Selling Sailboats For Sale By Owner


Selling a sailboat may seem like a daunting challenge for owners, but with proper preparation and work, it is possible to sell quickly for an acceptable price. Discover the best info about used yachts for sale by owner.

Start by determining the value of your boat. Next, set an asking price that is competitive in the market and include “or best offer” as part of your listing.


A boat’s ideal selection depends on an owner’s plans for use – from learning sailing skills to crossing oceans. Racers may consider boats that emphasize speed, while those planning on living aboard will require accommodations and storage space for longer voyages at sea. The selection process begins by learning basic keel shapes, sizes, and materials along with construction details like hull construction techniques and sailing rigs; some books can provide this guidance, but a yacht broker should always be your go-to resource when making informed purchases.

Preparing a sailboat for sale by the owner for inspection is of utmost importance. A clean and functional vessel conveys to potential buyers the impression that the seller takes his business seriously and understands his trade while showing care in maintaining her condition over time.

At an inspection, the boat must be displayed with all interior lights turned on and the electrical system activated. Additionally, sellers should answer all inquiries related to its features, upgrades, and any incidents or damages that occurred; such stories can put off prospective buyers.

To determine an asking price for their boat, sellers should compare it to similar boats that have sold locally and research comparable models that did not sell to determine why and what can be done differently next time around. With this knowledge at their fingertips, sellers will be better equipped to set an accurate asking price that accurately reflects its condition and desirable features.

S/V Island Life, an Owner’s version 2018 Lagoon 42 catamaran equipped for living aboard and cruising, boasts Yanmar 57 HP engines, a 9kw Onan generator, and flat solar panels with a Victron inverter. She currently resides at Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia, waiting to set sail toward her next adventure.


Sailboats for sale by owner offer an economical alternative to purchasing through a brokerage firm. While yachts that have been well maintained and upgraded may garner higher values from brokers, some sailboats fall below their threshold value for them to undertake marketing efforts; furthermore, many brokers lack multi-hull expertise and cannot effectively market these vessels.

Deciding between selling your boat yourself or through a broker will depend on its quality and equipment, level of maintenance received, and buyer preferences; generally speaking, used yachts less than 15 years old offer better value in today’s boat market.

Prior to listing his boat for sale, its owner must ensure its condition remains pristine during the selling process, regardless of price. A professionally prepared vessel conveys two vital messages to prospective buyers: its seller takes his ownership responsibilities seriously, while sailing is fun!

When showing their boat to potential buyers, owners should highlight upgrades that are not immediately apparent and thoroughly answer questions about them. A comprehensive boat survey may also come in handy to detect problems that would otherwise go undetected.

Prepping a boat specifically for its purchaser can give them an edge when negotiating its purchase price. It shows them that the seller took great care in taking care of their boat so as to ensure a successful transaction.

As part of selling a sailboat, one critical decision involves assessing its value from two perspectives: equipment such as rigging and electronics versus its hull and motor. This will impact how much is offered for it as well as any financing agreements; in certain instances, it may be beneficial for sellers to opt for a partial cash sale with financing through Titlemax (an online lender that specializes in boat loans).


When selling anything else, making an excellent first impression on potential buyers of your sailboat is critical when selling one. A well-kept vessel sends the message that its owner takes great pride in maintaining and caring for it; furthermore, it helps inform potential buyers that the sale process will be professional and organized. In addition to performing a thorough cleaning before listing it online or hosting virtual or in-person sea trials before listing, be aware of timewasters during these events in order to quickly identify serious buyers.

As well as online classified ads, listing your boat with local boat brokers and yacht clubs will allow it to reach a wider audience than alone. Also, make sure that it appears in both newspaper ad sections as well as bulletin boards at local chandleries and yacht clubs.

Once you have found a buyer for your sailboat, it is imperative to negotiate its price and terms effectively. A professional negotiation can ensure you receive fair market value while avoiding common scams associated with selling sailboats. Once an agreement is made, create a bill of sale document to transfer ownership.

Search the internet for similar boats being sold privately in your area to gain an idea of the current asking prices of identical sailboats for sale by owners. This will enable you to set an accurate asking price for your sailboat. Furthermore, having an independent survey done prior to listing can identify any repairs or upgrades that might increase its value – this can help prospective buyers justify your asking price by having access to a detailed report from an experienced professional that they can refer back to when discussing pricing with you.


Before purchasing a boat, you must conduct a comprehensive inspection. Even without professional surveyor training, this process can be both time-consuming and expensive, but there are steps you can take to assess if a sailboat meets your criteria for consideration.

Start with the exterior of the vessel. Check to make sure that its trailer, cradle, or jack stands are in good condition and meet its height requirements before standing back to visualize a line running from its bottom through the bow and mast up through its body, looking out for distortions in the hull such as distortions or dimples; gelcoat bubbles; cracks in gelcoat and any signs of other potential damages.

If the owner is present, ask about their experience with the boat and request maintenance and repair receipts to get an idea of how much they have spent, which can help predict what maintenance is likely necessary in the near future.

Next, inspect the interior of the sailboat to make sure it is comfortable and well-equipped. When your upholstery is clean, all gear is present, and electrical systems work, you will get an idea of its state of care.

While inspecting the interior, check all thru-hulls to make sure they’re watertight, inspect hatch frames and seals for signs of moisture, look out for blisters that feel soft or bulge out of place, and press on them with a gloved hand, and press harder. If any appear, seek professional guidance before making an offer on it.

Finally, thoroughly inspect the engine and all accessories. Motor oil should be free from metal particles; ask the owner to demonstrate how the engine operates while listening for any noises; additionally, inspect the propeller shaft and supporting strut for any possible issues.

If you are serious about purchasing, take time to inspect the engine/heat exchanger zinc and inspect for signs of corrosion or rust. If necessary, replacement will increase the overall cost of your new sailboat. Furthermore, hoist each sail to examine fabric quality, stitching integrity, batten lengths, battens, and clew grommets on them all.

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