Tips: Part 1
By Barb Hansen
If 2013 means a boat acquisition or sale for you,
I would like to share some tips that we have found
helpful and useful for our brokerage clients over
the years. We’ll look at this transaction from the
both the seller and buyers’ sides.
Many people do not realize that in addition to our
Yacht Charter Company, Sailing School and Power
Boating School, Vic and I are also licensed Yacht
Brokers. In nearly 30 years of assisting customers
with buying and selling boats, we have seen almost
If you plan to sell your boat, here are some
suggestions for you:
Recognize there are three prices – the seller’s
price, the buyer’s and the real price or fair
market value. Circumstances may dictate other
factors, but these three are always present to be
Be sure to maintain the vessel while it is for
sale. It should be clean and inviting. Just
because you want to sell the boat does not mean
you should forget about it. Consider hiring a
professional detailer to get the boat in “show”
Vessels in service are better to show and survey.
Boats that are hauled out in the boat yard or
shrink-wrapped will be more difficult to show.
Therefore, they will be slow to sell. Having the
boat in the water and “ready to go” makes a good
Personal items and equipment not being sold with
the boat must be removed from the vessel. Also,
remove all clutter from the boat.
Non-working equipment is a liability. Fix it or
have it removed from the vessel. Be honest with
your Broker about anything that is not working
All safety equipment should be serviceable,
updated and certified as required. (Be sure to
check those flares in the back of the locker!)
A competent captain is a must for sea trials.
While the Seller is responsible for providing the
Captain, the Seller should not be the Skipper. An
independent and professional Captain is your best
The vessel’s bilge should be clean. A nicely
painted bilge is not necessary, but is certainly a
plus. A clean bilge will go a long way toward
making the boat smell clean. Be sure to treat all
mildew, oil and head smells properly. A
good-smelling boat will be much more welcoming to
a potential buyer.
Don’t paint over everything, especially in the
engine room. Even new paint will not cover up
problems with the boat. Address the problem at the
If the engine (s) is/are claimed to be re-built,
it must be logged and certified.
The Seller should not be involved in the process,
especially if he or she is personally attached to
the vessel. Have a professional Broker handle the
If your plans for the year include a vessel
purchase, here are some questions we ask
prospective buyers who engage our services:
What is your budget range for your vessel?
What type of sailing or power yacht are you
What boating experience do you have?
What are your mechanical and maintenance
Where do you plan to use your boat?
Are you planning to go offshore? If so, where?
Do you prefer single or twin engine power? Gas or
What length or range of length are you seeking in
How about accommodations: number of cabins and
What are “must have” features on your vessel?
Do you have a design preference?
Is your financing in order or do you wish the
assistance of your broker?
By the way, there is no such thing as a “real
deal” on a boat. You get what you pay for! Either
you pay the money up front for a nice, clean
vessel or you buy one that “needs work” and you
write checks for the repairs later.
In Part II of our series, next month we will
discuss the benefits of using a Yacht Broker. We
highly recommend a broker for sales and purchases
of boats 30 feet or larger. Whether you are buying
or selling a vessel, a good broker can be a life
saver and can actually save you both money and
We will wrap up our series in March. Part III will
walk you through the actual buying or selling
process, including how to make the “paper shuffle”
go smoothly. Forgetting one small detail can delay
a closing by days or even weeks. Be prepared.
Over the years we have had the opportunity to work
closely with many yacht buyers and sellers. We
have found that the tips listed here have been
very helpful in keeping the waters calm during a
process that can become “stormy.”
Marinatown Lane N.W. North Fort Myers Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628
Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W
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