Live Free 2 Sail Fast

5 Quick Tips For Buying and Selling a Boat

Lots of folks are buying and selling their boats as summer has set upon us;  so I figured it might be time to publish a quicky list of simple things you can do to buy and sell a boat…faster and smarter.  I’ve bought and sold a boat or two and I’ve explored hundreds of boats of all sizes and shapes; my advice will do the same whether you’re looking at a sailboat or a powerboat.  Here goes:

5 Quick Tips to Sell Your Boat Faster and For MORE money:

  1. Use a Broker:  For those of you who are rolling your eyes and saying “Duh, that’s obvious advice”, you would be very surprised at how many folks want to sell their boat all by themselves because they KNOW they can do it…and don’t think through the time it takes to do everything involved with selling a boat.  Professional Brokers help prep your boat, market your boat on various forms of social media, personally take clients on your boat (so they’re there ALONE), arrange for money to be transferred if there will be an offer, help to accept an offer, arrange for survey’s and haul-outs and do a myriad of other things.
  2. Do Your Own Survey: We had our own survey done ahead of time by a professional surveyer when we were selling Tulum IV and it paid dividends. This survey also helped to GREATLY justify the price of the boat…as we had priced her to sell and the survey supported this.
  3. Continue to Improve the Boat:  While Tulum IV was for sale, we wanted folks to go through our broker so they were told about all the recent improvements we were doing on the boat.  This was because we worked hard to prep her and wanted to continue to improve her as we went, keeping her in museum shape as much as possible.
  4. Fair Price:  If the boat needs some work and you know it,  I suggest you either get it done before showing the boat or you price the work into your asking price, admitting up front that you know it needs to be done and taken off the asking price.
  5. Verbal or Written Offers:  Decide ahead of time if you’ll take verbal offers on the sale of your boat or if you’ll only accept them via a broker.

5 Quick Tips to Buy a Boat Faster And Cheaper:

  1. Use a Broker:  Yep, here it is once again.  I highly and strongly suggest folks use a seasoned broker to buy a large purchase such as a boat.  There’s myriads of reasons why that will go on for too long, but a broker will help you find what you need and guide you in so many different ways.  You can even use the same broker as the folks selling the boat, but get everything in writing first.
  2. Demand time during the purchase process for an in-water and out of water survey.  Hire your OWN surveyer and have the boat hauled out during the survey.
  3. Hire a mechanic who knows how to do (thorough) non-destructive engine survey (diesel mechanics don’t always know how to do an engine and drive train survey- Don’t assume your normal diesel mechanic knows how to do this).  Hire your own Rigger for a Rig Survey. 
  4. Have financing in-place and lined up before you make an offer as much as possible.  Most banks won’t do financing on boats older than 20 years old, so before you go buying a 1977 sailboat…make sure your bank will cooperate.  Once you get ready to make an offer, be ready to fork over 10% of purchase price to get the offer in place, this is normal business in the marine world.
  5. Written or Verbal Offers:  I recommend not making verbal offers.  I like written offers done by the broker so they know I’m serious about buying the boat.  It doesn’t always work but it always gets a reply.

    Never Lose Sight of Your Ultimate Goal!

Whether you liked, loved or hated my 5 Quick Tips For Buying and Selling A Boat in this post, the tips come from real experience and observations as well as numerous conversations with some of the best boat brokers in the country.  I love my work as a travel, sail and adventure blogger/writer and hope you’ll continue to follow this website, our Patreon site and our YouTube Site, with the new Kids Corner Video coming out on YouTube Friday.

Amelia Rose (Tulum IV- our first boat) and Tulum V (our current boat) in the same picture.  Amelia Rose is leaving for Baja Ha-Ha 18.




Reblog: For Sale: 2011 Beneteau 43.3, $119,000 — The Cruises of Marlinspike

Here’s a great pair of sailors who’ve lived their plan and are now putting their boat up for sale in the Caribbean.  Having already sold one sailboat, I’m aware of the challenges of boat sale and am especially empathetic to the challenge of selling a boat from far away….like if your boat was in the Caribbean and you had to come back to the US.  These folks have kept the boat in immaculate shape and worked hard to improve her while sailing the Caribbean, so the boat should be a steal for someone who wants to really sail the Caribbean.  Plus….LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION- you can pick up a great newer boat for a great price that’s already in one of the world’s premier cruising grounds…..nice!  If you’re interested, check out their website and tell em that LF2SF sent you-

All good things must come to an end. This was the third year of our planned three- to five-year Caribbean cruise, and having sailed the boat throughout the Eastern Caribbean, from Grenada to St. Thomas, we agreed that it is time to bid farewell to our beloved Marlinspike. This was the perfect boat for us: […]

via For Sale: 2011 Beneteau 43.3, $119,000 — The Cruises of Marlinspike

Looking to your Rode: Chain Marking My Way

If you own a boat and haven’t a clew what your Rode is; perhaps it’s time to learn?  In boating parlance, Rode prefers to the entire system used to keep a boat anchored in one place (but not a mooring)- this means the chain/rope, attachment swivels and any kind of anchor.  Today we’re only discussing the chain/rope portion of a Rode, although anchors are a favorite subject too.  Ever hauled out your chain or rope and paid attention to them?  If not, this post may be some help:  (more…)

Amelia Rose Goes to Sea

It’s taken me over a month now to be able to put into words the emotions of watching our former sailboat leave for Baja Ha-Ha 2018.   Having your current and former sailboat able to be in one picture is cool enough,  but watching your former sailboat glide from her slip one last time proved to me how enraptured I can be with sailboats and the emotions they spark, even when I don’t own them. (more…)

Constant Improvements on Tulum 5

It’s Veterans Day Weekend and perfect San Diego weather,  but we’ve chosen to stay on the dock to keep up our project momentum and give us a chance to take a deep breath.  (more…)

LF2SF’s Informal Survey of Baja Ha-Ha South Bound Boats

The 2018 Baja Ha-Ha leaves San Diego on October 29th to “rally” (not race) down Baja California.  Here’s my own Baja Ha-Ha intro (for those of you who have never heard of this unique sailing adventure) and my own informal survey  of the traits belonging to the Baja Ha-Ha Boats on my dock.   (more…)

Sailboat PMCS and more projects-

Sitting here in the cockpit after last night’s full moon on this quiet morning, I started to reflect on posts I’ve written on this blog about improving one boat or the other and how much work me and hotwife have actually put into doing just that- constant improvements on the boat.  These are our boats after all, but this is now our home.  (more…)

Random Coolness at the boatyard- JAG Painting

Prior to de-naming and re-naming Tulum V, we needed to get the old name removed and the new name put on,,,,what a bit of work it was.  (more…)

Boatshow Review- San Diego Sunroad Boat Show

The San Diego Sunroad Boat Show ran from January 25-28 2018 in San Diego, Ca and although a local show, it was still a blast.  (more…)

My semi-rant about unmotivated sailboat sellers!

(This post is PG-13) I have some frustrations with folks who put their boats up for sale,,,,,then don’t do bend over backwards to make them sellable or get them sold,,,,,read on: (more…)