• Remove ALL personal belongings from the boat if possible, completely stowed away.  Potential buyers do not want to see YOUR boat, they want to see THEIR future boat.  Your stuff will not help them see it.
  • It may cost you a little time and/or money, but doing these 2 things above is 90% of what's going to make buyers want to see your vessel.   When they step on a clean, well-cared-for boat, they have good emotions about your boat being a potential candidate for purchase.


  • MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO FIX ANYTHING THAT IS BROKEN, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Trust me, you'll be paying for it one way or another.  Buyers do not want to see broken things on their future boat.
  • A potential buyer will usually have the boat surveyed.  If you have any doubts that your vessel is not going to do well on the survey, it might be a good idea to get one.   It can save quite a bit of concession, plus you can tell them it has been recently surveyed and can potentially save you several days of waiting, which is precious time, especially when a buyer is excited about your boat.
  • If available, have all service records neatly in a folder on the boat somewhere.


  • Studies show that when making a purchase, a buyer prefers to feel relaxed when looking to buy.  This means that although you know your boat better than anyone, your presence WILL hinder their honesty.   I can tell you story after story!
  • Understand market value.  You have an emotional attachment to your boat, but that doesn't mean it is worth any more than other boats of similar year, make and model.  "Yeah but my boat just had a new engine!"  Well, a 1987 Mercedes with a new engine is still a 1987 Mercedes.  It may be worth a hair more, but all you've done by replacing the engine is make it work like it should again.
  • Patience.  Easy to say, but the truth is finding a buyer is exactly that....FINDING.   You can't go to the store and purchase a buyer. The only way is to FIND one!   It may not be the price, it may not be the condition, it may just be that we have not FOUND a buyer!  This is especially true on larger vessels which can take up to 2-3 years to sell.