FAQ - Selling your boat

Selling your floating pride and joy is never an easy process; even if your moving up to something larger, boat owners form a bond with each boat they own. All ABYA members are professional Brokers and will be able to assist you at every stage of the sale process and utilising their knowledge of the market advise you on expected selling prices and duration of the sales process. Below we have listed a few nuggets of advice and some tips to make the sale process and quick and painless as possible for all.

Do you know the current market value of boat?
A key factor in deciding if you are ready to part with any boat is the realistic market value of the boat. Our broker will be able to provide a very quick verbal valuation of your boat based on the average actually achieved selling prices of sisterships rather than the current asking prices. As a rule the asking price range will be approximately +/-10% of this price depending upon the boats condition.

Have you got the required papers for the boat?
Before listing any boat on the brokerage our broker requires to see the ships papers to check the following.

Owner has clear title to the vessel
A bill of sale in favour of the current owner along with historic bills of sale showing the chain of ownership demonstrates clear title.

VAT has been paid
If the boat was built during or after 1985 an invoice from the builder or original selling agent is required which should clearly show the amount of VAT paid at that time. If the boat was built pre 1985 papers are required to show that the boat was in use prior to 1985.

RCD Declaration of Conformity
If the boat was built after 16th June 1998, inside the EU a declaration should accompany the ships papers.

Ships Registration Papers
If the boat has Part 1 or Small Ships Registry registration the appropriate registration certificates will be required.

The value of upgrades
A commonly held misconception is that upgrading of the boat increases her market value at the time of sale. Some genuine upgrades and additional inventory such as davits, bow thruster or extended sail wardrobe may add value to the boat however this additional value quickly depreciates after which they can only help to maximise the boats saleability in a competitive market place. Routine gear replacements such as new sails, upholstery and rigging will help maintain the boats market value however they do not add value.

First impressions count
As with selling anything the initial impression of the boat sets the mood of any buyer. In a competitive market it pays to present the boat in the best condition possible for sale. Take a critical look at the boat and make sure she is as clean as possible, it can pay to have a professional machine polish the hull and steam clean the upholstery to lift the boats appearance. Selling a boat can take some time and as such you are not expected to stop using the boat however when was the last time you de-cluttered? Lots of boats are full of owners personal ‘bits & bobs’ which are not used from one season to the next; clearing these makes the boats storage appear larger and the boat more spacious on the whole.

Repair those niggling faults
That odd light switch that doesn’t work or log which doesn’t read will not help that vital first impression. In many cases the small faults are taken as an indicator of the maintenance regime, spend some money now making good the small faults and remove the leverage any buyer will use to justify a price reduction at the point of sale.

Have you acted upon the last survey?
When the boat was last surveyed a list of recommendation will have been included, have you addressed any of these since? If the boat hasn’t been surveyed for a period it can pay in a competitive market to be pro-active and commission your own survey, putting right any issues identified before listing the boat for sale.

Over pricing will cost you more in the long run
Our last piece of advice and possible the most important. The initial listing price of any boat has a major effect on the duration of the boats time on the market. Owners all naturally want to price their boat towards the upper end of the price range, often resulting in a price review being required following a period of listing after which the price is reduced to find a buyer. This extended period of listing has considerable costs attached when berthing, insurance and maintenance are accounted for. Consider the competion and listen to our brokers suggested market value carefully when deciding upon the asking price.