to sound professional and draw the right attention. And having professional looking pictures taken of your boat, inside and out, will give you a better response than that of a simple smartphone camera shot.

  3. The Paperwork

    You need two documents to transfer ownership right off the bat:

    • Registration
    • Recreational boat transfer form

    It is possible that other forms may be necessary, so checking with your local government in advance is a wise plan. This applies even more so when transferring ownership of a vessel for commercial use. And this paperwork is about more than just the boat information, but details about the buyer and seller as well.

  4. The Paper Trail

    While the government requires the registration and boat transfer forms for their department of transit files, having a more comprehensive document list for your peace of mind is key to keeping everything amicable and legal. A bill of sale, handing over all maintenance documents for any boat repair work, and all warranty information will also help streamline the goodwill between buyer and seller.

  5. The Impersonal Approach

    It is possible in many places to do all of this online. The buyer and seller never officially have to meet, and with this, it is a good idea to make copies of everything for the records of both parties. But there is a time limit on how long after the sale your buyer must register themselves as the new owner. Typically, it is no longer than two weeks.

    If you wish to transfer ownership in person, it would be in your best interest to have a notary on-site to witness all document signatures and any transactions. They can help you in court if your buyer tries to pull any funny business after the sale is complete. Only a neutral third-party notary will work in this case.

  6. Last Details

    Now that you have finished selling your vessel, you will still pay for the insurance, right? Of course not. So, don’t forget to cancel your policy on the insurance you have taken out to safeguard the boat and let the dock master know of the new ownership. It is also a solid move to double-check that the local government is in the loop about the transfer of sale.

Final Thoughts

There are some other considerations when selling your boat, but most are extensions of these steps. Items like pricing variables and marketing as they pertain to how quickly you will sell your sailboat, powerboat, or yacht. The hardest part of the process is often knowing what to ask.

When you decide that selling your boat is necessary, detaching from the emotions you had during your ownership time is crucial. Emotional connection adds to the value in your opinion of what it is worth, but feelings don’t dictate the market. Remove yourself from the equation, think realistically, add a pinch of optimism, and set a reasonable price.

It is okay if the price is fixed, but a little flexibility goes a long way. Brokers are negotiators on your behalf, and if you choose to sell it yourself, you also have to be willing to negotiate. Compromise where you can, but don’t get taken for a ride. You still want to get a return on your investment.

Corleone Marinas Is Here to Help

Corleone Marinas offers services that help you get your boat ready to sell. From providing the right slip at one of our four luxury marinas to getting that last-minute maintenance taken care of, we will set the scene for your perfect sale, and that includes slips up to 60 feet.

Take your pictures backdropped by beautiful Sydney Harbour at sunset, alongside plenty of other gorgeous yachts and sailboats. Or moor it just off the marina to show what it looks like in the open sea. 

For the best in the industry that makes all of their slip owners feel like family, you owe it to yourself to enlist Corleone Marinas’ friendly staff and state-of-the-art facilities when selling your vessel. 

Questions? Contact us today!

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