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5 Fundamental Tips To Selling Your Boat or Selling Your Yacht

Moving clutter from your boat

So you’re thinking of selling your yacht or selling your boat, but not sure how to optimize your efforts. There are 5 tips that should be followed to assure that your boat looks its best and is compelling enough that someone won't be able to resist making it theirs.

Here they are:

Tip #1 - Declutter. If you won’t be using the boat much, or at all, while it is for sale, remove as much stuff as you can so that cabinets are empty and there is no visible clutter when a buyer glances around.  They need to be able to picture the boat filled with their clutter, not yours.

Ozone Generator

Tip #2 - Deodorize. It would be most ideal if the boat has no smell, but a pleasant smell is the next best thing. Air out the boat and have a plan to keep it opened and airy. Sometimes a hatch in the cockpit can stay open but not let rain water in.  Ask a friend to have a whiff of the boat since there nose hasn't become accustomed to the odors like that of an owner.  At Simpson Yacht Sales, we’ve found the biggest source of odor and easiest to mitigate is moisture.  Find out where it is coming from, stop it from coming in, and dry out what’s there.  Use a dehumidifier to remove any moisture from the air. For the ultimate in odor removal, use an ozone generator to consume the smells. Just a caution, these things are powerful so read the instructions and cautions that come with them. Lastly, if you can’t seem to get out the last remaining questionable smell and don’t have a lot of time to air out the boat, lift some hatches and spray air freshener in the holds.

Tip #3 - Detail. Have the boat polished and shiny. Buyers don’t like to have to imagine how good their next boat could look once it is shined up. It is a small investment with a huge gain. Once your yacht or boat is detailed, maintain the appearance for as long as it takes. Spend some money on a regular boat washer to make sure the boat is always ready to show. We have observed that a boat owner will take great care of their boat while they own it, but once they decide to sell, they relax on their standard for care and kind of let the boat go.  Ironically, the time you decide to sell the boat is the absolute most important time to care for the aesthetics and maintenance of the boat.

Polishing a yacht
Taking pictures of a yacht

Tip #4 - Take Mediocre Photos. At Simpson Yacht Sales, we hear so often from yacht shoppers that they are astounded by the poor quality of photos representing the yachts for sale on the market.  Although fancy camera equipment helps and is nice to have, it is absolutely not a requirement for taking great photos of your boat.  

Step 1: Get stuff out of the picture. Remove shoes, blankets, water bottles, and life jackets from the scene so the buyer can see the boat.

Step 2: Put on all the lights and, if they are not enough, bring a lamp from the house and plug it in to light up the scene.

Step 3: Grab your smart phone, step back as far as you can, and snap away.  It is important that a buyer can see the photos and understand their context. What are they looking at and how does it fit in with the layout? Of course, this is for the cockpit and interior photos. For the profile shot, take the time to untie the boat and put it somewhere where you can capture the whole boat. If you can, make sure the boat is parked in front of a pleasant background.

Tip #5 - Spend Time To Save Time.  When you list your boat for sale on Craigslist or whatever medium you choose, provide a blend of description and specifications to tell the buyer the whole story.  People spend a very small amount of time deciding whether or not to call on a boat and we find that, if some information is missing or too hard to find, they are not going to bother investigating further and will skip over the boat.  Make sure the buyer can easily find out the hours on the boat, major equipment it comes with, the price, and where it is located.

Listing a boat for sale

You can check out how we try to present our listings in the best light possible by checking out www.simpsonyachts.com.  Simpson Yacht Sales Discovery Bay welcomes your feedback and questions -chris@simpsonyachts.com.  Good luck and happy selling!

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