Savvy Tips Guru

How to Sell Your Boat: Tips on When, Where & More


Deciding to sell your boat is a major step. Once you’ve found your next boat for your next travels, it’s often time to say goodbye to the old one. Selling a boat might take a while, but there are ways to speed up the process. That said, we’ll aid you in your journey as you learn how to effectively sell a boat with our tips.

Best Way to Sell a Boat: Tips & Strategies

Below are the top tactics and strategies for selling your boat quickly and effectively. These will help you sell your used boat to the right people:

Work with Boat Brokers and Dealers

If selling your boat feels like too much work, you can ask a boat broker or dealer for help, or trade it in when you buy a new one from a dealer who does trade-ins. But remember, both choices have downsides: brokers take some of your money, and trade-ins often don’t give you the best deal.

Price Your Boat Appropriately

After cleaning and prepping your boat, set a reasonable asking price. Check NADA guides for estimates, but also look at similar boat listings online and in magazines. Remember, boat value varies by condition, location, and season. Freshwater boats usually fetch higher prices than saltwater ones, and boats sell better in the spring. Once you choose a price, keep in mind it might need adjusting. If there’s no interest, consider lowering it gradually until buyers start showing interest.

Prepare a Boat For Sale

To get the best price for your boat, you need to prepare it well. Clean it inside and out, wash and wax it, and tidy hidden spots like storage compartments. Make sure the interior looks neat, and remove any clutter to make spaces look bigger. Also, fix any broken equipment, especially the engine, to attract buyers and get a good price.

Take Photos and Videos

After getting your boat ready, take great photos and videos of it on the water. First impressions matter, so make sure your pictures stand out. Avoid shots of the boat on a trailer, in poor lighting, or with a messy background. Listings with videos often sell better, so include a video if you can.

Make a Sales Plan

With your high-quality photos and videos ready, and your boat prepped for sale, it’s time to make a sales plan. Decide if you’ll sell the boat yourself or use a broker or dealer. Learn the pros and cons of each option.

Market Your Boat

With your boat ready and priced, it’s time to find buyers. Plan your advertising strategy. Think about where to place ads, who your target audience is, and your lowest acceptable price. Consider whether to use print ads or online listings. List it on several classified websites, both free and paid, as results can vary. You can also advertise in a local paper or boating magazine. Don’t forget to put a “For Sale” sign on the boat and place it in a busy area like near a road or marina. You might even try all these methods together.

Show Your Boat to Potential Buyers

Hopefully, the advertisements will bring in many calls and emails about your boat. Now, you’ll need to show it to potential buyers, which could involve virtual tours or in-person sea trials. Be prepared to answer lots of questions about the boat’s model, condition, features, and any add-ons. Watch out for “tire-kickers” who aren’t serious buyers and might just want a free boat ride.

Use resources to find the best ways to show your boat efficiently. While rough weather or a hard-starting engine might make you hesitant, remember that your goal is to find the right buyer who will appreciate and care for your boat.

Proper Documentation is a Must

Now it’s time to get serious. You’ve listed the boat, shown it to a few buyers, and have a strong lead. It’s normal to feel nervous—it’s just your emotions reacting to parting with a beloved boat. Stay firm, remind yourself that life goes on, and start negotiating.

Seal the Deal

When a buyer contacts you, be ready to show the boat and take them for a sea trial if they’re interested. Have documents proving ownership and maintenance records ready. Honesty is crucial. If you agree on a sale, prepare the legal paperwork needed for the transaction, which varies by state. Make the process smooth and quick to finalize the sale. Once sold, your boat goes to its new owner, and you can enjoy your new boat!

What’s the best way to sell your boat?

The best way to sell your boat is to target buyers looking for your specific type of boat. For instance, if you have a high-performance pontoon boat, aim for areas with lakes ideal for leisurely cruising. If you’re selling an offshore fishing boat, focus on ocean-side fishing communities. Listing on a site like can help, as they use digital marketing to reach the right audience, generating high-quality leads from interested buyers.

How will you sell your boat quickly?

If you want to sell your boat fast, try pricing it slightly lower than similar ones in your area. Clean it well, take great photos, and be ready to show it when someone’s interested. Consider paying for a premium listing on a website and using keywords that buyers would search for in your ad.

Make Selling Your Boat Quicbk and Easy with Our Guide

Selling your boat is a big step, but there are ways to make it faster. Don’t forget to clean it up, set a reasonable price, and take good photos. After that, decide if you’ll sell it yourself or get help from a broker. Advertise in different places and be ready to show it to potential buyers. Be honest and have all the paperwork ready. With the right approach, you’ll find the perfect buyer and say goodbye to your boat with confidence.


  • RJ Sinclair

    RJ is our resident money guru, with a knack for keeping finances neat and organized. With previous experience as a budget manager in supply chain companies, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Count on RJ as a trustworthy source for valuable money tips and advice to help you make the most of your financial journey.