A Beginner Boat Owner’s Guide To Selling Your Boat


At some point in time, you may consider upgrading, downsizing or simply trading in your boat for cash. If you’ve never done it before, the process of selling your boat privately can be a somewhat daunting task. Should you use a broker? What are you expected to do to prepare your boat for sale? These are just a few of the many questions that may be on your mind when you are thinking of selling your boat.

Selling your boat can be a lengthy process that includes a number of steps, so we’re here today to make it as easy on you as possible. Read on to find out everything you need to know if you are thinking of parting ways with your vessel.

1. Consider A Catamaran Broker

Selling your vessel can sometimes be a time consuming and stressful experience, especially if you are a busy person who works full time or has a number of responsibilities on your shoulder. The first thing to consider if you are thinking of selling your boat is getting in contact with a number of catamaran brokers. A reputable catamaran broker will advocate for the sale of your vessel. They also handle the initial inspection, second inspection, contract and settlement stage on your behalf, making things much easier on your part. As an added bonus, a professional broker will be able to find you a great deal through their personal network. Enlisting the help of a broker is by far the quickest and easiest way of selling your boat, but if you’re set on a private sale, simply keep on reading to find out more!

2. Get Your Boat In Tip Top Shape

Similar to selling a car or a house, the first step of the selling process is to get your boat in tip top shape. As a seller, you must ensure that your boat is in the best possible condition before listing  it on the market. This means giving it a thorough cleaning, repairing minor cosmetic problems, fixing mechanical issues, giving your engine a tune up and organising your boat’s service records which will come in handy during the selling process. In summary, if there is anything wrong with your boat, ensure that it is fixed prior to listing or showing your boat to potential buyers.

3. Picture Perfect

Now that your boat is looking amazing, it’s time to take some high quality photos that will play a huge role in how your boat listing is received. Generally speaking, the better the photo, the higher the number of potential buyers you will attract. If possible, we recommend using a digital camera or a DSLR to take the highest quality images possible. Most modern phones are also capable of taking great images. Most importantly, take your photos from the side, not in shadow and with a clear view.

Top Tip: Including videos of your boat is also a fantastic idea.

4. Decide On A Price

Before you put your boat listing up, you’ll need to decide on a sale price. Every sale is unique, so you should evaluate your finances against the results of your research to come up with an ideal selling price. Your resale value should take factors such as model, year, mileage and condition into consideration. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Consider the minimum amount you are prepared to accept. What would be a “bad deal” for you that you’d still take to move on? You don’t have to share this with potential buyers, but it can be helpful to keep this figure in mind.
  • Avoid overpricing. Do some market research and find out what other similar boats are selling for.
  • Generally, the more aggressive the price, the quicker the sale. Do you need to get rid of your boat ASAP? Timing matters – consider asking for a lower price if you are motivated.

5. Curate Your Listing

Now that you have some killer photos of your beautiful boat and have decided on a price, the time has come to curate your boat listing. Be sure to curate an accurate, succinct and  professional listing to draw attention to your boat. First impressions count, so be sure to spend some time creating the ultimate listing that buyer’s won’t be able to resist.

6. Get Ready For Inspections

As soon as your listing goes up, you will need to be prepared to meet with potential buyers for inspections. Ensure you check your emails regularly and be sure to pay close attention to your phone at all times. Afterall, the last thing you want is to miss out on a fantastic deal. The showing is also the perfect time to disclose any potential faults that your boat may have. Be forthright or you may end up blowing the deal. Lastly, you may want to consider warming your boat up by starting engines or systems for the buyer to make a good impression.

Your professionalism and how you communicate with potential buyers will go a long way in ensuring a quick sale.

7. Organise A Boat Survey

A serious buyer will likely want a boat survey done prior to finalising their purchase. Keep in mind that the costs associated with fall upon the buyer and the final price and sale will be subject to a satisfactory survey. A great place to find out more about a boat survey is on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s website.

8. Finalise Your Sale

Once you have agreed on a sale price and a deposit, you will need to work on preparing a Bill of Sale. The best way to do this is online in order to avoid any potential costly errors. Your Bill of Sale should include:

  • Your (seller) name, address, phone number and email;
  • Date;
  • Amount of deposit paid and amount owing;
  • Boat Registration, HIN, Engine Number, Make, Model, Colour, Year and Gas Compliance Certificate, if applicable;
  • A statement entailing that you are the legal owner of the vessel and that your boat is sold free and clear; and
  • Signatures of both buyer and seller.

Important Tip: Don’t hand over any of your keys or listed documents until the buyer’s funds have cleared. If you are dealing in cash, be sure to look out for counterfeit notes by checking the dollar bills. Although scammers are a rare occurrence, there is no harm in being too safe.

You have now officially sold your boat and it is time to celebrate!

Although the process of selling your boat involves a number of steps, approaching the task in an organised manner can make all the difference. We hope that this article has given you all the information you need on selling your beloved boat, whether that be with the help of a catamaran broker or privately.


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