• Sailing Boats
  • Motor Boats
  • Small Boats
  • Boat Engines
  • Commercial Boats
  • RIBs and Inflatable Boats
  • Boat Trailers
  • Boat Moorings
  • Other
A second hand boat’s sale price is like its cover letter as it’s a key part of finding a buyer with ease.    
  • Compare the market price of boats similar to yours and price yours 10 to 20% below. A lower price will catch the eyes of potential buyers.
  • Have all the documents related to the boat in a folder. This will reassure the buyer and could speed up the sale.
Second hand boats can take months to sell and sometimes even years. Keeping your boat clean, taking good photos and preparing an appealing advertisement all take up a lot of time. However, deciding on an appropriate price tag can be even more so. To find your boat’s buyer and avoid your boat lingering on the market, fixing the right price is one of the most important steps.  
When you enter a boat selling marketplace like Boats and Outboards, you can see that price is one of the filters that helps buyers find the right boat for them. Once a buyer defines a price bracket, they significantly reduce the amount of boats that they will browse through. This is crucial for boat sellers who want their boat to appear in the results as many times as possible and stand out against the other boats for sale. 
If you are worried about handling the process by yourself, you can always enlist a broker to help you price your boat correctly and sell it with ease. For more information on how to sell a boat with a broker, check out our article. 
To help you price your boat correctly this article will give you information on:

Factors That Influence Boat Prices


  • Location. If your boat is located in a more populated area where there are lots of other boats, prices may be more competitive but it will be easier to find buyers. Boats located in quieter, more inaccessible areas tend to suffer as buyers need an extra incentive to go and visit the boat. This incentive could be the price or model if it’s particularly sought after.
  • Condition. The condition of your boat’s mechanical system (engine, performance, hull, etc), rigging (for sailing boats, you have to consider the condition of the mast, sails, etc) and aesthetics (everything else including interior, wood trim, gel coat, etc.). 
  • Model and Brand. If your boat is a popular brand and model, it will be easier to sell and price it. However, those that are more niche or less popular will suffer in terms of price. See our section on Niche Boats at the end of this article for more information.
  • Size. In general, the bigger the boat, the higher the price. 
  • Age. Newer boats will always be the favourite as they have more up to date technology and systems. Older boats may also present concerns for buyers in terms of the boat’s condition, especially the engine, which will be reflected in the price.
  • Engine Hours. Boats that have engines with a lot of hours will considerably depreciate the value of your boat.  
  • Equipment. If your boat comes with extra equipment like a trailer this will also increase the price. 
sailing boat at sunset
For sailing boats, you should consider the condition of the mast and sails. Photo: Artem Verbo on Unsplash

Comparing Similar Boats

The first step to knowing your boat’s value is to investigate the second hand boat market and the prices of boats similar to yours. If your boat is rarer, look at the price of boats that have similar characteristics to yours like the year it was built, the length and the brand. This information will help you get a general idea of how much your boat is worth and the range in which you should price it. However, be aware that those that have sold quickly might not be gone, leaving boats with inflated prices- so take it with a pinch of salt. 
The next step is to compare your boat with those that you have found. This comparison will be easier if you have found boats with the same model and year as yours. If your search produces a lot of results you can filter them by area to get an idea of prices near where you and your potential buyers live. 
You should also focus on other factors such as extras, the condition of your boat, electrical system, whether it's modern or outdated as well rigging (if it’s a sailing boat), the boat’s maintenance history and the state of the engine.
Whilst you are analysing the competition, do a comparative analysis and prepare a list of pros and cons about your boat. If your boat is well looked after and everything is up to date, this will be in your favour. On the other hand, if your boat has infiltrations or the bathroom doesn’t work you should also take this into account. Taking into account the negative aspects, think about whether or not to make improvements to make your boat look more appealing. Some improvements cost little and can add a lot of value, it will also allow you to take better photos- don’t underestimate aesthetics. 
Other factors that tend to affect the price of a boat include: its location, month of sale and the urgency of the sale. That’s why it’s important to remember that every boat and every seller is different when comparing boat prices. If you see a boat that is similar to yours priced lower than the market average it could be for a multitude of reasons, such as an urgent sale, a hidden problem or because the boat is in an isolated location and the seller wants to encourage people to visit the boat. 
More information on:
How to Maintain Your Boat

Comparison of Jeanneau Sun Odyssey prices on Boats and Outboards

The first step to knowing your boat’s value is to investigate the second hand boat market and the prices of boats similar to yours.


How to Increase Your Boat’s Appeal

  1. Keep all documents related to the boat’s maintenance history
  2. Wash and polish at least once a season.
  3. Cover the boat up when it’s not in use, especially during the winter.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on wintering and maintenance.
  5. If you have a sailing boat, examine the mast every year and replace parts that are worn out.
  6. If you have a trailer, make sure to rinse it thoroughly, especially if it has been used in salt water.
  7. If your boat is in an inaccessible location, consider lowering the price or moving it to a busier harbour. 
If you’re in a hurry to sell and you decide to price your boat competitively, you don’t have to reflect all the positives of your comparison list in the price. Remember that there’s still the negotiation stage and you can still use these points in your favour to defend your boat’s price. The more positives your boat has, the easier it will be to negotiate a price similar to your initial one. 
You should also bear in mind that the price you paid for your boat shouldn’t affect how you price your boat. Factors such as the second hand boat market prices and launches of new models will influence the price more.
Boats in a marina
If your boat is in an inaccessible location, consider lowering the price or moving it to a busier harbour. Photo: Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

How to Sell Your Boat Quickly

Now that you have a much better idea of what your boat is worth, you can decide whether you want to sell your boat quickly or get the best price possible. Don’t think that a relatively high price will get your boat sold quicker, statistically speaking it’s very unlikely, unless it’s a special boat.
To sell your boat quickly you should fix a price between 10 to 20% lower than boats with similar characteristics, conditions and accessories. This will catch the eye of potential buyers and get your phone ringing. What you may lose in opting for a lower price, could be made up by a quick sale. By selling your boat faster, you can save maintenance, mooring and wintering costs.
Additionally, having all  the necessary documents handy and organised will also considerably speed up the process of selling your boat. You should prepare a folder with all the relevant information to assure your buyer. This also conveys security and credibility.
If your boat has been well looked after and is in good condition, but days go by without any calls from potential buyers, it could be because of your price. Try and compare your boat again to others on the market and adjust your price accordingly. You can also offer electronics and other accessories as add-ons for a competitive edge.
More information on:

Niche Boats

If your boat is a specialist boat designed for a niche activity such as certain racing boats or yachts equipped for long distance voyages, unfortunately it may take longer for your boat to sell as the average buyer will not value your boat’s special characteristics. In these cases, it takes time to find someone who recognises the value of your boat and its equipment. 
The same goes for vintage boats which are usually classified as those built up to 1995. Within this there are several categories including, Historic Boats (pre 1918), Antique Boats (1919-1942), Classic Boats 1943-1975  and Late Classic Boats (1976-1995). Vintage boats will be harder to sell as vintage boat buying is very niche and it can take time to find a buyer. 
Now that you’ve priced your boat, you can advertise it for sale on our website, Boats and Outboards.  
Main photo: Eric James Ward on Unsplash


Boats and Outboards Team
Published on 2021-06-21