Documentation! Documention! Documention!
You may find this hard to believe, but the time to start getting your boat
ready for the market is the day after you buy it. Purchase yourself a notebook
or better yet one of those small portable plastic file cabinets and keep track
of all your documentation and maintenance records. Keep the boat and systems owner’s
manuals in there along with proof of any repairs or upgrades. When work is done
to the boat, have before and after pictures taken of the work. If you have had
a marine survey done, keep a copy there as well.
In other words, create an organized system of collecting and documenting the
history of the boat. You will be glad you did it. A prospective buyer will appreciate
it. Plus, it will help to strengthen the bottom line at closing.
Keep the old girl Ship Shape!
You would be amazed at the number of boats I see that are “For Sale”
and look like total Hell. And to make matters worse, more times than not, these
owners want big money for their boat. I can promise you, negligence in the application
of some basic soap and water will not help you sell the boat. A filthy and or
untidy boat is a direct reflection on how the boat has been cared for over the
years. How can you possibly expect to get top dollar for your boat, if she presents
herself to a prospective buyer as anything but “Ship Shape”?
Do yourself and the boat a favor before you put that “For Sale”
sign on the bow pulpit. Grab a bucket and a brush, maybe a bit of polish and teak
oil, and make her smile. That goes for down below as well. A boat that looks loved
will sell before and at a better price than a filthy neglected one.
Price the boat right!
I see it all the time. Somebody ten years earlier buys a boat for $20K. Now
it’s time to sell, and after a decade of mediocre maintenance and no system
upgrades they want $22K for the boat. Wrong! The “For Sale” sign you
hang from the bow pulpit will wear out before she sells.
Rarely is it ever the case that a boat can be looked upon as an investment
for monetary gain. The real return a boat gives her skipper is the pleasure she
provides through usage. In other words, don’t be looking to make money on
the sale of your boat. You don’t want to give her away, but at the same
time you don’t want to price her out of the market.
Do a Google Search for your type of boat and see what other folks are asking
their comparably equipped boat. Also go to sites like Yachtworld.Com and do the
same. You can also check out the free pricing utilities at sites like NADA.Com
and BUC.Com to get a feel for what a fair price would be.
Pictures are worth a thousand words!
Before you squeeze the trigger of that camera, take a hard look at what will
be caught on film and set the stage. Is that dinghy on the forward deck really
that attractive? What about the blue plastic tarp draped over the boom? Could
the running rigging be stowed with a bit more care? What are you taking a picture
of, a V-Berth or a junk room forward the mast? Do those empty beer cans, charts,
and untidy jib sheets really need to be scattered about the cabin? Do you see
where I’m going here?
Remember, always remember, you’re taking pictures of you boat, so you
can sell her. You should do what you can to present her in the most favorable
light and that starts with one of the previous tips; Make sure she’s clean.
Then, when you take a picture of the V-Berth, make sure that’s all you’re
taking a picture of. Clear all those extra sail bags, sleeping gear, and beanie
babies out of there. The same goes for the Quarter Berth (another favorite spot
to collect clutter).
In short, it doesn’t matter how you do it. Just take good clean pictures
of the boat. In many cases, it will be first visual impression you will be able
to make. Make it a good one.
From the quarterdeck of JoyRide,
Kirk S. Jockell