When Is The Best Time Of Year To Sell A Boat?

Whether you have a financial hardship, or just get tired of your old boat, you may be in the market to sell it. The selling and buying of boats is a big market, and it can be stressful and overwhelming to most people, especially if it is for a very specific reason that is important to you or your family. There be several questions you ask your friends and family, but in my experience, the first question I asked, is if there was a better time of year to sell it or not.

Typically, early to mid-spring is the best time of year to sell your boat and get top dollar for it. In early spring, people generally start to look at buying boats for the upcoming summer season, so the market will be hot. You may also find that the beginning of the summer, there might be a spike in interested buyers around the early to mid-June, but will most likely get a little less than your asking price.

How Long Does It Take?

The typical time it takes to sell a good condition boat, with a very reasonable price tag is about two weeks to a month. Selling a boat, and how long it will take can depend on many things. First and foremost, selling your boat will depend on its condition, and asking price. If you have a boat that has not been maintained properly and you are asking top dollar, your ad might sit with little to no interested buyers. On the other hand, if you have all the maintenance records for your boat, have it serviced regularly, and are fair on the price, you might have multiple offers on it in a matter of weeks.

Is There A Best Website To Sell A Boat?

The most popular places to sell your boat in 2020 is going to the Facebook marketplace, or private Facebook groups and exchanges. Before Facebook had this feature, your best place to sell a boat was on Craigslist. There are tons of platforms out there that you can place a personal ad, but you need to know your audience and buyers market. If you need to get rid of your boat fast, you will want to find a place that you can put an ad, and get the most people to see it, that is why Facebook is a great audience. I am joined on several private sales groups that have 40-50k people on it.


Get A Tune-Up

When selling a boat, you want the buyer to love your boat so much, that they just want to buy it right then and there. A buyer will most likely ask you to start the motor, or even take your boat to the lake to test drive it. It is in your best interest if you have the money, to get a tune-up done on your boat so that it is running in tip-top shape. You do not want any starting, or running issues when someone comes out to buy it.

Fix Boat Issues

You will want to fix all the small issues that you can find with the boat to get top dollar. If you have the extra money, fix broken lights, little tears in the carpet, and seats too. Start by fixing all the things that you can do yourself with a trip to the hardware store, and work your way up. Fixing a $5 – $10 dollar item might get you a $50 dollar or more return depending on what it is, especially if it cosmetic. Fix as many cosmetic issues you can find, this will make the person love the look of your boat and want to buy it.

Fix Trailer Problems

Believe it or not, boat buyers are looking at more than your boat, so you will want to try and bang out those dents in your trailer if you can. Tighten any up any hanging wires, and replace any burned out taillights that you might have. You want to make the buyer feel like they can hook the boat up to their car and drive it right to the lake without any issues at all, especially the tires. Fix any leaks, and take some armor all to the tires to make them look as good as possible. People will “kick” the tires to make sure everything is good, even if it’s their first purchase.

Check Everything

Walk around and through your boat at least 5 times with a piece of paper and clipboard to make sure you are prepared to fix or talk about any issues a buyer might find. The more you know about your boat, the more at ease the buyer will be when talking to you. Check fuses, gas gauges, radios, everything! If you can fix them, it will help the value of your boat, but if you can’t at least be ready to discuss them with a potential buyer. No issues are too big, or small.

bearded mechanic checking up the boat

No Low Ballers

Unless you are in serious need of fast cash, take your time selling your boat, and don’t just take the first offer because you have someone interested, unless it’s an offer that you can live with. The last thing you want is selling your boat cheap because you don’t think you will get another buyer. Selling boats does take time, and you can always call a person back that gave you a low ball offer. People always want something for nothing, so there is nothing stopping someone from trying to buy your boat for thousands less than your lowest price.

Be Honest About Issues

If you know your boat has an issue that you just cannot afford to fix, or will devalue the boat, be honest with buyers. You do not know who is buying it, and it could be someone buying their first boat for their family, and if you know it has a bad mechanical problem, it is up to you to be honest so you do not leave them stranded in the middle of a lake. Being honest with people will make them want to buy from you, even if they pass on the boat that day, they could call you back just because you were honest with them. If you have time to help them fix an issue if they pay for it, do it.

Have A Low Price

Always have a final low price that you are willing to take. If you know your lowest price for your boat is $15k, and someone offers you $12k say no. Do your research, and know exactly what you are selling. Always have a number below your asking price that you can come down to, it will make the buyer think that they are getting a great deal from you. Be careful that you do not raise the price so much that you don’t get callers though.

Final Thoughts

Buying a boat can be stressful and emotional, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know your boats value, and fix all the little problems that it has, you are sure to get what you are asking, or very close. Look out for scammers and low ballers that are just trying to buy it to turn a profit, there are a lot of them out there. There is nothing written that you have to take the first offer that comes at you, so if you have the time, take it to find the right buyer.

Related Topics

When Is The Worst Time Of Year To Sell A Boat?

The worst time to sell a boat to get the best value is in the winter months from November to January. The cold time of year is hard to really show people your boat, especially if it has been winterized. If you can, keep your boat covered until early spring, and wait for buyers that are looking to buy for the summer months.