This article aims to support those seeking to get the full and correct value for their vessel and in a timely fashion! Within is a list of key suggestions and ideas for things to think about when selling your boat. This list is provided to existing boat insurance customers with best intentions only, if in doubt seek professional advice!


PUBLISHED 18/07/2010

BY admin

IN Tips & Advice

With the aim of helping those that wish to ensure that they receive the true worth of their vessel in a timely fashion when selling it (that’s all of us we assume), here are just a few quick suggestions/ ideas for things to think about. This list is for existing boat insurance customers and is provided with best and fully honest intent only, if in doubt seek professional advice!

Preparing To Sell

  • Make the boat tidy, do that full spring clean you put off for so long.
  • Boat cleaning should definitely include the engine bay, where applicable. Removing oil and engine residues is a dirty and horrible job but an area which will definitely be closed inspected and it is reflective upon how well critical parts of the boat have been maintained.
    • You should plan to take out all engine bay covers etc, as any fastidious buyer or boat inspector will do this also.
    • You’ll definitely need lots of old rags, old washing up brushes and tooth brushes, a bottle of engine grease remover/ washing up liquid and a black bin liner).
    • Wait until the weather is dry, take your radio and consider it a labour of love!
  • Remove all personal belongings and clutter from the boat. Your aim is to make the boat look sparse and spacious.
  • Complete all all the simple fixes that you are skilled to carry out / able to.
  • Paint only if needed and you are proficient.
    • A bad or sloppy paint job may actually devalue the vessel so is worse than none at all.
    • Equally if you are to paint then ensure you use neutral colours, i.e. whites or light colour shades to ensure the appeal is as broad as possible.
  • Carefully weigh up the benefits of any larger jobs.
    • As a general rule make sure the boat starts well, is fully water tight and that any potential boat safety issues are attended to.
    • Non-essential fixes should not be taken on unless you are entirely confident that they will add value.
  • It is worth considering getting an updated boat safety certificate, having a fresh boat service and collate all available documentation though (including manufacturers specifications, appliance documentation, details of any boat insurance claims).

Selling Your Vessel

  • Do your research. Firstly, do your research on other similar vessels for sale before setting selling price. Also be aware that often people assume that the stated selling price for big ticket items is negotiable, know what your lowest price is and stick to it (no harm taking contact details and taking time to think over an offer).
  • Consider using a sales broker. Of course it’s an obvious point, but this decision usually comes down to time and money. Selling the boat yourself avoids the 5-15% sales commission, but saves you time and effort as well as often better reducing your exposure to fraud (check your broker has appropriate professional indemnity insurance and that the service includes potential buyers vetting and accepts responsibility for this).
  • Collate your advertisement. Provide full manufacturers specification and up to date photographs (a nice sunny day is best)! Highlight the key attributes that made you want to buy the boat.
  • Consider where is best to advertise the boat. Where did you see it advertised, more specialist boats may require internet exposure, common boats are more likely to sell through local boating magazines/ club notice boards etc.
  • Be realistic. It often takes between 3 and 6 months to sell a boat (maybe more in the current financial climate), so be patient.
  • Bill of sale. If selling the boat yourself, make sure you draw up an official bill of sale and agree how funds will be transferred (a bankers draft is often best as this guarantees the buyers has appropriate funds are in place). Sign the bill of sale in front of agreed witnesses and only once you are certain the appropriate funds have been cleared, only then should you hand over your ownership documentation.

Informing Your Boat Insurer and Getting New Cover

Once the sale is complete, immediately alert your boat insurance company, this is both to protect yourself but will allow you to claim any refund owing if not purchasing an alternative vessel.

Also if you’re buying a new or different vessel either now or in the future we’d also obviously like the opportunity to give you a quotation. You’ll find you can be covered in minutes with one of the UK’s leading marine insurance experts!

Maintaining Value Through Regular Maintenance

Lastly, with those in mind who move on to purchase a new vessel or who perhaps aren’t selling now but who may want to in the future. You’ll want to ensure you retain maximum value for when they do sell your boat in future, here are some further hints and tips.

  • Keep your hull regularly maintained. This is essential for all vessels not just older vessels. Check your manufacturer’s advice and try to keep to them reasonably closely.
  • If paying others to maintain your vessel for you, always inspect and check their work and get written agreement of exact works to be carried out in advance (this is particularly relevant for jobs such as boat blacking/ painting where shortcuts can easily be taken at your expense).
  • Keep all receipts of works carried out along with a written log of date and time. Even if you service thee boat yourself, keep receipts such as oil and filters to help evidence the vessel has been well maintained.

Good Luck Selling Your Boat

Finally, it goes without saying we hope you find this article useful and wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavours!