How to prepare your yacht for market to make a great sale at a great price
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
'Parting with a beloved'
If you've ever owned a pet you'll understand the connection that is developed over time. Similarly we bond to our yacht, and over time 'she' often becomes part of the family. We may have enjoyed endless days, even years enjoying and adventuring together so when we arrive at the end of the journey, there will be mixed emotions.
A prospective buyer on the other hand, does not share your emotional connection. So how can you ensure they appreciate your boat fully? Getting the true value across in a listing can prove challenging for most sellers. A good Broker will take the time to get to know you and your boat, but if you intend to sell privately, the following tried and tested tips will help in getting your boat ready and looking really amazing - but be prepared to get the gloves on and do some hard work!
'First Impressions count.'
We only get one chance to make a first impression so it had better be good. Take a step back and recall how you felt the first time you stepped on board and ask yourself the following:
Did you instantly fall in love?
If it wasn't love at first sight then what was it that made you buy her?
What was it that you liked so much?
What have you changed that makes her even better?
How does she look now by comparison?
'Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer'
Whatever the case may be, I will tell you in no uncertain terms that the first time a potential ‘buyer’ steps on board your yacht, he/she will not have the same emotional connection. And like meeting a person for the first time, he /she will judge her on appearance. So it's worth taking every possible step to get her looking her absolute best if you want a great result. Ask your Broker for advice and guidance and look at other listings online. You'll soon notice the difference between a well presented and a poorly presented yacht..
'Less is More'
From a 'viewing' perspective less is more so make a real effort to de-clutter the boat. Sure there may be a tons of useful gear and extras on board oozing out of every cavity which all add substantially to her value but they don't all need to be on board for viewings. If you can't see the wood from the trees then you will need to take dramatic action to lighten the load - and you'll be making it a lot easier for the surveyor when it comes to that.
Tip: Add the most relevant items to your inventory and keep a few more as 'deal sweetners' for negotiation time.
'Be accurate with your pricing'
Do your due diligence by researching other similar yachts online or trust your Broker's estimation. We are professionals and will understand the market trends better than anyone. If you only purchased a few years ago, then chances are things may not have changed dramatically. Don't just pluck a number out of your head by adding up all the invoices for servicing over the past few years. Ask yourself is this an upgrade or is this a service? An example of an upgrade is an additional feature or 'add-on' that adds significant benefit to the vessel which may not be standard - e.g. water maker, generator, bow-thruster or a carbon rig. However, a buyer may not necessarily want to pay over the 'market price' so be realistic as it will lead to genuine offers.
'Your emotional attachment doesn’t add a commercial value to your boat'
'Bring your boat to life'
They say a picture tells a thousand words - so imagine how much more you can say with great photography - and perhaps even some live sailing footage to boost. With today's technology it's becoming easier to film and photograph without being a professional so why not get creative? However, if you can only include still shots then make sure you have a clean camera lens, a clean boat and avoid posting any blurred photos. Take interior and deck shots that show the boat's beat features.Tidy up the interior and minimise the surrounds while on deck, tidy the lines, covers and other accessories. You don't need hundreds of pictures - just sharp images that give the viewer a good perspective of the boat's layout and condition.
'Speak to your buyer'
Before you write a description of your boat, take a minute to think about who the ideal buyer might be...what would they want to know and what do you want them to know? Then sit down and write out your description. You can use your inventory to detail all the technical specifications because that's where potential buyers will look to reinforce what they've read in the description. Don't make it too long or the reader will lose interest so be sure to edit and spell check.
The bottom line - if you don't have the time or the ability, then let a professional do it for you. The chances are they will do a better job in a shorter time frame and save you a lot of hassle for a reasonable fee. They'll be available when you may not be to show the boat and will take the stress out of negotiation. And you'll more than likely thank yourself when you reap the benefits from gaining a better sale price.
Very professional, and great attention to detail in helping us prepare the yacht for sale. Amazing marketing and great understanding and appreciation of cruising yachts. Very helpful in final negotiations and assisting in final work to be done post survey, particularly as we were overseas at the time”
Anne Marie & Les Nielson – Sellers – 1980 Halberg Rassy 38 ‘Grace 7’
If you'd like to find out more you can all or email at any time. We're here to help.
Good Luck and Happy Boating.